"A key to decreasing excess use of CT scans is informed consent. Look for a consent form to inform a patient about the risks and benefits of the CT scan you are ordering or they are getting. You won't find one in the two hospitals I use for admissions, nor the local children's hospital. I've spoken with ED physicians, hospital admin people, radiologists, nurses and patients about this. Who will take responsibility for being more neighborly (honest) with our patients?
The marketing team from Children's Hospital came to my office to market expanded CT scanning potential and I asked if they had the consent forms yet for parents to sign before CT scans on their children. "No", was their answer- two years in a row. "Please tell your radiologists, starting with the chief of radiology that I will not order any CT scans until I see a copy of the consent form that my patients parents will see and sign before their child receives radiation of that magnitude."
Fellow physicians, wouldn't it help if the public knew ahead of time about radiation, so gradually they would have a better understanding of benefits and harms of diagnostic imaging?"
My comments above from 2010 in response to a Kevin, MD blog post are still a call for better informed consent.
As the new Soin Medical Center opens in February 2012, will they lead the way in the Dayton, Ohio market with informed consent for CT scans done in their ER? Or fall in line with others who let the patient find their own lists of benefits and harms of the CT scan they are about to receive without giving informed consent? I hope the leadership of the Soin MC take the high road for Patient Safety.