Ms. Miller presented to Dr. Schaffer with vague abdominal symptoms. The patient indicated that she had been seen at a different emergency department several weeks prior. Dr. Schaffer asked what treatment she received and she indicated that not much had been done.


After looking through CareWeb, Dr. Schaffer found that Ms. Miller had actually had 3 CT scans at previous encounters that were negative. All labs tests were negative. As a result, Dr. Schaffer indicated that repeating these tests would not solve the problem; as such he recommended that she see her primary care physician. Upon learning that she did not have one, the hospital staff helped her find a physician and helped her to make an appointment. He added that the new primary care provider would be able to review all the information from her ED visits.


Dr. Jason Schaffer
Emergency Medicine
Indiana University Health
Clinical setting: Inpatient and Emergency Department


  • Reduce duplicate testing
  • More efficient use of resources and hospital staff
  • Less exposure to radiation by limiting duplicate imaging scans
  • Opportunity to provide better communication between physicians and patients


“If I can see that a patient received three CT scans for the same complaint over a short period of time, that enables me to have a productive conversation with my patient. I can tell them that a CT scan isn’t going to be helpful at this point and we need to explore other avenues.”
“Often, the emergency department is the most convenient place to get care, but it isn’t necessarily the best. We strive to support the patient, but at the same time, want to direct them to the best resources that will fit their needs while providing a more efficient utilization of the ED resources.”


  • Situation: Patients often come to ERs for conditions that could have been avoided had the patient received checkups in physician offices or health clinics.
  • Benefits: Clears up miscommunication, encourages better utilization of healthcare resources and supports better resource utilization.
  • What it Means: The visits average $2,200, according to a study by UC – San Francisco. Better utilization means less waste and ultimately better care for all patients.