Imaging idolatry: the uneasy intersection of patient satisfaction, quality of care, and overuse.

Archives of internal medicine (Impact Factor: 11.46). 06/2009; 169(10):921-3. DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2009.124
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    ABSTRACT: In the context of shared decision-making, a valid estimation of the probability that a given patient will improve after a specific treatment is valuable. To develop models that predict the improvement of spinal pain, referred pain, and disability in patients with subacute or chronic neck or low back pain undergoing a conservative treatment. Analysis of data from a prospective registry in routine practice. All patients who had been discharged after receiving a conservative treatment within the Spanish National Health Service (SNHS) (n=8,778). Spinal pain, referred pain, and disability were assessed before the conservative treatment and at discharge by the use of previously validated methods. Improvement in spinal pain, referred pain, and disability was defined as a reduction in score greater than the minimal clinically important change. A predictive model that included demographic, clinical, and work-related variables was developed for each outcome using multivariate logistic regression. Missing data were addressed using multiple imputation. Discrimination and calibration were assessed for each model. The models were validated by bootstrap, and nomograms were developed. The following variables showed a predictive value in the three models: baseline scores for pain and disability, pain duration, having undergone X-ray, having undergone spine surgery, and receiving financial assistance for neck or low back pain. Discrimination of the three models ranged from slight to moderate, and calibration was good. A registry in routine practice can be used to develop models that estimate the probability of improvement for each individual patient undergoing a specific form of treatment. Generalizing this approach to other treatments can be valuable for shared decision making.
    The spine journal: official journal of the North American Spine Society 10/2013; 14(8). DOI:10.1016/j.spinee.2013.09.039 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients often receive advanced imaging before referral to an orthopaedic oncologist. The few studies that have evaluated the value of these tests have been single-center studies, and there were large discrepancies in the estimated frequencies of unnecessary use of diagnostic tests. (1) Is there regional variation in the use of advanced imaging before referral to an orthopaedic oncologist? (2) Are these prereferral studies helpful to the treating orthopaedic oncologist in making a diagnosis or treatment plan? (3) Are orthopaedic surgeons less likely to order unhelpful studies than other specialties? (4) Are there any tumor or patient characteristics that are associated with the ordering of an unhelpful study? We performed an eight-center prospective analysis of patients referred for evaluation by a fellowship-trained orthopaedic oncologist. We recorded patient factors, referral details, advanced imaging performed, and presumptive diagnosis. The treating orthopaedic oncologist determined whether each study was helpful in the diagnosis or treatment of the patient based on objective and subjective criteria used in prior investigations. We analyzed the data using bivariate methods and logistic regression to determine regional variation and risk factors predictive of unhelpful advanced imaging. Of the 371 participants available for analysis, 301 (81%) were referred with an MRI, CT scan, bone scan, ultrasound, or positron emission tomography scan. There were no regional differences in the use of advanced imaging (range of patients presenting with advanced imaging 66%-88% across centers, p = 0.164). One hundred thirteen patients (30%) had at least one unhelpful study; non-MRI advanced imaging was more likely to be unhelpful than MRIs (88 of 129 [68%] non-MRI imaging versus 46 of 263 [17%] MRIs [p < 0.001]). Orthopaedic surgeons were no less likely than nonorthopaedic surgeons to order unhelpful studies before referral to an orthopaedic oncologist (56 of 179 [31%] of patients referred by orthopaedic surgeons versus 35 of 119 [29%] referred by primary care providers and 22 of 73 [30%] referred by nonorthopaedic specialists, p = 0.940). After controlling for potential confounding variables, benign bone lesions had an increased odds of referral with an unhelpful study (59 of 145 [41%] of benign bone tumors versus 54 of 226 [24%] of soft tissue tumors and malignant bone tumors; odds ratio, 2.80; 95% confidence interval, 1.68-4.69, p < 0.001). We found no evidence that the proportion of patients referred with advanced imaging varied dramatically by region. Studies other than MRI were likely to be considered unhelpful and should not be routinely ordered by referring physicians. Diligent education of orthopaedic surgeons and primary care physicians in the judicious use of advanced imaging in benign bone tumors may help mitigate unnecessary imaging. Level III, diagnostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
    Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 04/2014; 473(3). DOI:10.1007/s11999-014-3649-z · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Favorable patient experience and low complication rates have been proposed as essential components of patient-centered medical care. Patients' perception of care is a key performance metric and is used to determine payments to hospitals. It is unclear if there is a correlation between technical quality of care and patient satisfaction. The study authors correlated patient perceptions of care measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores with accepted quality of care indicators. The Hospital Compare database (4605 hospitals) was used to examine complication rates and patient-reported experience for hospitals across the nation in 2011. The majority of the correlations demonstrated an inverse relationship between patient experience and complication rates. This negative correlation suggests that reducing these complications can lead to a better hospital experience. Overall, these results suggest that patient experience is generally correlated with the quality of care provided.
    American Journal of Medical Quality 04/2014; DOI:10.1177/1062860614530773 · 1.78 Impact Factor