Defensive Imaging

A term for the overuse of diagnostic imaging performed to 'rule out' pathology for which there is a low clinical suspicion. Defensive imaging is meant to reduce the risk of a lawsuit for a potentially treatable condition, such as indiscriminant CTs of the head for any minor bump to exclude subdural haematoma
References in periodicals archive ?
orthopedic surgeons published by Sethi et al in 2012 found that defensive imaging represented 19 to 24% of all imaging ordered.
"This is the first study we know of that looked at the actual practice decisions of physicians regarding defensive imaging in real time--prospectively done," said John Flynn, 'M.D., associate chief of orthopaedic surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pa.
Defensive imaging was responsible for $113,369 of $325,309 (34.8 percent) of total imaging charges for this patient cohort, based on Medicare dollars.