Over-imaging in uncomplicated low back pain: a 12-month audit of a general medical unit.

Rego MH, Nagiah S, Internal Med J Dec. 2016

Low back pain is frequently encountered in hospitals and is a leading cause of disability, often involving costly imaging that exposes a patient to radiation. A retrospective 12-month audit at a South Australian hospital evaluated the frequency, modality and appropriateness of imaging in patients with low back pain.
Results showed that the general medical unit was unnecessarily ordering imaging in 40% of patients who exhibited NO indications warranting such a procedure.

A standardised protocol is required to preventing clinicians from requesting imaging solely for the purposes of self-reassurance, patient reassurance or fear of litigation.

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