In the article Factors Affecting Adherence to Recommendations for Additional Imaging of Incidental Findings in Radiology Reports, Shan S. Hansra, MD looks at the factors that contribute to follow-up adherence of incidental findings (IF). The overall adherence rate was 39.1% of over 29,000 CT exams at a single tertiary care center with recommendations for additional imaging (RAI).
Factors that had the greatest effect on this included the setting in which the patients’ exam occurred, the specialty of the attending physician, and whether or not that physician was from the same institution where the exam was ordered.
The most favorable rates of adherence were in outpatients with a same-institution PCP (66.7%)
The Least favorable rates occurred in ER patients followed by inpatients.
Surgeons were the least likely to act on the recommendation compared to Internal and Family medicine doctors.
Other factors contributing to miscommunications include the wording of the radiologists report and the presence of the IF noted in the discharge summary.
This article emphasizes the fact that there are too many variables that contribute to the adherence of incidental finding follow-up. Hence, an automated tool that captures them all regardless of these variables is absolutely necessary to ensure the proper final disposition of such findings.
Read the full article written by Shan S. Hansra, MD here at JACR