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29.06.2017 | Ausgabe 1/2018

Journal of Digital Imaging 1/2018

Impact of a Health Information Technology Intervention on the Follow-up Management of Pulmonary Nodules

Journal of Digital Imaging > Ausgabe 1/2018
Ronilda Lacson, Sonali Desai, Adam Landman, Randall Proctor, Siobhan Sumption, Ramin Khorasani


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the USA. The most common abnormalities suspicious for lung cancer on CT scan include pulmonary nodules. Recommendations to improve care for patients with pulmonary nodules require follow-up management. However, transitions in care, especially for patients undergoing transitions to ambulatory care sites from the emergency department (ED) and inpatient settings, can exacerbate failures in follow-up testing and compromise patient safety. We evaluate the impact of a discharge module that includes follow-up recommendations for further management of pulmonary nodules on the study outcome and follow-up management of patients with pulmonary nodules within 1 year after discharge. After IRB approval, we collected data on all patients undergoing chest or abdominal CT exams over a 12-month baseline and 12-month intervention period at an academic medical center. The inpatient discharge module was implemented in November 2011; the ED module was implemented in May 2012. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to account for care setting, imaging modality, recommendations, and patient demographics. Implementation of a discharge module resulted in improved follow-up of patients with pulmonary nodules within 1 year after discharge (OR = 1.64, p = 0.01); the ED implementation resulted in better follow-up compared to the inpatient module (OR = 2.24, p < 0.01). Twenty-seven percent of patients with pulmonary nodules received follow-up management, which, although significantly improved from the 18% baseline, remains low. An electronic discharge module is associated with improved follow-up management of patients with pulmonary nodules, and may be combined with interventions to further improve management of these patients.

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