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CT, MRI Use in Emergency Departments Soaring

The increased use of imaging tools is associated with higher healthcare costs and more time spent in the emergency department but no commensurate increase in the prevalence of the diagnosis of certain life-threatening, trauma-related conditions, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says.

2 comments on "CT, MRI Use in Emergency Departments Soaring"
cgutbezahl (10/8/2010 at 10:03 AM)

An alternative interpretation of the results is not concern that greater use hasn't improved diagnostic rates, but that increased use has not degraded the value of the test. Often when a new technology gains widespread use, the original benefits are lost as the technology is spread to a less well defined patient population. In this case, wider use was associated with a slightly improved yield rate. Another interesting finding is that comparing this data with reports that claim that the cost of defensive medicine is low. There could be many reasons for the discrepancy but most significantly is that the data showing increased usage in EDs is objective claims based, while the report that claims that defensive medicine costs are low relies on subjective interpretation rather than quantifiable data.
Donald (10/8/2010 at 9:57 AM)

Most doctors I know would say an acceptable "miss rate" is 0%. So when is a miss acceptable? When it isn't you being missed. That's the problem with evidenced-based research - it sounds good, but oddly enough, those who advocate for it are also more likely to believe health care is a right - that's some pretty strong cognitive dissonance. Just can't have it both ways. If health care is a right, then no room exists for a miss rate.