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Head computed tomography guidelines are being followed

journal contribution
posted on 2006-06-01, 00:00 authored by T Brettig, M Clooney, A-M Kelly, Debra KerrDebra Kerr
OBJECTIVE: Several guidelines have been developed to direct the ordering of head computed tomography (CT) for patients, but most are clinical presentation-specific. Recently, an integrated guideline for ordering emergent head CT for patients who present to the ED of Western Hospital, Footscray, Victoria, Australia, was developed in response to concerns raised regarding perceived over-utilization of head CT for ED patients. Our aim was to determine compliance with the guideline. METHODS: This was an explicit retrospective medical record review of patients who presented to the ED of Western Hospital between 1/04/2004 and 17/6/2004 and had a head CT as part of their assessment. Clinical information for these cases was compared with guideline recommendations. Data are described by descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Of the 231 cases that were included in the study, 65 (28.1%, 95% confidence interval 23-35%) had abnormal CT findings. Guidelines were adhered to in 217 (93.9%, 95% confidence interval 91-97%) cases. For the cases where the guidelines were not adhered to (14; [6.1%]), there was only one abnormal scan the clinical significance of which is not clear. CONCLUSION: The study found that compliance with head CT guideline was high. This suggests that the guideline is both clinically relevant and supported by ED doctors or conversely that the guideline is concordant with existing ordering practices of the ED.

History

Journal

Emergency medicine Australasia

Volume

18

Pagination

238-244

Location

Chichester, Eng.

ISSN

1742-6731

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2006, The Authors

Issue

3

Publisher

Wiley