The impact of imaging referral guidelines on unnecessary x-ray examinations

Grant ID: EMSS-362R28-2017

Lay Summary

In this project, the research team is investigating the effect, on x-ray request justification, of educating referrers and radiology staff on the existence and use of the Government of Western Australia’s Diagnostic Imaging Pathways. The project aims to improve clinical information provided on medical imaging requests, to assist in the assessment of justification, and reduce the number of unjustified examinations being performed. The expected impact of this project is in the removal of unnecessary x-ray examinations which provide little or no benefit to the patient. This will also have a benefit of reduced radiation exposure to patients and improved access to x-ray services for patients with a genuine need for the examination as well as a financial saving due to reduced costs for the delivery of emergency healthcare.

Up to 77% of diagnostic medical imaging examinations are considered inappropriate or unnecessary, according to prior research. Inappropriate examinations contribute to an individual’s lifetime radiation exposure, unduly increase healthcare costs, and reduce the access to x-ray services due to longer waiting times. Many countries, including Australia, have introduced imaging referral guidelines which provide referrers with evidence-based decision tools to select appropriate examinations. Use of these guidelines has significantly reduced the rate of referral without affecting the detection rate of pathology.


SHARE

Amount Awarded
$57,093


Program


Grant Scheme


Status
Active


Principal Investigator:
Dr Sarah Boxall


Co Investigators:
Ms Marnie Rawle
A/Prof Pighills


Associate Investigators:
Dr Daniel Lindsay
Dr Emily Callander


Institution


Collaborating Institutions


Media

  • Daily Mercury_16 February 2018
  • CONTACT US +61 7 3720 5700 info@emfoundation.org.au 2/15 Lang Parade Milton Qld 4064