Improved coordination of care for patients with abnormal chest imaging: The rapid access chest and lung assessment program

Stephen M. Cattaneo, Maria Christina M. Geronimo, Teresa M.J. Putscher, Catherine Brady-Copertino, Barry R. Meisenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

• Objective: To describe the development and outcomes of a centralized evaluation service for patients with abnormalities on thoracic imaging to allow prompt and standardized review by an experienced multidisciplinary team. • Methods: Patients with abnormal thoracic imaging studies, whether symptom-related or incidental, were referred to a specialized multidisciplinary team by radiologists, primary care physicians, or other providers. Recommendations for immediate or delayed follow-up were made based on professional society guidelines and patient characteristics. Follow-up was maintained within the program with close communication with primary care physicians. • Results: 238 patients were referred over a 27-month period, 227 with abnormal findings on chest imaging. 171 patients (75%) accepted participation in the program. Radiologists were the most frequent referrers. Pulmonary symptoms were present in 74% of cases but were often unrelated to the findings. Patients and primary care physicians were contacted within a median of 2 days after imaging. Lung cancer was eventually diagnosed in 72 patients (32%), 51% with stage IA-IIB, at a median time of 16 days from first imaging. Physician satisfaction with the program was high. • Conclusion: The program provided rapid and evidence-based evaluation and management of patients with thoracic imaging abnormalities, resulting in short time to diagnosis and high referring physician satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-458
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Outcomes Management
Volume21
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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