Clinical decision rules to decrease unnecessary use of imaging


16 Dec 2015

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) have taken the next step in support of their Choosing Wisely Australia® recommendations.

RANZCR Dean, Faculty of Clinical Radiology, Dr Greg Slater says the RANZCR clinical decision rules (CDRs) for the Choosing Wisely initiative will help clinicians with their decision making when they are considering a referral for imaging.

“The RANZCR Choosing Wisely Australia Recommendations and Clinical Decision Rules booklet and app for iOS supplement our six Choosing Wisely recommendations and support their implementation at the point of care. They contain the additional information required to inform dialogue between clinical radiologists and referring practitioners and their patients. 

“The detailed, evidence-based guidance further progresses our strong commitment to the Choosing Wisely Australia initiative. The app is an innovative tool, providing easy access to the CDRs for clinicians via their smart phones.

“RANZCR is proud to have been one of the inaugural medical colleges to release recommendations through the Choosing Wisely Australia campaign. We encourage other colleges, societies and associations to get involved and take a lead on identifying tests, treatments and procedures that confer little or no health benefit to patients.”

CDRs help clinicians use evidence-based strategies to stratify patients into higher and lower risk for a given clinical condition, and this stratification helps to determine whether or not they would benefit from medical imaging. 

The RANZCR Choosing Wisely CDRs focus on imaging for the following conditions: 
•    suspected lower limb deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
•    suspected pulmonary embolism in pregnant and non-pregnant patients
•    acute low back pain
•    adult and paediatric ankle, cervical spine and head trauma. 

Point of care decision aids are included in the booklet that will assist the clinician in quickly and efficiently applying the rules for the particular condition.

RANZCR’s Choosing Wisely Australia recommendations on imaging aim to achieve more appropriate health care, with less waste of healthcare resources on unnecessary diagnostic testing.

The RANZCR Choosing Wisely Australia Recommendations and Clinical Decision Rules booklet and app are available on the Choosing Wisely Australia website.

Last reviewed 16 December 2015