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Cardiac imaging tests before low-risk outpatient surgery

Cardiac stress tests, such as echocardiograms, CT Scans and MRIs, are used to test how well the heart works when it is stressed. They can be useful tests before a patient has a surgical procedure which is likely to stress the heart. Outpatient surgical procedures such as colonoscopy, cataracts, biopsies, or endoscopies are considered to be low risk. They put very little stress on the heart and research shows they do not require cardiac stress tests before the surgery.

About This Measure

This measure shows the percentage of patients who had cardiac stress tests before low risk outpatient surgical procedures. This measure includes only Medicare patients and patients who had the tests as an outpatient at Northwestern Medicine.

A higher percentage may mean that the hospital is giving people more tests than they need.

In this case, a lower number is better.