Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WIHI on imaging practices

Here's a notice about an upcoming WIHI program.

The Image of Better (Radiation) Imaging Practices
Thursday, June 17, 2010, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time

James R. Duncan, MD, PhD,
Associate Professor of Radiology and Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
Richard T. Griffey, MD, MPH,
Associate Chief for Quality and Safety, Emergency Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

Imagine an electronic card that has all your vital medical information on it. Not too farfetched. Now, imagine that this same “smart card” also contains your radiation exposure history. Who needs to know, you ask? Well, a growing number of global patient safety experts believe this is precisely the type of information patients and medical providers should be tracking to help prevent unnecessary CT scans and the like, especially as evidence mounts that all these tests begin to add up in ways that that can endanger people’s health. Cancer is being studied the most, which is of course ironic since powerful and advanced radiation imaging is what also helps diagnose cancerous tumors at their earliest and most treatable stages.

It’s precisely because of this good news/bad news story about radiation imaging that WIHI welcomes Dr. James Duncan and Dr. Richard Griffey to the program on June 17 to help explain new thinking to improve decision making and reduce overuse of CT scans especially. With at least two CT scans performed in the US every two seconds, getting out in front of this skyrocketing practice couldn’t be more timely and challenging. But there’s promising work to discuss, much of it emanating from the pediatric community where evidence suggests children are undergoing record numbers of radiation tests, leading to an early and excessive lifetime exposure. It’s essential, for starters, say Drs. Duncan and Griffey, to know the facts and to understand the benefits of diagnostic alternatives. Should there be an “ultrasound first” policy?

WIHI host Madge Kaplan welcomes your knowledge, opinions, and questions about an area of medicine that’s ripe for review and improvement. Please join WIHI on June 17. To enroll, please click here.

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