To the editor.
Article Type: Letter to the editor
Author: Bressler, Eric L.
Pub Date: 12/01/2009
Publication: Name: Applied Radiology Publisher: Anderson Publishing Ltd. Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Anderson Publishing Ltd. ISSN: 0160-9963
Issue: Date: Dec, 2009 Source Volume: 38 Source Issue: 12
Accession Number: 231313780
Full Text: After reading your editorial "Just say 'Yes'" in the October issue (2009;10:6-7) I was struck by your comment that you do not know how such matters play out in the private setting. I'm a radiologist in private practice in Minneapolis working in a large group practice that covers several hospitals, so I can give you one example of how this situation plays out.

Our practices are busy enough that the hospitals staff the departments with ultrasound technologists overnight in the busiest hospitals and they are on-call in more peripheral hospitals. We learned long ago that the best policy is to say "yes" to every exam. But our take on inappropriate exams (non-emergency) used to be to call the report and then give gentle education that the exam in a similar patient in the future could likely wait until the morning. Those days have gone by the wayside.

These days, though, the ERs are like walk-in clinics to patients, and the ER physicians have learned to work-up most issues while the patient is there. So the emergency nature of scans is simply defined by the fact that the patient presented to the ER. We have no incentive to turn away scans since we have a radiologist reading them all evening and all night via teleradiology for 5 hospitals and 2 clinics. Also, making patients wait until the morning because of our hospitals' staffing shortfalls is not good customer service.

Since Applied Radiology is a practical journal, I'd like to suggest that you consult with private practice radiologists in the future to gain their perspectives on practice issues. We can learn from each other!

Eric L. Bressler, MD

Suburban Radiologic Consultants

Minneapolis, MN
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.