April 29, 2012

Radiologists Tackle Legal Challenges And Policies For Evaluating Outside Studies

As more patients are referred to tertiary care center with previous images, a new study from researchers at the Westchester Medical Center shows how radiologists are tackling the challenges of interpreting outside studies and reviewing discordance opinions.

"Outside studies were becoming a problem in our institution," said Dr. Zvi Lefkovitz, co-lead for this study. "We were receiving a lot of disjointed, fly-by-night examinations, and we had no formalized policy for reviewing these exams." Lefkovitz and his team began a comprehensive process of overhauling their procedures, rewriting their policies on secondary exams, and retraining their entire staff.

During their presentation at the 2012 ARRS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Lefkovitz and his co-authors will show how these new processes improved how they evaluated outside examinations and helped reduce excess radiation for their patients. "In the past when we received outside studies, we often had to repeat studies which exposed patients to additional radiation," Dr. Lefkowitz added. "Having the outside CD policy and technology in place to upload and interpret outside CDs 24/7 and has led to a reduction in unnecessary repeat studies by approximately 85%, thereby significantly reducing the radiation dose to patients ."

This presentation will also cover the potential legal ramification for outside studies, HIPPA-related issues, the challenges of obtaining formal consultations, and reinterpretations for additional images.

Dr. Lefkovitz will present his study on April 28, 2012 at the 2012 ARRS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada.


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