Patient Information on Safety Reduces Radiography Orders

May 19, 2016
Diagnostic Imaging Staff

Orders for radiography may decrease when patients are provided with radiography safety information, according to a study at ACR 2016.

Informing prescribers about radiation safety and radiographic quality improvement may help change image ordering patterns, according to a study presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island, NY, performed a retrospective review to determine if implementing a radiation safety and radiographic quality improvement disclaimer and questionnaire would affect the disproportionate volume of portable radiographs ordered.

The researchers evaluated 38,321 inpatient radiographs performed five months prior and after application of a patient safety disclaimer and a questionnaire was completed. A total of 19,119 radiographs were performed from January 1, 2015 to June 1, 2015; 8,892 (47.3%) were portable, and 5,510 (29.3%) were elective. There were 19,708 radiographs performed in the second period, which ranged from June 2, 2015 to October 31, 2015; 8,712 (44.6%) were portable radiographs. Only 4,796 studies (24.6%) were elective.

The results showed that the implementation of the quality safety questionnaire caused a statistically significant absolute decrease of 2.64% when accounting for all portables and 4.72% when separately excluding the mandatory portable exams. This data also translates to a 5.5% and 16.1% relative decrease, respectively.

The researchers concluded that employing a patient safety disclaimer and questionnaire led to a statistically significant decrease in the amount of portable radiographs ordered in their hospital, and they suggested that by adding information about radiation safety and radiographic quality improvement, ordering patterns of prescribers can be changed.