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: Humiliation tops list of mistreatment toward med students

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

Humiliation tops list of mistreatment toward med students

5 hours ago

Each year thousands of students enroll in medical schools across the country. But just how many feel they've been disrespected, publicly humiliated, ridiculed or even harassed by their superiors at some point during their ...

Surrogate offers clues into man with 16 babies

13 hours ago

When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive.

Nurses go on strike in Ebola-hit Liberia

14 hours ago

Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the west African nation.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

User comments : 0