Addition of the Fleischner Society Guidelines to Chest CT Examination Interpretive Reports Improves Adherence to Recommended Follow-up Care for Incidental Pulmonary Nodules

Jennifer S. McDonald, Chi Wan Koo, Darin White, Thomas E. Hartman, Claire E. Bender, Anne Marie G. Sykes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale and Objectives The study aimed to determine whether the addition of the Fleischner Society guidelines to chest computed tomography (CT) reports identifying incidental pulmonary nodules affects follow-up care. Patients and Methods Beginning in 2008, a template containing the Fleischner Society guidelines was added at the interpreting radiologist's discretion to chest CT reports describing incidental solid pulmonary nodules at our institution. The records of all medical centers in Olmsted county were used to capture the complete medical history of local patients >35 years old diagnosed with a pulmonary nodule from April 1, 2008 to October 1, 2011. Patients with a history of cancer or previously diagnosed nodule, or who died before follow-up, were excluded. Patients were categorized according to whether they did (“template group”) or did not (“control group”) have the template added. Nodule size and smoking history were used to determine recommended follow-up care. Differences in follow-up were compared between groups using Pearson's chi-square test. Results A total of 510 patients (276 in the template group, 234 in the control group) were included in the study. Only 198 patients (39%) received their recommended follow-up care. Template group patients were significantly more likely to receive recommended follow-up care compared to control group patients (45% vs 31%, P = .0014). Most patients whose management did not adhere to Fleischner Society guidelines did not receive a recommended follow-up chest CT (210 out of 312, 67%). Conclusions The addition of the Fleischner Society guidelines to chest CT reports significantly increases the likelihood of receiving recommended follow-up care for patients with incidental pulmonary nodules. Additional education is needed to improve appropriate guideline utilization by radiologists and adherence by ordering providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-344
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic radiology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • Fleischner Society
  • Pulmonary nodule
  • management guidelines
  • radiology report

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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