A Statewide Intervention Improves Appropriate Imaging in Localized Prostate Cancer

J Urol. 2017 May;197(5):1222-1228. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2016.11.098. Epub 2016 Nov 23.


Purpose: We implemented a statewide intervention to improve imaging utilization for the staging of patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer.

Materials and methods: MUSIC (Michigan Urological Surgery Improvement Collaborative) is a quality improvement collaborative comprising 42 diverse practices representing approximately 85% of the urologists in Michigan. MUSIC has developed imaging appropriateness criteria (prostate specific antigen greater than 20 ng/ml, Gleason score 7 or higher and clinical stage T3 or higher) which minimize unnecessary imaging with bone scan and computerized tomography. After baseline rates of radiographic staging were established in 2012 and 2013, we used multidimensional interventions to deploy these criteria in 2014. Imaging utilization was then remeasured in 2015 to evaluate for changes in practice patterns.

Results: A total of 10,554 newly diagnosed patients with prostate cancer were entered into the MUSIC registry from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2013 and January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. Of these patients 7,442 (79%) and 7,312 (78%) met our criteria to avoid bone scan and computerized tomography imaging, respectively. The use of bone scan imaging when not indicated decreased from 11.0% at baseline to 6.5% after interventions (p <0.0001). The use of computerized tomography when not indicated decreased from 14.7% at baseline to 7.7% after interventions (p <0.0001). Variability among practices decreased substantially after the interventions as well. The use of recommended imaging remained stable during these periods.

Conclusions: An intervention aimed at appropriate use of imaging was associated with decreased use of bone scans and computerized tomography among men at low risk for metastases.

Keywords: bone neoplasms; diagnostic imaging; neoplasm metastasis; prostatic neoplasms; quality improvement.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Diagnostic Imaging / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Men's Health
  • Michigan / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods*
  • Neoplasm Staging / standards
  • Prostate / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Quality Improvement* / statistics & numerical data
  • Radionuclide Imaging / statistics & numerical data
  • Registries
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data
  • Unnecessary Procedures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult