Patients are the number one priority of orthopaedic surgeons. In order to provide patients with the highest standard of care, many orthopaedic surgeons have incorporated services, including diagnostic imaging technologies, into their practices to ensure patients have immediate, convenient access to quality care. In-office imaging provides more accurate and precise images with lower patient risk, helping orthopaedic surgeons diagnose and treat disease more effectively.
The recent growth in imaging services has prompted some to point fingers at non-radiologists for excessive utilization, and has further fueled their agenda to try to limit - and preferably prohibit - office-based imaging services. ACR Ethics Committee Chairman Leonard Berlin, MD, has said, "The real issue is over-utilization (by non-radiologists), the ordering of too many films because there is a financial incentive to do so." ACR Fellow David Levin, MD, has stated, "Radiologists would do a pretty poor job if they tried to deliver babies or operate on brain tumors, and, by the same token, doctors in other fields make mistakes when they try to practice radiology without benefit of training."
When orthopaedic surgeons provide office-based imaging, patients receive quicker diagnoses, more effective treatment, better outcomes and faster recovery. Office-based imaging also further enhances the team approach, which translates to accessible, high-quality care centered around the needs of the patient. Any policy to prohibit orthopaedic surgeons and other non-radiologist specialists from performing and interpreting in-office diagnostic imaging studies interferes with the patient's ability to receive optimal care.