Dispatches: News from the College and Beyond

May 2017


Imaging 3.0®: Teaming Up

Imaging 3 souzaRadiologists at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) are improving patient care by bringing together a multidisciplinary team to review complex cases at the outset of the treatment plan. UMMC receives referrals for patients who have complicated liver, biliary, and pancreatic ailments; each week, the group, which can include surgeons, interventional radiologists, residents, nurse practitioners, pathologists, and radiation oncologists, review the upcoming most complex cases. “The radiologist reviews all imaging studies related to the patient, describes the findings, answers any questions related to the findings, and gives the most likely diagnosis or a short list of differential diagnoses during the multidisciplinary conferences,” explained Frederico F. de Souza, MD, director of both the body imaging division and body imaging fellowship at UMMC. This approach provides more accurate diagnoses and effective treatment plans and reduces costs for both the institution and patient.

Discover ACR’s 2017 CPI Chest Module

Discover the most current chest imaging cases from the ACR Continuous Professional Improvement (CPI) program. For more than two decades, CPI has offered high-quality self-assessment publications  across ABR-required study areas, as well as special edition topics such as body MRI and perinatal imaging. The newly released CPI Chest Radiology Module 2017 offers up to 8 CME and 8 SA-CME. Choose your preferred learning format (print or online) and receive a complimentary digital download.  Purchase the new chest module today or save over 32 percent when you purchase six modules of your choice via a CPI Select Six Series.

 "When a medical educator takes the time to counsel a learner about the nuances of medicine… that educator can affect the way hundreds of patients are treated thereafter by that learner." — Melanie Sulistio, MD, on the importance of feedback to trainees


 Radiology-Teaches and R-SCAN Honored for High-Quality Care

Congratulations to Radiology-Teaches and R-SCAN™ for being among the winners and finalists of the Creating Value Challenge. Radiology Teaches was honored for improving medical education curricula around delivering high-value care. R-SCAN was honored for implementing high-value care in clinical practice.

Neiman Institute® Provides Radiologist Patient-Facing Data Tool

A new free resource allows radiologists to determine whether they would have been designated as patient-facing by CMS from 2012 through 2014.  Developed by the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute, the Radiologist Patient-Facing Dataset will help radiologists determine if they are likely to be exempt under the Merit-Based Incentive System (MIPS) group reporting  option. “Radiologists can also use this dataset to look up their total CMS fee-for-service procedures, total CMS patient-facing procedures, and percent  of procedures classified as patient-facing for each year between 2012 through 2014,” says Danny R. Hughes, PhD, Neiman Institute senior director for health policy research and senior research fellow. “Using this and other Neiman Institute online data tools, radiologists can prepare and succeed in CMS’ evolving payment models.”

"Physicians should provide public context on important health care issues. And radiologists must reinforce that we are physicians with vital expertise that can help ensure health care reform actually makes care better." 

— Nicole B. Saphier, MD, Voice of Radiology blog


YouTube Meets Patient Education

youtube dispatchesYouTube and similar social media platforms offer a powerful opportunity to educate patients not only about imaging examinations, but the central role radiologists play. With nearly 90 percent of patients using online resources for health education, a growing number of radiologists are using YouTube to reach their patients. A recent JACR study led by Andrew B. Rosenkrantz, MD, MPA, analyzed 63 YouTube videos found via the search terms “CT scan,” “MRI,” “ultrasound patient,” “PET scan,” and “mammogram.” All videos depicted a patient undergoing examination, 84.1 percent showed a technologist, 20.6 included a radiologist, and 41.3 percent mentioned potential radiation. The group suggests that existing videos could be improved to add important content such as safety protocols and the role of radiologists in providing and interpreting examinations and ensuring quality. The authors note that addressing information gaps could enhance the value of patient-facing videos: “Online video sharing, rather than traditional static web pages,can be particularly helpful by depicting the examination process in real-time,including interactions with the radiologist and office staff.”

Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Safe for Pediatric Patients

A retrospective study published in AJR demonstrates that contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a safe and cost-effective alternative to CT and MRI in pediatric patients. The authors reviewed all pediatric CEUS performed at King’s College, in London, between January 2008 and December 2015, for a total of 305 patients. The studies were performed primarily to characterize liver lesions and to diagnose trauma. The electronic patient records showed that no patients had an immediate adverse reaction to the CEUS; two had an adverse reaction within 24 hours, one for transient hypertension and one for transient tachycardia. The authors further analyzed the cost and documented a savings per examination of $74 over CT and $180 over MRI. “Using [CEUS] allows reduction in the ionizing radiation associated with CT and in the gadolinium contrast administration, sedation, and anesthesia sometimes required for MRI,” according to the study’ authors.

"While health care professionals and researchers can, and will, continue to advance scientific knowledge to make medicine better, we also must understand the synergies between innovation, data, basic science, and social science." — Amy Compton-Phillips, MD, on health care redesign

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