Ask HRC: Tracking Rates of ED Visits Associated with Computed Tomography

March 29, 2011 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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An HRC member, who was conducting an audit of the use of computed tomography (CT) for emergency department (ED) patients, asked if benchmarking data is available. In our response, we referred the member to an article, published in the January 2011 Radiology (Larson et al.), which evaluates trends in CT use in the ED from 1995 through 2007. Using data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the study found that both the number of ED visits and the percentage of visits associated with CT have increased.

From 1995 to 2007, the percentage of ED visits associated with CT increased from 2.8% of 96.5 million ED visits to 13.9% of 116.8 million visits. The authors comment that most of the increase in CT use is attributable to an increasing frequency...

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