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February 2016

Imaging More Wisely

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco
  • 3Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco
  • 4Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco
  • 5Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(2):168-170. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7113

The right imaging tests performed at the right time can lead to earlier and more accurate diagnoses, better treatment decisions, and improved patient outcomes. Unnecessary and inappropriately performed tests harm patients by causing them discomfort and anxiety, by leading to a large number of irrelevant incidental findings, and by exposing them to ionizing radiation that can have harmful effects on their health. We waste approximately $30 billion annually on unnecessary imaging tests in the United States.1

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