Unnecessary Use of CT scans and MRI will be Stopped by AHS

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According to Alberta Health Services, the unwarranted MRI and CT scans were partially reduced, but it is still not enough to reduce wait times for these tests.

On Friday, vice-president of clinical support services, Mauro Chies said that a 12 percent drop of the lumbar spine and lower back magnetic resonance imaging scans were achieved in a period of three years of efforts.

He states “We made a good gain in terms of reducing the number of orders … But I think it’s fair to say we were hoping for more.”

Why is this happening?

This research is conducted because much lower back diagnoses tests are unnecessary. This fact was proven by a study published in 2013 and led by researchers from Alberta which states that 1,000/2,000 requested scans were fluous.

What needs to be done?

Chies says that because 30% of MRI scans are for lower back, these need to be reduced in order to cut wait times and costs.

In order to do that, doctors will need to learn how to avoid this scans by not sending a patient who is not presented with cancer, suspected infection or compression fracture into the MRI.

Connect Care information technology platform will be developed to come in helpful for the doctors. There will also be found the “clinical decision support” section which provides physicians with guidance.

Researchers do not stop here. They are also looking for other such overused tests such as the ones for knee pain and headaches.

Chies said, “We try to go body part by body part.”


A doctor can not refuse a test requested by a patient, so CT scans and MRI makes a hole in the health system’s pockets.

The purchase of such machines is also ky as the price is 1$ million.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.