Can I take Your Picture? A Look at Efficient Diagnostic Imaging Use

JUNE 18, 2010
Diana Pichardo
In his presentation, “Ordering Radiological Examinations, Which to Choose and Why,” Jeffrey J. Newhouse, MD, FACR discussed which tests are truly necessary under which circumstances.

Radiology is crucial in modern medicine, because it reveals truth, Newhouse said.  However, it can cost quite a lot, so the prudent application of radiology is what’s really critical, he said.

Across the country patients with similar injuries and symptoms, somehow seem to be receiving varying image testing from one center to the next, which he cautioned as a point of concern. There are large regional differences in the utilization of radiology, he said.

Doctors who own their own imaging devices tend to increase utilization 2 to 8-fold, according to research, he said.

Newhouse recommended that physicians try to follow the American College of Radiology Appropriateness criteria. The guide was created to “guide physicians and radiologists in making decisions about diagnostic imaging techniques.”

The recommendations come from a team of 17 experts, nine diagnostic and eight therapeutic. And participation from non-radiologic specialty societies were included, he said. By using non-radiology specialists, the guide helps keep the medical industry “in check” in terms of proper use, he said.

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