The Cypress Health Region, with the assistance of an external radiologist group, has completed their review of 3,766 computed tomography examinations that were initially interpreted between October 1, 2004 and December 31, 2007.
The comprehensive review was undertaken due to a variance of 15.3 per cent between results of a routine Advisory Committee on Medical Imaging audit of medical imaging interpretations in June of 2010, and subsequent re-interpretations of approximately 7,700 CT examinations.
The Health Region reports in a press release, “nearly all individuals with clinically significant variances have been contacted and followed up by their physicians.”
“Although the extensive review has consumed a number of months, we wanted to ensure that the re-interpretation process was appropriate and accurate. With the assistance of the external radiologist group and our team of family physicians and staff, we have been able to make sure that patients requiring further follow-up care have been identified," stated Beth Vachon, CEO of the Cypress Health Region.
To prevent the issues at the root cause of the initial misinterpretations from reoccurring, a number of quality improvement initiatives have been implemented within the medical imaging department’s processes.
“With the goal of continually improving the programs and services that we offer, we have recruited a second local radiologist and have had the opportunity to implement strategies to monitor the workloads of our medical imaging and radiologist team members,” Vachon said.
“As well, we have implemented a relationship with a provincial radiologist group that provides the opportunity for radiologist support and locum coverage, provision of additional interpretations when requested, and the ability to perform random audits of medical imaging modality interpretations.”
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan is continuing to redevelop and strengthen the quality assurance process for medical imaging, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health and the province’s health regions. A pilot project for the new quality assurance process is currently underway in the province.
Patients who have concerns or questions about their CT scan experience during the timelines of Oct. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2007 can contact the Quality Support Coordinator at 778-5115 about their situation.