November 1, 2016 --
"Our study looked at over 600 CT scans of patients transferred to the Harborview Medical Center emergency department over a one-month period," said presenter Dr. Jeffrey Robinson, who is an assistant professor of radiology at the University of Washington.
In all, the study team compared 628 outside reports, two-thirds trauma and one-third nontrauma, with overreads from trauma radiologists in their own department, grading discrepancies in the two reports as minor or of potential clinical significance. Major discrepancies were found in almost one-fourth of trauma transfers and 6% of the nontrauma transfers.
"We found an unexpectedly large number of discrepancies that had the potential to be clinically significant," Robinson told AuntMinnie.com, noting that trauma transfer patients were significantly more likely to have a major discordance than nontrauma transfer patients.
The finding makes the radiologists want to formally overread all CT and MRI exams of emergency department transfer patients, Robinson commented.
"Compliance issues remain a barrier to doing that, though," he said.