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Outcomes of repeat X-rays of the chest recommended by radiology of patients discharged from the emergency department
  1. Rebecca Headon1,
  2. Luke Hughes2,
  3. Ross Layden2,
  4. Orlaith Geary2,
  5. Deirdre Fitzgerald2,
  6. Darragh Halpenny2,
  7. Aileen McCabe2,3
  1. 1 Department of emergency medicine, Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, Tullamore, Ireland
  2. 2 Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3 Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aileen McCabe, Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland; aileen.mccabe{at}

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Reviewing and acting on diagnostic reports is a professional obligation.1 This includes X-ray of the chest (CXR) reports which recommend follow-up imaging and only become available after the patient has been discharged. Emergency departments (EDs) are required to have safe systems in place to manage radiology reports.2 It is not known how many repeat CXRs are indicated or if repeat CXRs yield clinically significant findings. This study sought to determine how often a follow-up CXR altered patient management.

This single-centre study took place in an ED with approximately 53 000 annual presentations. All CXRs are reviewed for acute findings and actioned during the ED visit by the attending emergency medicine clinicians. Radiology reports typically only become available after the patient has been discharged. Previously, our ED forwarded these reports to the patient’s general practitioner (GP). The local GP committee raised concerns that patients would not necessarily follow-up with their GP. To mitigate this risk, in 2019, our ED introduced a new process (see online supplemental figure 1). Emergency physicians ordered an …

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  • Handling editor Carl Marincowitz

  • X @AilsMcCabe

  • Contributors RH was involved in the data acquisition and drafting of the manuscript. LH, RL and OG were involved in data acquisition. AM participated in the drafting, revising and conception of the manuscript. DF participated in the revising of the manuscript. DH participated in revising and conception of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.