The Effect of a Dedicated Lung Mass Clinic on Lung Nodule Follow Up
1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
2Department of Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus, Baltimore, MD, USA
3Department of Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center and Baltimore VA, Baltimore, MD, USA
4Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center and Baltimore VA, Baltimore, MD, USA
5Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Maryland Medical Center Baltimore, MD, USA
6Imaging Services, VA Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore, MD, USA
Received Date:April 18, 2022; Published Date: May 09, 2022
Introduction: With the increased use of computed tomography (CT) imaging, lung nodules are found yearly requiring tracking and guideline directed follow up imaging. We describe the structure of a clinic dedicated to lung nodule tracking, patient education and the outcomes of lung nodule follow up.
Methods: Patient electronic medical record charts were reviewed for lung nodules requiring tracking to determine if a follow up study was ordered, completed by the patient, and completed in an appropriate time frame. Patients were grouped based on referral to pulmonary clinic, lung mass clinic, or no subspecialty clinic. 700 CT reports were extracted from the electronic medical record of which 350 (50%) had lung nodules reported on CT, and 111 (15.9%) were lung nodules that additionally recommended discrete follow up in the radiologist report at the Veterans Health Administration hospital in Baltimore. Of these 111 patients, 95% were male and 5% were female. The mean age of the population was 66.3 ± 7.7 years.
Results and Discussion: Patients seen in the lung mass clinic had a statistically significant higher rate of the follow up study being ordered by the provider. The lung mass clinic also had a higher percentage of patients who completed the study and completed the study within the recommended time frame, however, this was not statistically significant.
Conclusion: A dedicated lung mass clinic should be considered as a method of improving lung nodule tracking with the added benefit of patient education and multidisciplinary care.