Profile: Diagnostic Imaging Pathways

A clinical decision support tool and educational resource for diagnostic imaging has been developed by a team based at Royal Perth Hospital in Western Australia.

Diagnostic Imaging Pathways presents clinical scenarios for the benefit of diagnostic imaging referrers, providers and patients.

Each clinical scenario includes a flowchart giving the appropriate order of imaging, accompanied by referenced text with links to online abstracts.

The imaging pathways are broken into categories such as gastrointestinal; neurological; musculoskeletal and trauma; cardiovascular; respiratory; endocrine; urological; ear, nose and throat; obstetric and gynaecological; breast imaging; and paediatrics.

Each category includes pathways for individual afflictions, such as suspected bowel obstruction (gastrointestinal); stroke (neurological); head injury (trauma); leg deep venous thrombosis (cardiovascular); acute respiratory illness (respiratory); Cushing’s Syndrome (endocrine); renal colic (urological); vertigo (ear, nose and throat); post menopausal bleeding (gynaecological); breast screening in high risk women (breast imaging); and adolescent scoliosis (paediatrics). There are about 130 pathways in total.

The website also includes teaching points, image galleries of pathology and normal anatomy, overviews of common radiological procedures, and information for patients and carers.

Diagnostic Imaging Pathways editor, Clinical Professor Richard Mendelson, said the site, which can be accessed for free, is continuously updated.

“DIP is continuously updated based on the best-available evidence and consensus opinion after consultation with specialist radiologists and clinicians, general practitioners and our editorial panel,” he said.

Prof. Mendelson said the website had been recognised as a valuable tool by many facets of the community.

“The website is also being used by the University of Western Australia and Notre Dame University as a teaching resource to educate students on the role of imaging, and as an aid in teaching anatomy,” he said.

The site is also further developing its image gallery of normal imaging anatomy, funded by the University of Western Australia, to include normal anatomy and images of disease states.

DIP is currently the only clinical imaging web-based resource to have entered into a partnership with the federal government-funded HealthInsite, which aims to improve the health of Australians by providing easy access to information through health professionals and service providers.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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