Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Simple change results in fewer unnecessary imaging exams for patients

Date:
May 25, 2010
Source:
Radiological Society of North America
Summary:
A new rule preventing medical support staff from completing orders for outpatient imaging exams that were likely to be negative resulted in a marked decrease in low-yield exams for patients, according to a new study.

A new rule preventing medical support staff from completing orders for outpatient imaging exams that were likely to be negative resulted in a marked decrease in low-yield exams for patients, according to a study appearing in the June issue of Radiology.

Many medical institutions request and schedule outpatient diagnostic imaging exams through use of web-based radiology order entry systems. Some systems offer real-time feedback, called decision support, on the appropriateness of the exams being ordered. When entering the desired examination into the system, the physician or support staff must also enter clinical information justifying the order. Based on that information, the decision-support system provides a yield score ranging from one to nine. The score indicates the likelihood that the selected exam will yield valuable diagnostic or positive results for this set of clinical circumstances.

Following American College of Radiology appropriateness criteria, a score of one to three is considered low yield. The user is then given the opportunity to cancel the order or select a different examination. However, because medical support staff do not make clinical decisions, they are less likely to cancel or revise an order without additional clarification from the physician.

To address this problem, Massachusetts General Hospital instituted a rule preventing medical support staff from completing computerized orders for outpatient CT, MRI and nuclear medicine examinations that received low-yield decision support scores.

"We developed this strategy to encourage more clinician 'hands-on' use of the system," said Vartan M. Vartanians, M.D., clinical research associate in the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "With greater physician involvement, fewer low-yield exams are ordered."

After the change, the proportion of total examination requests by physicians directly logging into the system more than doubled from 26 percent to 54 percent of the total number of requests, while the percentage of low-yield exams requested decreased from 5.4 percent of total number of requests to 1.9 percent of total requests.

"Physicians need to use the decision support system for it to be effective, but getting them to do so can be difficult," Dr. Vartanians said. "Our work demonstrates that a minimally disruptive alteration in the radiology order entry system can encourage direct physician involvement, and improve patient care by reducing the number of low-yield examinations."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radiological Society of North America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vartan M. Vartanians, Christopher L. Sistrom, Jeffrey B. Weilburg, Daniel I. Rosenthal, and James H. Thrall. Increasing the Appropriateness of Outpatient Imaging: Effects of a Barrier to Ordering Low-Yield Examinations. Radiology, 2010; DOI: 10.1148/radiol.10091228

Cite This Page:

Radiological Society of North America. "Simple change results in fewer unnecessary imaging exams for patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525085404.htm>.
Radiological Society of North America. (2010, May 25). Simple change results in fewer unnecessary imaging exams for patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525085404.htm
Radiological Society of North America. "Simple change results in fewer unnecessary imaging exams for patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525085404.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins