Emergency docs advised to exercise caution with solo CT interpretation

From HealthImaging:

Comparing CT interpretations made by emergency physicians with those from radiologists reading the same scans, researchers in Iran found an agreement rate of 68.2 percent, leading them to urge caution among emergency doctors who feel pressured to supply their own reads for critical cases in the absence of an on-call radiologist.

A total of 170 scans were read first by attending emergency physicians, who then initiated treatment.

Within 12 hours of the first read, radiologists blinded to the first reads interpreted the scans.

For the study, the radiologists’ reports were grouped as either in agreement or disagreement with the ED doctors’ interpretations. A panel of experts evaluated the disagreement groups’ medical charts and placed them in clinically significant or insignificant group based on the follow-up for 28 days.

The researchers found that, in the clinically significant disagreement group, eight patients did not receive the required treatment, and three patients were over-treated.

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