Hot-spotting and Imaging
I’ve already fessed up to having a schoolgirl crush on Atul Gawande, surgeon, journalist, RSNA 2010 speaker and, I suspect/hope, fellow bleeding-heart liberal. His most recent article in The New Yorker looks at “hot-spotting,” the practice of providing intensive, personalized care only to the neediest patients as a means of lowering overall health care costs without making impossible demands of clinicians.
Based on Gawande’s past articles, as well as this one, I’m guessing his stance on imaging more closely resembles the radiology industry’s party line than its actual sentiments. This made
Adios, Chi City
I’m getting ready to bid Chicago a very fond farewell, but wanted to check in one last time to close out this year’s RSNA blog. What did you enjoy most at the show this year? I was shocked by how patients perceive the field of radiology and fascinated with how the ACR creates its Appropriateness Criteria. I got my heart broken by Bill Clinton (and I’m surely not the first) even as I developed a serious crush on Atul Gawande. And I witnessed plenty of fightin’ words about commoditization, teleradiology and malpractice.
Duty of Care: Should Radiologists Share Results with Patients?
It keeps getting colder outside, but things were heating up in the session “Malpractice Issues in Radiology” this morning. Speakers Leonard Berlin, MD, Harley Hammerman, MD, and Richard Taxin, MD, didn’t hesitate to stir up a bit of controversy in addressing the issue of whether radiologists should communicate the results of all outpatient studies directly to their patients. Berlin got things started with a recent overview of legal cases involving radiologists charged with “failure to communicate.”
Long story short, there have been several precedents for radiologists being held accountable for a failure to communicate findings. Most
Thursday Bits and Bytes: Safety in Medical Imaging
Today at RSNA, an expert panel met to discuss topics ranging from medical imaging appropriateness to radiation exposure from imaging to efforts toward curbing utilization. Panelists, who hailed from institutions all over the country, tackled the difficult task of clearing up public misconceptions about health risks from medical radiation. They aimed to spread public awareness of radiology’s role in ensuring patient safety – and of the role overutilization and self-referral can play in exposing patients to unnecessary radiation. “Imaging procedures conducted for the wrong reasons contribute to unnecessary costs and radiation exposure to patients,” said panel member William R.
Under the Big Blue Carpet: Behind the Scenes at RSNA
I attended my first RSNA in 2006, and although the McCormick convention center is, by now, so familiar to me that I could probably navigate it in my sleep, I’ve never lost my sense of astonishment at the mini-cities that are the exhibit halls. It seems like every year the vendors’ booths become more complex, and for some of the bigger, global corporations like GE, Philips and Siemens, circling the whole booth can take ten minutes or more.
During a meeting with McKesson yesterday I heard a couple of stats that blew my mind: the company has 28
Takin’ Down Teleradiology: Should We, and Is It Possible?
David Levin, MD, is not a big fan of teleradiology. In this morning’s session on “Addressing Threats to Radiology,” he stated his case bluntly: “There’s nothing that does a better job of commoditizing imaging than outsourcing to a teleradiology company.”
Of course, radiology groups are always going to feel the temptation of working with nighthawk firms, Levin said. It’s only natural – they handle the shifts no one else wants to take, such as nights and weekends, and can offer a degree of subspecialization that small groups just can’t provide on their own. But
Wednesday Bits and Bytes: Cancer Risk from Medical Radiation Overestimated?
According to a study presented today at RSNA, the risk of developing radiation-induced cancer from CT might be lower than we think. In a retrospective study of Medicare claims from 1998 to 2005 that included more than 10 million records, cancer incidences related to ionizing radiation from CT were estimated to be 0.02% for one group of patients and 0.04% for the other. “Our findings indicate a significantly lower risk of developing cancer from CT than previous estimates of 1.5% to 2% of the population,” said study coauthor Scott Atlas, MD, chief of neuroradiology at Stanford. “Regardless, the increasing reliance on CT scans underscores the importance
Jonathan Berlin, MD, on Decommoditizing Imaging
Stat Readers, I have but one word for you: SNOW!
You thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you? “Cloud,” “tomo,” “personalized” . . . well, sorry. I live in LA; snow is really exciting.
But that’s not the reason for this entry, I just had to share. The real reason is the terrific session I attended this morning on “Addressing Threats to Radiology,” kicked off by the wonderful Jonathan Berlin, MD, with a discussion of commoditization in imaging. Commoditization, he explained, happens when the only way customers can differentiate between products in a
Tuesday Bits and Bytes: East Meets West With fMRI of Acupuncture
A study out of Essen, Germany presented today at RSNA pits traditional Eastern medicine against Western evaluation, using functional MRI to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture. When 18 patients underwent fMRI with an electric pain stimulus but without acupuncture, the modality revealed significant activation in the areas of the brain that process pain; however, when the same procedure was performed with acupuncture, these areas of the brain were significantly less active. “Until now, the role of acupuncture has been controversial,” said lead researcher Nina Theysohn, MD, of the radiology department at Essen’s University Hospital. “Our findings support that both
Well, faithful Stat Readers, I was so excited to bring you coverage of Bill Clinton’s special address today that I queued up an hour early in the basement of the Lakeside Learning Center—only to learn, when I finally reached the theater doors twenty minutes later, that media is not allowed, even in the satellite rooms. The word on the street is that the only coverage of the talk will be in tomorrow’s RSNA Daily Bulletin, so I’ll get you that link as early as I can. Hopefully an RSNA member will be generous enough to