Island Health diagnostic imaging review reveals ‘discrepancies’

Oceanside Health Centre clients not impacted by initial results

An Island Health review of more than 2,300 CT scans, mammograms, x-rays and ultrasound reports, including an unspecified number of tests performed at Oceanside Health Centre, is expected to be completed in the coming weeks, the health authority announced in a written release Oct. 26.

In April, Island Health announced a review of 529 diagnostic imaging reports (CT scans) from a radiologist who worked as a locum for Island Health at various times between January 2013 and February 2016.

Oceanside Health Centre does not perform CT scans, site supervisor Carla Snyder said. But as a precautionary step, Island Health expanded its review to include all the other CT scans performed by this radiologist (1,846) and a review of all mammograms (383) and a sampling of x-rays and ultrasound reports from the same locum radiologist.

The initial results of a review of CT scans revealed a discrepancy rate of 15 per cent, with a “potential significant error in clinical diagnosis” that required follow-up care in 25 of the cases.

The review of the 383 mammograms and a sampling of ultrasounds and x-rays, which are performed at Oceanside Health Centre, is not yet complete, the Island Health release noted. Island Health said it anticipates the review of these diagnostic imaging reports will be completed in the coming weeks. Should a potential error in clinical management be found in any of these reviews, patients will be notified and follow-up with the attending physician recommended.

The test reports from the locum radiologist were reviewed at hospitals and health care centres in Parksville, Campbell River, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Ladysmith, Comox, Duncan and North Vancouver Island.though Oceanside Health Centre does not perform

CT scans and other diagnostic imaging tests done by other radiologists, were not part of this review.

“While these potential discrepancies were noted between the original and review interpretations, this does not necessarily mean that the treatment for patients would have been altered or that adverse health impacts may have occurred,” Island Health shared in the release. “Island Health is also contacting by letter all other patients who had a CT Scan that was a part of this review, to inform them that their CT Scan was reviewed, and no discrepancies were found.”

Individuals who had a diagnostic test after February 22, 2016 are not affected.

Island Health will be working with the Ministry of Health, and other health authorities, on implementing recommendations from the Wale report, a provincial review of radiology, which was completed in follow-up to the issues identified in this case, the health authority release said.

— NEWS Staff and Island Health release

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