Patient crossover and potentially avoidable repeat computed tomography exams across a health information exchange

Benjamin H. Slovis, Tina Lowry, Bradley N. Delman, Anton Oscar Beitia, Gilad Kuperman, Charles DiMaggio, Jason S. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to measure the number of repeat computed tomography (CT) scans performed across an established health information exchange (HIE) in New York City. The long-term objective is to build an HIE-based duplicate CT alerting system to reduce potentially avoidable duplicate CTs. Methods: This retrospective cohort analysis was based on HIE CT study records performed between March 2009 and July 2012. The number of CTs performed, the total number of patients receiving CTs, and the hospital locations where CTs were performed for each unique patient were calculated. Using a previously described process established by one of the authors, hospital-specific proprietary CT codes were mapped to the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINCVR ) standard terminology for inter-site comparison. The number of locations where there was a repeated CT performed with the same LOINC code was then calculated for each unique patient. Results: There were 717 231 CTs performed on 349 321 patients. Of these patients, 339 821 had all of their imaging studies performed at a single location, accounting for 668 938 CTs. Of these, 9500 patients had 48 293 CTs performed at more than one location. Of these, 6284 patients had 24 978 CTs with the same LOINC code performed at multiple locations. The median time between studies with the same LOINC code was 232 days (range of 0 to 1227); however, 1327 were performed within 7 days and 5000 within 30 days. Conclusions: A small proportion (3%) of our cohort had CTs performed at more than one location, however this represents a large number of scans (48 293). A noteworthy portion of these CTs (51.7%) shared the same LOINC code and may represent potentially avoidable studies, especially those done within a short time frame. This represents an addressable issue, and future HIE-based alerts could be utilized to reduce potentially avoidable CT scans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017


  • Avoidable
  • Computed tomography
  • Crossover
  • Electronic health records
  • Health information exchange


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