September 11, 2015 — Value-driven health platform Spreemo has completed the first phase of a study to determine how interpretative variability in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a standard diagnostic test, can influence the course of a patient’s treatment. Conducted in partnership with Hospital for Special Surgery and Thomas Jefferson University, the study considers the interpretation of an MRI examination completed at different radiology centers, with the intent of countering the widespread misconception that diagnostic imaging is a commodity. The first phase involved examination of a test patient with low back and leg pain by 10 different imaging centers, in addition to two control exams performed at the onset and conclusion of the data collection period.
“An accurate diagnosis will make a critical difference in the trajectory of a patient’s care and ultimate outcome,” said Peter Moley, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery. "Selecting the right imaging center for diagnosing an acute or chronic spinal disorder is an integral step in achieving the best outcome for the patient, whereas a poorly performed and interpreted MRI may result in dire consequences.”
“From sub-specialization of the provider, to protocols, to equipment used, there are many variables that can impact the quality of an MRI,” added the study’s principal investigator, Richard Herzog, M.D., director of spinal imaging at Hospital for Special Surgery. “This study marks an important step toward a quantitative and empirical understanding of that variability and its impact on a patient’s care and outcome.”
The study is funded by The Spreemo Quality Research Institute, which launched in November 2014 in collaboration with employers and providers to measure the impact of quality standards and best practices on patient outcomes.
For more information: www.spreemo.com