The researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health implemented their technique at a rural hospital and an academic hospital to determine repeat/reject CT rates over a three-year period. The technique additionally calculated the effective radiation doses used for the 10 CT protocols with the highest repeat rate at each site.
Overall, the repeat CT rates at both sites turned out to be the same at 1.4% -- much lower than the average repeat rate for x-ray exams. The method estimated that each of the hospitals could have safely avoided repeating roughly 50 CT exams through protocol-specific interventions.
The method also showed that average radiation dose increased by roughly 108% at the rural hospital and 65% at the academic hospital due to repeat exams for the 10 most frequently repeated CT protocols.
"This is the first automated, informatics-based method for calculating repeat/reject rates in CT," presenter Sean Rose, PhD, told AuntMinnie.com. "We predict that the willingness of federal agencies, insurers, and accrediting bodies to mandate repeat/reject analysis for the tomographic modalities will increase, now that a robust and automated informatics solution exists for repeat/reject analysis."