Roadmap to Quality

This year’s ACR Conference on Quality and Safety gives attendees the tools they need to transform their practices and bring new value to their patients.

ACR Conference - Roadmap to Quality

The Bulletin caught up with Quality and Safety Conference chair C. Daniel Johnson, MD, FACR, who also chairs the department of radiology at Mayo Clinic Arizona in Scottsdale, Ariz., to discuss what participants can look forward to at the 2015 conference and why it’s time to get involved in quality and safety projects.


Q: What are you most excited about?

A: This year’s conference brings together a unique program and world-class faculty. We’re going to provide a template for all registrants, so that by the time they leave, they can go home with at least two quality improvement projects (see sidebar). We’re also going to have a scientific session, where we’ll hear about new projects from people all over the United States.  


Q: What’s different about this year’s conference from the past?

A: The content is all new this year. We have a special session on improving patient satisfaction, and another on informatics and quality improvement. Two others are on change management and turning regulatory requirements into quality improvement. Everybody cringes when it comes to regulatory requirements, but actually they can be a real opportunity to improve your practice and add to the bottom line. I’m looking forward to that session this year. 


Q: What are the hot topics in quality and safety right now?

A: Radiologists are concerned about the ABR requirement to have a quality improvement project every two to three years to satisfy maintenance of certification requirements. So we will have quality improvement sessions in a round table format with small groups working about 45–50 minutes to come up with a template that they can take home. This will not only improve their practice but also satisfy these upcoming ABR requirements.
We also want to address patient satisfaction, and we’re looking at ways that IT can help us. Many of us seem to be burdened with new IT applications and difficult software to understand. How can we turn some of this IT capability into higher value for patient care?


Q: How does Imaging 3.0™ relate to quality and safety? 

A: Well, Imaging 3.0 is really about changing from volume to value. And so, for those practices that don’t have a robust quality improvement program, the conference will help attendees understand what type of framework and resources they will need to create an effective quality and safety improvement program. It’s important to understand that it’s going to require some change within the practice. So we’re going to provide a session on change management to help practice leaders implement some of the changes that are needed for a higher value practice.

Finally, I think that it’s important that practices begin to look at hospitals as their partners. We’re going to address some key infrastructure issues in which radiologists and their managers can really partner closely, such as regulatory issues, patient satisfaction, and improving safety scores. Addressing these issues can be important for practices looking to strengthen their relationships with their hospitals and improve the value that they provide to their patients.


Q: Why did you choose to focus on quality and safety in your career? 

A: After completing a master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University, I reflected on my learning experience and it was clear that the practice gap that we had at Mayo Clinic Rochester was in the quality and safety arena. This is an area where I felt I could contribute and make a difference. There are many opportunities to address practice needs and improve the value and the joy of practicing radiology. I’ve come to realize that being a good clinical radiologist is important today, but it’s insufficient. Radiologists today must embrace the need to deliver better, more efficient care to our patients.


C. Daniel Johnson, MD, FACRC. Daniel Johnson, MD, FACR, Quality and Safety Conference chair for ACR and department of radiology chair at Mayo Clinic Arizona in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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