Point-of-care estimated radiation exposure and imaging guidelines can reduce pediatric radiation burden

Christopher W. Bunt*, Harry B. Burke, Alexander J. Towbin, Albert Hoang, Mark B. Stephens, Paul Fontelo, Fang Liu, Ronald W. Gimbel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: The steady increase in the use of computed tomography (CT) has particular concerns for children. Family physicians must often select pediatric imaging without any decision support. We hypothesized that point-of-care decision support would lead to the selection of imaging that lowered radiation exposure and improved guideline congruence. Methods: Our double-blind, randomized simulation included family physicians in the Military Health System. Participants initially reviewed a pediatric hematuria scenario and selected imaging without decision support. Participants were subsequently randomized to either receive imaging-appropriateness guidelines and then estimated radiation exposure information or receive estimated radiation information then guidelines; imaging selections were required after each step. The primary outcome was the selected imaging modality with point-of-care decision support. Results: The first arm increased CT ordering after viewing the guidelines (P = .008) but then decreased it after reviewing radiation exposure information (P = .007). In the second arm radiation information decreased CT and plain film use (P = not significant), with a subsequent increase in ultrasound and CT after the guideline presentation (P = .05). Conclusions: Decision support during a simulated pediatric scenario helped family physicians select imaging that lowered radiation exposure and was aligned with current guidelines, especially when presented with radiation information after guideline review. This information could help inform electronic medical record design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-350
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical decision support systems
  • Decision making
  • Evidence-Based medicine
  • Radiation
  • Radiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Point-of-care estimated radiation exposure and imaging guidelines can reduce pediatric radiation burden'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this