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Learn More About mPlexus and DICOM Technology

If you have any questions about the mPlexus software, DICOM routers and medical image sharing software in general, or about mPlexus itself, you’ve come to the right place.

This resource section is designed to help you better understand the impact DICOM technology can have on your facility. mPlexus has gathered educational articles, case studies, and more to help answer your questions. If you do not see what you are looking for, however, we encourage you to contact us; we will be happy to answer your questions.

26

Outside CT Imaging Among Emergency Department Transfer Patients

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to characterize the quantity and types of outside computed tomographic (CT) examinations submitted for reinterpretation among emergency department (ED) transfers to a tertiary care, level I trauma, academic medical center and the frequency of and reasons for repeat imaging.

Methods

Reinterpretation requests for outside CT studies accompanying ED transfer patients over a 4-month period were prospectively audited. Clinicians completed forms specifying type of CT study, outside report availability, interpretational discrepancies, repeat imaging requests, and reasons for repeat imaging.

Results

A total of 425 CT studies were reviewed among 255 transfer patients, with a mean of 2.8 examinations (range, 0-16) on 1.7 patients (range, 0-8) per day. The patients' mean age was 59 years, and 57% were male. The clinicians reported no outside verbal or written reports for 16% of patients. Interpretational discrepancies were noted in 12% of those with outside reports. Repeat scans might have been avoided in as many as 25% of rescanned patients (35% of repeat examinations) because they were performed solely for imaging or information technology reasons (inadequate imaging, compact disc inoperability, or unavailable images within the hospital's picture archiving and communication system). Rescanned trauma patients in particular had a high per patient rate (32%) of potentially avoidable reasons, with a lower rate (11%) in nontrauma patients.

Conclusion

Outside CT imaging in ED transfers adds workload and resource requirements for receiving institutions. A communication gap exists between transferring and receiving institutions, and interpretational discrepancies are common. Process improvement measures are suggested that might reduce the substantial rates of potentially avoidable reimaging.

 

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