Smart Branching Surgical Reports

Surgical reports are fundamental to cancer treatment and care, providing important diagnostic and prognostic data for care teams and their patients.

In aggregate, surgical reports continuously advance the cancer care process through improved understandings of treatment methods and patient outcomes.

Synoptic Reporting for Surgeons

As surgical procedures become more sophisticated, there is a corresponding growth in what can be gleaned from surgical report data. Consequently, there is a growing need for reporting methods that can capture and organize this data efficiently.

Research continually demonstrates the value of synoptic reporting for surgeons.

Synoptic reporting uses coded templates, enabling surgeons to create more accurate, readable reports that capture more data in less time than with narrative reporting methods.

But not all synoptic reporting methods are equal. One distinguishing feature is template smart branching, which ensures templates are instantly responsive and provides a reporting process that is both thorough and streamlined.

Smart Branching Templates

To illustrate the workflow effects of smart synoptic software, we’ll look at a synoptic reporting template for breast cancer surgery.

Smart branching often has significant effects for simple Yes or No questions. In the example below, the surgeon has indicated that additional reconstructive surgery was not performed.


Above, the No response means that the section ends and the surgeon can either move on or add clarifying comments.

Below, we can see how smart synoptic software responds to a surgeon who indicates that Yes, additional surgery has been performed:


Synoptic reporting software with smart branching provides this series of follow-up questions only when necessary.

In systems without smart branching, a surgeon might have to tediously select Not Applicable for series of questions following every Yes or No question.

For surgeons following a paper template to aid in dictation, it can be difficult to skip inapplicable sections without also missing key details.

Smart branching provides a balance: critical data is captured while inapplicable fields are hidden, ensuring surgical reporting is both thorough and streamlined.

In the above examples, the questions in red were set as mandatory. However, smart synoptic software also enables clinics to configure their own mandatory fields, ensuring electronic medical documentation that meets the unique needs of their teams.