Vetting (triaging) and cancellation of inappropriate radiology requests

Date of next review: 

Radiologist review of imaging requests prevents unnecessary radiation, inappropriate and duplicate examinations and makes the overall delivery of radiological services both safer and more efficient. The ability to vet and cancel requests is vital to ensure that appropriate examinations are performed on patients. 

In addition to ensuring the efficient operation of the radiology department, review of imaging requests provides an opportunity to share informative feedback with the referrer indicating why a request has not been sanctioned. As such, an effective vetting service depends on good communication. 

This document, written by the Radiology Informatics Committee, provides advice and guidance on setting up efficient processes for vetting and communication. Information included in the document includes:

  • The role of radiologists in the vetting of referrals
  • Current issues in the vetting, triaging of and communication about referrals
  • Using vetting as a national benchmark
  • Staff involved in vetting
  • Optimum technology for vetting. 

To support the implementation of the advice set out in this guidance, a sample radiology information system specification for the vetting and protocolling workflow is included as an appendix, along with an audit templates so that departments can review the effectiveness of the workflows.