Thursday, March 13, 2014

Overtesting in the ER

Barbara Sadick, WSJ, Feb 24, 2014, says use of scans--CT and MRI--increased 12% between 2000 and 2010.

CT scans, for one, have more than 100 times the radiation of a regular x-ray.

With too many tests, you get more false positives--and injection of dyes and other substances can cause problems for patients, too.

Doctors worry they will miss things, and patients often demand tests.

Still, there is a movement toward fewer CT scans for head injuries at low risk for skull fracture and bleeding.

Some hospitals, such as Brigham and Women's in Boston, have special decisionmaking software to determine which tests are warranted. This has resulted in a one-third decrease in CT scans.

Another doctor--from Johns Hopkins--says maybe doctors need more courses on examining physically.

...Instead of peering inside.

No comments: