Outpatients with brain CT scans who got a sinus CT scan at the same time

Description of Measure

Brain CTs and sinus CTs can be important tools for diagnosing problems that may be causing severe headaches or chronic sinus infections, but they also expose patients to high levels of radiation. Brain CT scans cover large parts of the sinuses, so ordering both tests may be unnecessary. For patients with chronic sinusitis, a sinus CT is usually done first before deciding if a brain CT is also needed. Experts do not recommend doing both tests at once, unless patients have head injuries, tumors, or serious signs of infection. Hospital outpatient imaging departments that have higher percentages on this measure may be giving people more tests than they need, exposing them to too much radiation.

Why is this Important?

This measures shows the percentage of brain CT scans done in a hospital outpatient imaging department where a sinus CT scan was done at the same time on the same Medicare patient. It does not count cases where doctors had questions about complications due to injuries, cancer, or serious infections.

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All descriptions and data sources are reported from Hospital Compare.

Data reported are based on discharges from Third Quarter 2012 through Second Quarter 2013

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