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Monday, September 27, 2010

Canadian Association of Radiologists responds to Council's 'Decisions, Decisions' Report

This letter is from Ms. Adele Fifield, CEO of the Canadian Association of Radiologists. She contributed to the research and development of the report. We invite you to read Decisions, Decisions: Family Doctors as Gatekeepers to Prescription Drugs and Diagnostic Imaging in Canada then give us your thoughts on the important issues it contains.
The Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) supports concerns raised in the newly released report, Decisions, Decisions: Family Doctors as Gatekeepers of Prescription Drugs and Diagnostic Imaging, by the Health Council of Canada.

The question of appropriate ordering of diagnostic imaging tests is an important one for all of us. Research shows that as many as 30% of CT scans and other imaging procedures are inappropriate or contribute no useful information. Reducing inappropriate imaging is essential in maintaining patient safety, in reducing wait times, and in using equipment and health human resources as optimally as possible.

Children and the imaging care they require was one of the many concerns shared just last week (September 20-22) at a World Health Organization (WHO) workshop on radiation risk communication in pediatric imaging. CAR was represented at the event by Dr. Martin Reed, Chair of the CAR Guidelines Working Group, and the group expressed interest in learning of the Health Council of Canada’s findings.

This report also highlights that a key step in ensuring the appropriate use of diagnostic imaging tests in Canada will be better and broader use of guidelines. Greater attention can and must be paid to communicating these guidelines to physicians from the early stages of their training and throughout their careers -. As mentioned in the report, CAR is responding, in part by redeveloping its Diagnostic Imaging Referral Guidelines: A Guide for Physicians. We’ve also been working to make guidelines a part of the physician’s daily workflow by incorporating imaging guidelines in electronic decision support with computer order entry. We are further studying compliance with imaging guidelines.

In addition to the role played by physicians in efforts to increase appropriate ordering, patients also have a role to play in what they are demanding of their doctors. We hope that this report will help Canadians better understand the dynamics within the health care industry. We are very pleased to speak about this topic from the perspective of radiologists.

Wishing you well,

1 comment:

  1. I’ve seen the media coverage this week and I wanted to write in to day that this report is great. We are looking to save money in every aspect as the economy isn’t so great at the moment.

    By helping busy doctors make better choices, we will have healthier Canadians but also save money in the long run. I’m sure doctors are happy to get help where they can as well.

    Looks like a win-win situation for everyone.