Health Information Exchange and the Frequency of Repeat Medical Imaging

Am J Manag Care. 2014 Nov;20(11 Spec No. 17):eSP16-24.

Abstract

Objectives: Medical imaging, which is expensive, is frequently repeated for the same patient within a relatively short period of time due to lack of access to previous images. Health information exchange (HIE) may reduce repeat imaging by facilitating provider access to prior images and reports. We sought to determine the effect of an HIE system on the occurrence of repeat imaging.

Study design and methods: We conducted a cohort study of adult patients who consented to participate in a community-based HIE system in an 11-county region in New York. Using data from 2009-2010, we linked log files of provider HIE usage to administrative claims data from 2 commercial health plans. Using generalized estimation equations, we measured the association between HIE system access and repeat imaging within 90 days.

Results: Of 196,314 patients in the cohort, 34,604 (18%) of patients had at least 1 imaging procedure, which was equivalent to a rate of 28.7 imaging procedures per 100 patients. Overall, 7.7% of images were repeated within 90 days. If the HIE system was accessed within the 90 days following an initial imaging procedure, imaging was significantly less likely to be repeated (5% repeated with HIE access vs 8% repeated without HIE access, P < .001). HIE system access reduced the adjusted odds of a repeat image by 25% (95% CI, 13%-35%).

Conclusions: Use of the HIE system to access previous patient information was associated with a reduction in repeated imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diagnostic Imaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Information Exchange / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Insurance Claim Review
  • Male
  • Middle Aged