Adding CT contrast policy to EMR enhances safety

October 6, 2009

Partners Healthcare System in Boston has integrated CT contrast media guidelines into its electronic medical record to encourage physicians to comply with the safety standards and to cut costs for the hospitals in its network.

Partners Healthcare System in Boston has integrated CT contrast media guidelines into its electronic medical record to encourage physicians to comply with the safety standards and to cut costs for the hospitals in its network.

In 2003 Partners' radiology administrative director Kathryn McCullough and members of the Partners CT Contrast Media Team started to assess contrast media administration guidelines and screening procedures for patients at risk for contrast reactions at the system's six hospitals.

After discovering wide variations in policies and procedures, they developed a standard code for contrast media administration plus a patient questionnaire and adverse reaction form, all available through the EMR. The initiative has allowed them to identify patients with a history of prior contrast reactions. The group published its results in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR 2009;6:562-566).