MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Adam L. Sharp MD MS
Research Scientist/Emergency Physician
Kaiser Permanente Southern California
Kaiser Permanente Research
Department of Research & Evaluation
Pasadena, CA 91101
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Millions of head computed tomography (CT) scans are ordered annually in U.S. emergency Departments (EDs), but the extent of avoidable imaging is poorly defined. Ensuring appropriate use is important to ensure patient outcomes and limited resources are optimized. A large number of stake holders have highlighted the need to reduce “unnecessary” CT scanning as part of their recommendations for the Choosing Wisely campaign. However, despite calls for improved stewardship, the extent of avoidable CT use among adults with minor trauma in community EDs is not known.
The Canadian CT Head Rule (CCHR) is perhaps the most studied of many validated decision instruments designed to assist providers in evaluating patients with minor head trauma. This study aims to describe the scope of overuse of CT imaging by ED providers in cases where application of the CCHR could have avoided imaging.
Secondarily, we sought to describe the extent to which avoidable CTs, if averted, would have resulted in “missed” intracranial hemorrhages requiring a neurosurgical intervention.