For evidence-based protocols and increased accuracy in diagnostic imaging
MedSolutions has presented data from two new studies highlighting the dangers of excess radiation exposure from CT scans and other diagnostic imaging tests.
According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the National Cancer Institute projects 29,000 excess cancers will result from the 72 million CT scans Americans received in 2007 alone. Nearly 15,000 of those cancers could be fatal.
A second study highlights the wide variation in radiation doses patients receive during scans. Researchers at the University of California San Francisco measured as much as a 13-fold variation in the dose of radiation per scan for the same body part across different imaging facilities and practitioners, said the company.
The company claims that the research underscores the role radiology benefits managers (RBMs) can play in limiting unnecessary radiation exposure. By using evidence-based guidelines to validate the medical necessity of diagnostic imaging, RBMs ensure patients receive the right test at the right time, preventing inappropriate and potentially harmful overutilization that can expose patients to excessive radiation and result in billions of dollars in unnecessary expenditures.
RBMs also ensure that tests are performed at credentialed imaging centers equipped with the latest technology and staffed by trained personnel. MedSolutions maintains quality control requirements for all imaging facilities in its network, said the company.
Gregg Allen, chief medical officer of MedSolutions, said: “When used properly, CT imaging is essential to proper diagnosis and treatment. However, these new studies offer more compelling evidence that stricter quality control measures are necessary to prevent unnecessary and duplicative scans that increase a patient’s cumulative radiation exposure over time.
“By using evidence-based guidelines and engaging in strict quality control measures, we can greatly reduce the risk of unnecessary radiation exposure. We are hopeful this new research will result in widespread adoption of these important practices.”