WIHI On Imaging Practices

Here's a notice about an upcoming WIHI program.

The Image of Better (Radiation) Imaging Practices

Thursday, June 17, 2010, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time

James R. Duncan, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Radiology and Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Richard T. Griffey, MD, MPH, Associate Chief for Quality and Safety, Emergency Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Imagine an electronic card that has all your vital medical information on it. Not too farfetched. Now, imagine that this same “smart card” also contains your radiation exposure history. Who needs to know, you ask? Well, a growing number of global patient safety experts believe this is precisely the type of information patients and medical providers should be tracking to help prevent unnecessary CT scans and the like, especially as evidence mounts that all these tests begin to add up in ways that that can endanger people’s health. Cancer is being studied the most, which is of course ironic since powerful and advanced radiation imaging is what also helps diagnose cancerous tumors at their earliest and most treatable stages.

It’s precisely because of this good news/bad news story about radiation imaging that WIHI welcomes Dr. James Duncan and Dr. Richard Griffey to the program on June 17 to help explain new thinking to improve decision making and reduce overuse of CT scans especially. With at least two CT scans performed in the US every two seconds, getting out in front of this skyrocketing practice couldn’t be more timely and challenging. But there’s promising work to discuss, much of it emanating from the pediatric community where evidence suggests children are undergoing record numbers of radiation tests, leading to an early and excessive lifetime exposure. It’s essential, for starters, say Drs. Duncan and Griffey, to know the facts and to understand the benefits of diagnostic alternatives. Should there be an “ultrasound first” policy?

WIHI host Madge Kaplan welcomes your knowledge, opinions, and questions about an area of medicine that’s ripe for review and improvement. Please join WIHI on June 17. To enroll, please click here.

Paul Levy is the
President and CEO of Beth Israel Deconess Medical Center in Boston. Paul
recently became the focus of much media attention when he decided to publish
infection rates at his hospital, despite the fact that under Massachusetts law
he is not yet required to do so. For the past three years he has blogged about
his experiences in an online journal,
Running a Hospital, one
of the few blogs we know of maintained by a senior hospital executive.

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2 replies »

  1. Very nice article! I like your website. We’ve blogged a series on biomedical image processing that you might find interesting. The link is here image processing, there are several on the page.
    I’ll be following your site. Keep up the good work!

  2. That sounds like, say, issuing a domestic abuse registry card to the victim that will keep track of every abusive event, i/o targeting domestic abuse itself.
    I believe we have to go directly after the absurd diagnostic overkill that is the US gold standard, and that means: patient and physician education (the majority of both have unrealistic expectations) as well as tort reform.

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