In response to recommendations released by Choosing Wisely regarding the evaluation of medically necessary procedures, the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) has voiced its ongoing support for the use of physician-developed appropriateness criteria to ensure the proper use of medical imaging technologies and protect patient access to these life-saving services.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recently released its second Choosing Wisely list of recommendations, an extension of the original American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation initiative, which launched in April 2012. The Academy created its latest Choosing Wisely list of clinical recommendations via the AAFP Commission on Health of the Public and Science, which evaluated and approved each item using sources such as reviews from the Cochrane Collaboration and evidence reports from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The list
“The Choosing Wisely list highlights the overall importance of physicians ordering imaging procedures only when they are medically appropriate,” Gail Rodriguez, executive director of MITA, said in a statement. “Medical imaging technologies ranging from X-ray to CT and magnetic resonance imaging have proven time and again to save lives and reduce healthcare costs. When it comes to making wise choices about patient care, physicians and patients should be empowered with the information necessary to make informed recommendations about the appropriate imaging services for their patients, utilizing physician-developed appropriateness criteria as a guide.”
MITA is a long-time advocate for the use of physician-developed appropriateness criteria to guide treatment decisions and training of hospital and imaging facility personnel who perform medical imaging exams to guide the safe and effective use in every venue.
A number of recent studies have confirmed the value of appropriateness criteria to empower physicians and drive appropriate usage of medical imaging. For example, in September 2012, researchers highlighted simple and inexpensive ways in which incorporating SPECT appropriate use criteria in electronic medical records (EMRs) aided primary care physicians in ordering the right test for their patients.