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August 27, 1982

Let your fingers do walking to get radiologist's report

JAMA. 1982;248(8):919. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330080009002

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The phrase "Physician phone RTAS" may one day be as familiar to hospital personnel as "ET phone home" has recently become to moviegoers.

RTAS is the acronym for Rapid Telephone Access System, a computerized information system that has markedly reduced the time lag between the radiologists' assessments of patient roentgenograms and attending physicians' receipt of that information. The system promises to increase efficiency in other medical departments as well.

Manufactured by Sudbury Systems, Inc, Sudbury, Mass, the system is simple in design, consisting of a computer terminal with CRT (cathode ray tube) screen and a touchtone telephone equipped with four additional buttons on the receiver.

It is also easy to use. Patients' assigned codes are entered when they are x-rayed. The radiologist reads the films, accesses the system via the receiver buttons, punches the identifying code on the touch-tone buttons, and dictates the report. The report becomes immediately available to