News From the ACR and Beyond
ACR Joins International Leaders for Radiation Protection in Medicine Talks
The ACR, Image Gently®, and Image Wisely® were represented at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – World Health Organization International Conference on Radiation Protection in Medicine: Achieving Change in Practice in Vienna, Austria, in December 2017. The purpose of the conference was to review actions and developments since the 2012 international conference held in Bonn, Germany,where 10 Call-for-Action goals were developed. The 2017 conference covered the overall approach to implementing those actions and explored how international organizations and other stakeholders might harmonize their efforts for better results. Stakeholders also discussed new developments affecting radiation protection in medicine.
For more information, visit bit.ly/IAEA_Conference.
No Accelerated Adverse Cognitive Effects Found With Gadolinium Contrast Use
There is no evidence that the use of gadolinium-based contrast accelerates cognitive decline, according to a study by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, N.Y. Gadolinium contrast media were introduced in 1988 to enhance MRI images, and the contrast agent is still commonly used today.“It’s estimated that approximately 400 million doses of gadolinium have been administered since 1988,” according to lead author, Robert J. McDonald, MD, PhD, a neuroradiologist at the Mayo Clinic.Researchers used the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging to analyze the effects of gadolinium exposure on neurologic and neurocognitive function. The study counted 4,261 cognitively normal men and women
between the ages of 50 and 90, with a mean age of 72.
Read more at bit.ly/Gadolinium_Effects.
Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute Breaks Down Radiology Subspecialties
About half (55.3 percent) of U.S. radiologists practice mainly as generalists but dedicate on average 36 percent of their efforts to a single subspecialty, according to a study by the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute®. Researchers analyzed the generalist versus subspecialty characteristics of U.S. radiologists caring for the Medicare population between 2012 and 2014. The study was published online in Radiology and found that among radiologists practicing as majority subspecialists, neuroradiologists and breast imagers are the most common. In addition, “subspecialization is more common among radiologists who are female, are earlier in their careers, work in larger practices, have academic affiliations, and practice in the Northeast,” noted Andrew B. Rosenkrantz, MD, MPA, lead study author and a Neiman Institute affiliate research fellow.
Learn more at bit.ly/HPI_Rads.
Direct Connection Through Communication Center Boosts Volume
Columbus Radiology, a private practice in Ohio, has established a Results Communication Center that delivers significant findings to referring physicians, helps referring physicians with image ordering, and arranges telephone calls between radiologists and referring physicians. The center helps reduce the number of interruptions radiologists face and ensures higher-quality interactions between radiologists and referring physicians.
Learn more at bit.ly/Direct_Connection.
AAWR Speed Mentoring
The American Association for Women Radiologists (AAWR) hosted a speed mentoring session at the 2017 RSNA annual meeting in Chicago, allowing members in training to interact directly with more senior AAWR members in a casual setting. Topics of discussion included work/life balance, getting involved in organized radiology, private practice, and “climbing the ladder.” Carolyn C. Meltzer, MD, FACR, (right) mentors two AAWR members in training at RSNA 2017.
Supporting Imagers’ VOICE
Recognizing that healthcare policy increasingly emphasizes value, quality, and improved health outcomes, the Value of Imaging Through Comparative Effectiveness (VOICE) research program is attempting to meet a critical need for comparative effectiveness and big data researchers in radiology. The program is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the ACR, the RSNA, and by donations from other industrial partners. VOICE was developed to provide imagers with hands-on training in five core areas: decision analysis, costeffectiveness analysis, evidence synthesis, big data principles, and applications of big data analytics. The program has web-based modules and in-person
sessions for group discussion. The first group of program participants includes seven diagnostic radiology subspecialties and cardiology, showing the collective potential for more in-depth comparative effectiveness research in imaging.
Learn more about the program at bit.ly/Supporting_VOICE.
New Society Focuses on Academic Community Radiologists
The newly formed Society of Academic Community Radiologists is partnering with division directors and vice chairs who are responsible for radiology services in community hospitals with academic medical center faculty to share best practices. The society reflects an emerging trend of academic medical centers joining forces with community hospitals to promote the clinical, educational, and research work of academic radiologists with the unique needs and priorities of community departments.
What Can RLI Do for You?
The Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI) offers multiple ways to present valuable leadership information to members of your organization:
- The RLI speaker program — speakers can be scheduled to share their leadership expertise at chapter meetings and other events
- Online courses accessible anytime
- Live, online meetings
- RLI Leadership Insider podcasts
Learn more at radiologyleaders.org.
The Anthem Policy and Patient Choice Restriction
Anthem’s policy to steer patients from hospital-based facilities to independently owned facilities is a unilateral blow to patients and providers who value a choice in the imaging services that they seek for their diagnostic imaging care, says ACR BOC Chair James A. Brink, MD, FACR. In an effort to eliminate any confusion among ACR members on the College’s stance on Anthem, Brink’s recent message in his JACR® column asserts, “The ACR is not taking sides in the marketplace (hospital vs. freestanding radiologists).
The ACR would equally oppose a steerage policy that arbitrarily moved patients from independent imaging centers to hospital-based facilities.” ACR’s action against Anthem’s policy “supports all radiologists’ ability to care for all patients,” Brink wrote. “Whether you practice in a hospital-based or independently owned facility, this insurer-driven steerage is detrimental to you and your patients.”
Read more at bit.ly/Anthem_Imaging.
CPI Releases New GU and Neuro Head and Neck Modules
The ACR Continuous Professional Improvement™ (CPI) program has released the CPI Genitourinary Tract Radiology Module 2017 and CPI Neuroradiology Head & Neck Special Edition Module. Members save $35 per module when selecting six modules through a customized CPI Select Six Series. CPI Ultrasonography Module 2013 has been renewed and is now valid through Jan. 31, 2020. Each CPI module includes 50 self-assessment questions written by subspecialist experts and offers up to 8 CME/SA-CME. Choose between the print publication or the online examination and receive a free e-book download.
Learn more at acr.org/cpi.
"A paradigm shift is happening where online patient portals are becoming more common… Patients want to see their results in a timely fashion, and we may see that embargo period begin to disappear."
– Matthew S. Davenport, MD, associate professor of radiology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, at bit.ly/Portal_Results.
Here's What You Missed
The Bulletin website is home to a wealth of content not featured in print. Check out blog posts, bonus articles, and other multimedia content at acrbulletin.org.
Navigating the Internet of Misdirection
Patients need peer-reviewed material in this information age. Read about a team assessing the quality of medical information related to CT radiation doses via Google — and
their concerning findings — at bit.ly/Research_Google.
Candid (Patient) Impressions
The ACR Patient- and Family-Centered Care Commission conducted a survey about patients’ imaging expectations after determining that no national assessment had been done. Find
out how they did it at bit.ly/Candid_Patient.
Imaging 3.0 Case Study: Actionable Steps
Learn how best practices and clinical value were bolstered when radiologists specifically stated “no follow-up is recommended” in reports to referring clinicians. Read the
Imaging 3.0® study at bit.ly/Imaging_Actionable.