Statewide Image Repository and Repeat Imaging in Children

December 7, 2016

Radiology utilization in children transferred to trauma centers after implementation of statewide web-based image repository.

A statewide web-based image repository (WBIR) significantly reduces repeat imaging among injured children transferred to a pediatric trauma center (PTC), according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock sought to determine the impact of a statewide WBIR, such as the Trauma Image Repository in Arkansas or Image Grid in West Virginia, on repeat imaging among transferred injured children.

The researchers reviewed demographics, body region of scan, Injury Severity Score, and Emergency Department (ED) disposition of all injured children who were transferred to the PTC in 2010 and again in 2013; the children in 2010 comprised the pre-WBIR group and those in 2013, the post-WBIR group.

The results showed that 254 children were transferred in 2010 and 233 children were transferred in 2013. Their mean age was 7.3. Repeat imaging levels at the PTC were lower (20%) post-WBIR than pre-WBIR (33%). Images of the head decreased most significantly (60% versus 33%, respectively), and images performed at Level II and III trauma centers were repeated less often after WBIR.

The researchers concluded that the WBIR significantly reduced repeat imaging among injured children transferred to a PTC, especially children transferred from Level II and III trauma centers, children with lower-acuity injuries, and children with initial scans of the head. Radiation savings are expected to be beneficial to children.