Decision support technology can reduce unnecessary high cost imaging

Decision support systems can help reduce unnecessary imaging, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

For the study, researchers staged implementation of evidence-based clinical decision support built into ordering systems for procedures including lumbar MRI, brain MRI, and sinus CT.   

The results showed that the use of decision support systems substantially reduced the overuse of these imaging techniques:  

  • Sinus CT decreased by 26.8%;
  • Lumbar MRI decreased by 23.4%; and
  • Head MRI decreased by 23.2%.

(Sources: Journal of the American College of Radiology, January 2011; The Advisory Board Daily Briefing,, January 12, 2011)