Association between advanced image ordered in the emergency department on subsequent imaging for abdominal pain patients

Abdominal pain is associated with high rates of emergency department (ED) imaging utilization and revisits. While imaging often improves diagnosis, a better understanding is needed on when the decision to image is justified and how it influences subsequent resource utilization and outcomes for patients in the ED presenting with abdominal pain. This study including HIP Investigator Dr. Brian Patterson evaluated the association between advanced ED imaging on subsequent outpatient imaging and on revisits among abdominal pain patients discharged from the ED.

A retrospective, observational study was conducted using electronic health record data from an academic ED in the U.S. Midwest. Abdominal imaging in the ED was associated with significantly lower imaging utilization after discharge and 30‐day revisit rates, suggesting that imaging in the ED may replace downstream outpatient imaging.

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