Clinical Focus

  • Radiology

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Associate Dean, Maternal and Child Health (Quality and Safety), Stanford University School of Medicine (2018 - Present)
  • Christopher G. Dawes Director of Quality, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital / Stanford Children's Health (2018 - Present)
  • Chief Quality Officer, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford (2017 - Present)
  • Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine (2017 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: Pediatric Radiology, American Board of Radiology (1996)
  • Fellowship:Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (1995) OH
  • Board Certification: Radiology, American Board of Radiology (1994)
  • Residency:University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (1994) OH
  • Medical Education:University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (1990) OH
  • Pediatric Radiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Pediatric Radiology (1995)
  • Radiology, University of Cincinnati, Radiology (1994)
  • MD, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Medicine (1990)
  • BS, Ohio State University, Biology (1986)


All Publications

  • Radiographic appearance and clinical significance of fidget spinner ingestions PEDIATRIC RADIOLOGY Sammer, M. K., Kan, J., Sammer, M. D., Donnelly, L. F. 2018; 48 (11): 1584–92


    According to anecdotal press reports, there have been medically significant ingestions of fidget spinner toys, including ingestions that required endoscopic intervention. Fidget spinners have been marketed to improve attention and have been suggested as a therapeutic alternative to medications in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).To describe the radiographic appearance and features of ingested fidget spinner components. To evaluate clinical significance via rates of endoscopic intervention, incidence in patients on ADHD medications, and mean age compared to other accidental foreign body ingestions.A nested retrospective case control study analyzed pediatric accidental foreign body ingestions identified via electronic medical record search between March 1, 2017, and Feb. 28, 2018. Radiographic identifiability, component type and maximum diameter of ingested fidget spinner components were described. A nested cohort of non-fidget spinner ingestions between May 1 and Aug. 31, 2017, was compared with the fidget spinner ingestions for rates of endoscopic intervention (a), concomitant use of ADHD medication (b) and mean age (c) using the Fisher exact test (a and b) and independent samples t-test (c).There were 1,095 unintentional foreign body ingestions. Ten were ingested fidget spinner component ingestions. Eight of the 10 ingested components were radiographically identifiable. Compared with the nested cohort of non-fidget spinner ingestions, fidget spinner ingestions were more likely to undergo endoscopic intervention (P=0.009, 5/10 fidget spinner ingestions vs. 54/383 other ingestions). Fidget spinner patients were more likely to be on ADHD medication (P=0.011, 2/10 fidget spinners vs. 5/383 other). Fidget spinner mean patient age was significantly older than other ingestions (P=0.015, mean: 7.1 years fidget spinner ingestions vs. 4.0 years for other ingestions).Compared with other foreign body ingestions, patients who ingested fidget spinner components were more likely to undergo endoscopic intervention, had a higher rate of ADHD medication use and were older. Familiarity with the radiographic appearance of ingested fidget spinner components is important for patient management.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00247-018-4179-8

    View details for Web of Science ID 000444838000006

    View details for PubMedID 29955903

  • Magnetic resonance imaging of obstructive sleep apnea in children PEDIATRIC RADIOLOGY Fleck, R. J., Shott, S. R., Mahmoud, M., Ishman, S. L., Amin, R. S., Donnelly, L. F. 2018; 48 (9): 1223–33


