Diagnostic Reading #35: Five “Must Read” Articles on Medical Imaging

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In the news: second-opinion radiology reports are not being read.

This week’s articles in Diagnostic Reading include: eConsults can improve patient care; how practices can recover from the pandemic; possible liabilities with patient images; second-opinion reports go unread; and CT interpretation errors increase at night.

Electronic consultations can beneficially change patient care – Diagnostic Imaging

Radiologist holding detector for imaging - in orange preset
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When a face-to-face or phone consultation between a primary care provider and a radiologist is not possible, an electronic consultation can be just as effective, according to research published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. Electronic consultations (aka, eConsults) can not only alter patient management, but they can also lower costs and reduce unnecessary imaging.

How radiology practices can recover their lost revenue during COVID-19 – Axis Imaging News

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the U.S., and patients remain cautious about returning to routine medical exams and elective procedures, the radiology industry is still severely impacted by the pandemic. While there is no clear answer to when the pandemic will end or if lost revenue will be regained, radiology practices must create an action plan to recover. This article includes strategies that can help practices cut costs and improve efficiencies.

Read the Special Series on COVID-19 Medical Imaging

New liability concerns emerge for radiologists who have used patient images in presentations – Radiology Business

Radiologists and other providers often use patient images in educational presentations or online PDFs. Recent updates to search engines, such as Google and Bing, may expose patient imaging data previously thought to be anonymous, according to the American College of Radiology, RSNA and the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine. Physicians and other health professionals must pay special attention to this concern or may open themselves up to potential privacy breaches and liability risk, the groups advised. 

Dutch survey finds second opinion reports go unread – AuntMinnie Europe

Clinicians don’t read 11.4% of second-opinion radiology reports, which is a waste of healthcare resources, according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. Researchers from University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands identified variables that were associated with a second-opinion report not being read, such as inpatient status and sonography as the imaging modality.

Radiologists make more errors when interpreting CT studies at night – DOTmed HealthCare Business News

Radiologists are making more errors when interpreting CT studies overnight than they are when examining scans in the daytime, stated Mayo Clinic researchers in Radiology. Even if radiologists are well-rested for the night shift there is some impairment. While the study did not examine the potential of any tactics for reducing errors, one researcher’s personal recommendations include “using a checklist approach, taking notes during the review instead of just keeping a mental tally…and read the dictated report before signing it off.”

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