Consumer Reports on Radiation Risks with Medical Images

Consumer Reports recent “investigation” covers a common topic we’ve featured on the NexGenic News Blog (Ex. 1, Ex. 2) regarding patient safety, and information for receiving a medical test involving ionizing radiation.

An interesting aspect of the Consumer Report write-up is the description of personal examples where scanning patients inappropriately leads to further and further follow-up scans. These incidental findings are so common that doctors have established a name for such findings: incidentalomas.

The supporting research features an article titled “An Appeal for Safe and Appropriate Imaging of Children”, from September 2014 issue of the Journal of Patient Safety.

The Consumer Report investigation ends with 5 recommendations for Patients regarding managing their Radiation exposure from imaging tests – including assurance that the study will be read by a radiologist.

To conserve imaging expenses and control radiation exposure the investigation recommends patients avoid unnecessary repeat scans as follows:

The Institute of Medicine reports that $8 billion is spent annually on repeat testing, much of it unnecessary. That often happens because doctors may prefer to get a new test rather than look at a previous one. So let your doctor know if you recently had an imaging test.

 To track your scans, jot down the date, facility, and ordering physician in a journal. And ask for copies of your scans to be put on a CD so that you can show them to new doctors.

The only thing we’d add to the recommendation above is to use the ImageInbox® app and leave CD-ROMs back in the 90’s where they belong!

#XRayEfficiency #ImageExamEfficiency #ImageInbox