    Sleep-disordered breathing has a spectrum of severity that spans from snoring and partial airway collapse with increased upper airway resistance, to complete upper airway obstruction with obstructive sleep apnea during sleeping. While snoring occurs in up to 20% of children, obstructive sleep apnea affects approximately 1-5% of children. The obstruction that occurs in obstructive sleep apnea is the result of the airway collapsing during sleep, which causes arousal and impairs restful sleep. Adenotonsillectomy is the first-line treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and is usually effective in otherwise healthy nonsyndromic children. However, there are subgroups in which this surgery is less effective. These subgroups include children with obesity, severe obstructive sleep apnea preoperatively, Down syndrome, craniofacial anomalies and polycystic ovarian disease. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the first-line therapy for persistent obstructive sleep apnea despite previous adenotonsillectomy, but it is often poorly tolerated by children. When CPAP is not tolerated or preferred by the family, surgical options beyond adenotonsillectomy are discussed with the parent and child. Dynamic MRI of the airway provides a means to identify and localize the site or sites of obstruction for these children. In this review the authors address clinical indications for imaging, ideal team members to involve in an effective multidisciplinary program, basic anesthesia requirements, MRI protocol techniques and interpretation of the findings on MRI that help guide surgery.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00247-018-4180-2

    View details for Web of Science ID 000440818200005

    View details for PubMedID 30078047

  • Practical Suggestions on How to Move From Peer Review to Peer Learning AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ROENTGENOLOGY Donnelly, L. F., Larson, D. B., Heller, R. E., Kruskal, J. B. 2018; 210 (3): 578–82


    The purpose of this article is to outline practical steps that a department can take to transition to a peer learning model.The 2015 Institute of Medicine report on improving diagnosis emphasized that organizations and industries that embrace error as an opportunity to learn tend to outperform those that do not. To meet this charge, radiology must transition from a peer review to a peer learning approach.

    View details for DOI 10.2214/AJR.17.18660

    View details for Web of Science ID 000426017600028

    View details for PubMedID 29323555

  • Comparison Between Manual Auditing and a Natural Language Process With Machine Learning Algorithm to Evaluate Faculty Use of Standardized Reports in Radiology JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF RADIOLOGY Guimaraes, C. V., Grzeszczuk, R., Bisset, G. S., Donnelly, L. F. 2018; 15 (3): 550–53


    When implementing or monitoring department-sanctioned standardized radiology reports, feedback about individual faculty performance has been shown to be a useful driver of faculty compliance. Most commonly, these data are derived from manual audit, which can be both time-consuming and subject to sampling error. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether a software program using natural language processing and machine learning could accurately audit radiologist compliance with the use of standardized reports compared with performed manual audits.Radiology reports from a 1-month period were loaded into such a software program, and faculty compliance with use of standardized reports was calculated. For that same period, manual audits were performed (25 reports audited for each of 42 faculty members). The mean compliance rates calculated by automated auditing were then compared with the confidence interval of the mean rate by manual audit.The mean compliance rate for use of standardized reports as determined by manual audit was 91.2% with a confidence interval between 89.3% and 92.8%. The mean compliance rate calculated by automated auditing was 92.0%, within that confidence interval.This study shows that by use of natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, an automated analysis can accurately define whether reports are compliant with use of standardized report templates and language, compared with manual audits. This may avoid significant labor costs related to conducting the manual auditing process.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jacr.2017.10.042

    View details for Web of Science ID 000427667000012

    View details for PubMedID 29269244

  • The Daily Operational Brief: Fostering Daily Readiness, Care Coordination, and Problem-Solving Accountability in a Large Pediatric Health Care System JOINT COMMISSION JOURNAL ON QUALITY AND PATIENT SAFETY Donnelly, L. F., Basta, K. C., Dykes, A. M., Zhang, W., Shook, J. E. 2018; 44 (1): 43–51


    At a pediatric health system, the Daily Operational Brief (DOB) was updated in 2015 after three years of operation. Quality and safety metrics, the patient volume and staffing assessment, and the readiness assessment are all presented. In addition, in the problem-solving accountability system, problematic issues are categorized as Quick Hits or Complex Issues. Walk-the-Wall, a biweekly meeting attended by hospital senior administrative leadership and quality and safety leaders, is conducted to chart current progress on Complex Issues. The DOB provides a daily standardized approach to evaluate readiness to provide care to current patients and improvement in the care to be provided for future patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jcjq.2017.04.010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000418892600006

    View details for PubMedID 29290246