Top down approach helps academic medical center reduce unnecessary emergency department X-rays

Jul 01, 2010

An imaging algorithm produced by a radiology department and distributed through the medical director's office, in a top-down fashion, enabled a large, academic medical center to significantly reduce the number of unnecessary cervical spine radiographs (X-rays) in the emergency department, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

At the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY, it was observed that a large number of routine trauma of the cervical spine were requested after a of the cervical spine had demonstrated no significant findings. "In view of the recent increasing awareness of over utilization and concern of the risks from medical radiation, we looked for opportunities to eliminate what we believed were unnecessary or inappropriate exams," said Mark J. Adams, MD, MBA, FACR, lead author of the study.

"With the assistance of our medical director, a clear algorithm for the X-ray evaluation of post CT cervical spines was developed and distributed from the top down to care providers through their respective departments, not directly from the imaging department," said Adams. One year after the implementation of the policy, data demonstrated a significant decrease in the number of unnecessary or inappropriate studies being performed. The number of unnecessary X-ray exams performed was reduced by 83 percent between January 2008 and January 2009.

"Not only are these X-ray exams unwarranted, they consume valuable resources, add an additional burden to emergency department and radiology staff, and subject patients to unnecessary radiation," said Adams.

"It is hoped that this simple approach can also be used to address other improper use of imaging resources, thereby reducing and improving the efficiency of care in the and acute care setting," he said.

Explore further: Radiologist recommendations for chest CT have high clinical yield

More information: www.jacr.org

Provided by American College of Radiology

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.