Canadian image audit: 70,000 reasons to have a PACS

By staff writers

July 20, 2009 -- A Canadian health region charged with the task of auditing more than 70,000 imaging exams after a doctor's interpretations were called into question is behind schedule, primarily because the images to be audited are all film-screen, according to a Saskatchewan Ministry of Health official.

Sunrise Health Region in southeastern Saskatchewan is not on a RIS/PACS network, according to Deb Jordan, executive director of acute and emergency services.

"All of the films have to be manually pulled, packaged, and sent to reviewing radiologists," she said. "Sunrise has put together two full-time teams that include diagnostic imaging technologists, health records technologists, and clerical support staff. But the task is incredibly labor-intensive."

Plenty of radiology groups across Canada have expressed interest in helping, Jordan said. The project's constraint is the need for more personnel to find all of the hard-copy diagnostic images -- except for about 8,000 CT scans -- from the region's records library, match them with patient diagnostic reports, and send them to radiology groups in Regina, Saskatoon, and Edmonton. Sunrise has physical space for up to eight teams to do the work, according to Jordan.

Interpretation irregularities were discovered during a routine review of the work of Dr. Darius Tsatsi, one of three radiologists at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre in Saskatchewan. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan found enough difference in opinion regarding Tsatsi's interpretation of 103 diagnostic cases that it expressed its concerns to the Sunrise Health Region, which oversees Yorkton.

Tsatsi's hospital privileges have been suspended pending an investigation by the College, Jordan said.

Canadian authorities review 70,000 cases after rad is suspended, June 11, 2009

Web site solicits patients for cases of radiology errors, May 27, 2008

Simple tracking program, case review scale back resident misreads, November 30, 2006

Copyright © 2009


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