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HomeMedical Information Quality MedicineAt The Heart Of Medical Diagnostics – Clinical Radiology And The Importance Of Clinical Review

At The Heart Of Medical Diagnostics – Clinical Radiology And The Importance Of Clinical Review

7/29/2018 | By: Medix Team

Even though most patients may never meet the radiologist consulting on their case, his or her role, often misunderstood and regarded as merely a technician, plays a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries. With such an intrinsic field of expertise, what is the significance of having imaging reviewed and what does it mean for both patients and healthcare providers?

In the early 1900's radiology was defined as a technical service, however with healthcare rapidly evolving through the advancements of new technologies, the medical landscape has changed and so too did the skills required of the radiologist. Today radiographic imaging such as x-rays, Computer Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and ultrasound require specialised expertise in order to interpret and report clinical findings. Radiology is a multifaceted specialty at the heart of diagnostics and an integral aspect in many patient pathways.

Doctors and surgeons both rely on radiology for diagnostic information when treating their patients. A misdiagnosis can result in the ineffective or even harmful treatment of the patient. Published in the BMJ Journals, a post-mortem study of patients dying in hospital was conducted to determine the effect of radiological misinterpretation. The findings showed 8% of these deaths were caused by radiological misinterpretation and contributed to another 33% of diagnostic errors in patients with relevant imaging. In order to improve the quality and safety of healthcare, diagnostic errors have to be eliminated by means of more stringent processes when interpreting imaging. This is where the practice of second opinion readings and additional verification can change healthcare outcomes for the better. Furthermore, as with surgeons, radiologists too develop areas of expertise. The specialisation of the radiologist should be matched to the field of examination to ensure an accurate evaluation.

 

The study revealed that 14% of re-evaluated imaging by specialist radiologists, from over 1000 varying CT examinations were crucial for ideal treatment of the patients and resulted in a change of healthcare strategy. Important changes were found to be less frequent when specialist radiologists were initial readers.

 

This study reinforced the importance of clinically reviewing or auctioning double reading imaging (second opinion reviews) in order to achieve favorable outcomes for patients through the use of specialist radiologists.

The practice of additional imaging review holds great potential in its endeavors to achieve the best clinical results. Medix, with its global quality accredited network of specialised radiologists in every field of expertise, follows such a methodology and believes strongly in having all imaging reviewed by a specialist radiologist to avoid any misinterpretations or preconceptions that may have carried through from past evaluations.

 

In 55% of the Medix managed cases globally, patients were spared unnecessary medical procedures. In 43% of the cases, patients were offered a better treatment alternative and one out of five patients (20%) received a corrected medical diagnosis. It is clearly evident that the importance of clinical review is invaluable to patient and treatment efficacy outcomes.

 

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