Impact of A Standardized Recommendation and Electronic Prompts on Follow-Up of Indeterminate Pulmonary Nodules Found on Computed TomographyRichard M. Elias1, Anne-Marie G. Sykes2, John M. Knudsen2 and Timothy I. Morgenthaler1,3*
- *Corresponding Author:
- Dr. Timothy I. Morgenthaler
MD, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
200 First Street SW
Rochester MN 55905, USA
Tel: 507- 264-4348
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: December 17, 2011; Accepted date: January 09, 2012; Published date: January 11, 2012
Citation: Elias RM, Sykes AG, Knudsen JM, Morgenthaler TI (2012) Impact of A Standardized Recommendation and Electronic Prompts on Follow-Up of Indeterminate Pulmonary Nodules Found on Computed Tomography. J Pulmonar Respirat Med 2:113. doi:10.4172/2161-105X.1000113
Copyright: © 2012 Elias RM, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Purpose:Incidentally discovered pulmonary nodules on computed tomography are common. Executing appropriate follow-up is challenging. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a standardized template of follow-up recommendations in radiology interpretation reports and an electronic messaging system on the rate of radiographic follow-up of indeterminate pulmonary nodules identified on computed tomography.
Materials and methods:This retrospective study examined rates of appropriate follow-up, as defined by the Fleischner Society guidelines, of incidental pulmonary nodules over a seven-month period both before (17 patients; mean age 62.7 years) and after (72 patients, mean age 61.6 years) the commencement of the quality improvement initiatives. Further analysis by risk group, patient and nodule characteristics, notification type and location of imaging request were performed.
Results:There was a trend towards improved time-appropriate follow-up from 35.3% (6/17) to 56.9% (49/72) [p=0.18]. The largest change was noted in high-risk patients with an improvement from 11.1% (1/9) appropriate follow-up to 51.4% (18/35) [p=0.06] following the interventions. The largest improvement in on-time follow-up imaging was a reduction in premature imaging, which decreased from 17.6% (3/17) to 6.9% (5/72) [p=0.18]. Rates of on-time follow-up after the interventions were similar irrespective of patient age, nodule size or origin of initial imaging request.
Conclusions: Ensuring use of a rigorous approach to indeterminate pulmonary nodule reporting reporting that includes standardized follow-up recommendations may improve rates of appropriate follow-up.