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Is a routine radiological consultation cost-effective for pediatric orthopedic radiographs?

, : Is a routine radiological consultation cost-effective for pediatric orthopedic radiographs?. Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics 18(4): 549-551

This investigation was undertaken to determine the value of a routine radiological consultation on all examinations taken during the course of evaluation and treatment of children with elective orthopedic problems. Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles treats children with chronic orthopedic problems. All radiographs are ordered by an orthopedic surgeon. Currently all plain examinations are also read and reported by a pediatric radiologist. The study was a retrospective chart review. Three hundred nineteen radiographic examinations (6.7% of the total performed in calendar year 1995) were reviewed. The orthopedic surgeons documented the results of their readings in 69% of the cases, while the radiology staff documented 92% of the studies. The data do not show evidence of significant misinterpretations in the readings by the orthopedic surgeons. Therefore routine radiological consultation for all examinations is unnecessary in that specific setting. If a policy change were instituted, it would represent a major saving in health-care costs.


PMID: 9661871

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