State of Minnesota adopts clinical decision support, other states to follow

Diagnostic Imaging | December 6 – Minnesota is in the vanguard as far as implementing clinical decision support, a tool that tamps down overutilization and reduces the incidence of patients receiving inappropriate diagnostic imaging tests. Minnesota is launching a statewide initiative to adopt the tool; others states are also considering its use.

Clinical decision support, also called e-ordering, circumvents the need for radiology benefit managers. Based on appropriateness criteria, prior authorization for an exam is given in real-time through an electronic rating instrument. Primary care physicians are not allowed to order tests helter-skelter; they are guided to order the proper test through a series of questions they answer electronically.

Diagnostic Imaging previously reported on Minnesota’s pilot project, which found after implementing the tool the number of high-tech scans did not increase in 2007 compared with an 8% increase in the prior year. In addition, the diagnostic quality of the scans increased 10%, radiation dose was reduced, and increased efficiency shaved $84 million off of healthcare costs, according to research from the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement.


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