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Most PCPs Consider Advanced Imaging of Value to Patient Care

Docs whose careers predate proliferation of imaging assign higher value to advanced imaging

MONDAY, Jan. 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Most primary care providers (PCPs) consider advanced medical imaging to be of considerable value for patient care, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

In an effort to examine perceptions of the value of advanced medical imaging, Christine M. Hughes, from the Hadley Hart Group in Chicago, and colleagues conducted a national quantitative survey of 500 PCPs using an online self-administered questionnaire. Questions focused on the perceived impact of computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography on the delivery of patient care.

According to the researchers, most PCPs indicated that advanced imaging improved their diagnostic confidence (88 percent), provided data not otherwise available (90 percent), facilitated better clinical decision-making (88 percent), increased confidence in treatment choices (88 percent), and reduced the time to definitive diagnosis (86 percent). Eighty-five percent of respondents believed that without access to advanced imaging, patient care would be negatively affected. Compared with younger physicians whose training overlapped widespread technology availability, PCPs whose clinical careers predated the proliferation of advanced imaging modalities assigned higher value to advanced imaging on several dimensions.

“By a variety of metrics, large majorities of PCPs believe that advanced medical imaging provides considerable value to patient care,” the authors write.

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