News | Radiology Business | January 12, 2017

Study Shows Imaging Diagnostic Error Rates Up to 43 Percent

MRI imaging referrals often based on cost, not quality, leading to errors

MRI, imaging diagnostic error rates, lower back, The Spine Journal, Hospital for Special Surgery study

January 12, 2017 — A new clinical study published Dec. 20, 2016, in The Spine Journal reveals significant variability in provider quality as well as imaging diagnostic error rates considerably higher than previously reported in the literature.1

In the study, conducted by the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and funded by Spreemo Health's Quality Research Institute (QRI), a single patient was sent for a lower-back magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan at 10 different imaging centers over a three-week period. Notably, not a single diagnostic finding — out of 49 distinct findings reported — was identified by all 10 participating centers.

"Diagnostic errors are a well-known problem within the radiological community," said primary author Richard Herzog, M.D., director of spinal imaging at HSS and executive director of Spreemo Health's QRI. "This study reveals the magnitude of that issue for the first time, clearly demonstrating the importance of diagnostic quality for patients and payers."

Peter J. Moley, M.D., assistant attending physiatrist at HSS and a coauthor of the study, noted that variability in the quality of MRI interpretation could yield profoundly different treatment recommendations for the very same patient. "For this patient, recommendations could range from physical therapy to surgery, which shows inter-provider variability is not just an academic problem," said Moley. "It has real-world consequences for patients: An incorrect diagnosis can lead to misdirected therapies, complications and increased disability. This study underscores the need for better standards of diagnostic quality."

For more information: www.thespinejournalonline.com

References

1. Herzog, R., Elgort, D.R., Flanders, A.E., Moley, P.J. "Variability in diagnostic error rates of 10 MRI centers performing lumbar spine MRI examinations on the same patient within a 3-week period," The Spine Journal. Published online Nov. 17, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2016.11.009

Related Content

Medicare Trustees Report Hospital Insurance Trust Fund Will Deplete in Seven Years
News | Radiology Business | April 22, 2019
The Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund, which funds Medicare Part A, will only be able to pay full benefits...
Comparison of state Medicaid fees for radiation oncology services for breast cancer and nonradiation oncology services per the Kaiser Family Foundation Index

Fig. 1: Comparison of state Medicaid fees for radiation oncology services for breast cancer and nonradiation oncology services per the Kaiser Family Foundation Index. (Agarwal et al, Red Journal, 2019) Credit: Elsevier

News | Radiation Therapy | April 22, 2019
April 22, 2019 — A new study finds wide state
Stereotactic Radiosurgery Effective for Pediatric Arteriovenous Malformation Patients
News | Radiation Therapy | April 19, 2019
Ching-Jen Chen, M.D., of the neurosurgery department at the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System, was the winner...
Video Plus Brochure Helps Patients Make Lung Cancer Scan Decision

Image courtesy of the American Thoracic Society

News | Lung Cancer | April 19, 2019
A short video describing the potential benefits and risks of low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening for lung...
Artificial Intelligence Performs As Well As Experienced Radiologists in Detecting Prostate Cancer
News | Artificial Intelligence | April 18, 2019
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) system to...
Surgically Guided Brachytherapy Improves Outcomes for Intracranial Neoplasms
News | Brachytherapy Systems | April 18, 2019
Peter Nakaji, M.D., FAANS, general practice neurosurgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute, presented new research on...
iCAD Appoints Stacey Stevens as President
News | Radiology Business | April 16, 2019
iCAD Inc. recently announced that Stacey Stevens has been named president. As president, Stevens will have expanded...
ASTRO Applauds Introduction of PIMA Patient Protection Bill
News | Radiology Business | April 15, 2019
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) hailed the introduction of federal legislation that would...
Check-Cap Initiates U.S. Pilot Study of C-Scan for Colorectal Cancer Screening
News | Colonoscopy Systems | April 15, 2019
Check-Cap Ltd. has initiated its U.S. pilot study of the C-Scan system for prevention of colorectal cancer through...