News From the ACR and Beyond

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Watch and Learn

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Radiologists in California have developed a library of more than 150 videos for patients. The short videos introduce patients to their physicians and provide information about procedures, safety measures, and medications. The videos deliver consistent information to all patients and have been shown to alleviate patient anxiety and reduce physician burnout. 

Learn more in this Imaging 3.0® case study at acr.org/WatchandLearn.

Stephen R. Holtzman, MD, MS, IR specialist and CEO of Radiology Associates, co-founded a program that implements patient-facing videos into pre-procedural medical practices.


ACR Makes Appropriateness Criteria More Patient-Friendly

The JACR® earlier this year unveiled the first examples of the ACR Appropriateness Criteria® summarized in plain language to help patients better understand which imaging tests may be most appropriate for their particular condition. For instance, the patient summary for pulmonary embolism states, “Imaging tests are not necessary for many patients  suspected of having a blood clot in the lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). For medically stable patients, the risk of a PE should be assessed first by asking standard questions about the patient and his or her symptoms. If the answers to the questions result in a low risk score, no further testing is required.” 

Read more at acr.org/Patient_AC.

Even in Breast Imaging, Gender Disparity Continues in Academia

While there is no shortage of women in breast imaging radiology, gender disparity remains when it comes to publications on the subject. “The research productivity of female breast imagers was found to be significantly lower than that of male colleagues across all academic ranks,” study authors noted noted in the American Journal of Roentgenology. The study concludes, “The number of publications by female radiologists has risen steadily over time; however, a significant gender disparity is seen in scholarly productivity.” Faculty member data from 170 diagnostic radiology departments in the U.S. (and 13 in Canada) were examined. 

Read more at bit.ly/Gender_Differences.

Risk-Based Approach to Screening May Put Women in Danger

For many women who are at average risk for breast cancer, “delaying initiation or decreasing the frequency of breast cancer screening” when using a risk-based approach to reduce costs or so-called harms from mammography could put them at risk. Findings published in the American Journal of Roentgenology suggest that “many screen-detected breast cancers occurred in women without dense tissue or a family history of breast cancer” and that the “exclusive use of restrictive risk-based screening could result in delayed cancer detection.”

Read more at bit.ly/Screening_Delay.

Double Scan CT Rates Quality Payment Program Measurement Opportunity

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A new research study by the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute® explores the radiologist characteristics associated with variation in performance for two radiology-relevant hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) measures: abdomen and chest CT “double scan” rates and makes recommendations to CMS for these measures. Lower rates are typically considered to represent better, more efficient performance given the associated reduction in patient radiation exposure as well as in medical spending. “CMS did not exercise its authority to adopt hospital outpatient measures for certain specialties including radiologists,” said Andrew B. Rosenkrantz, MD, MPA, lead study author and a Neiman Institute affiliate research fellow. “We have recommended that CMS expand its options for facility-based physicians in future years by adopting the Hospital OQR measures, which include double scan rates.” The study is published online in the JACR®.

Read more at bit.ly/Double_Scan.


"If PFCC [patient- and family-centered care] is stressed from Day 1 of radiology residency training, it will become part of the normal everyday culture of radiology for these trainees." – Carolynn M. Debenedectis, MD, residency program director at the University of Massachusetts at bit.ly/PFCC_Early.


ACRBulletin April2018 P3 8CMS Revisits MRI Scans of Patients With Implantable Devices

CMS is considering eliminating data collection as part of the coverage determination for MRI scans of patients with implantable cardiac devices. In January, the agency proposed withdrawing its requirement that payments for these scans be made only when the scans are performed within a clinical study. CMS would remove the coverage with evidence development requirement for MRI scans for patients with implanted pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemakers, cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators, and similar devices.

Read the CMS memo at bit.ly/CMS_MRIchange.

Radiologists Could Play Key Role in Identifying Victims of Intimate Partner Violence

Imaging can offer early clues to physical abuse, and radiologists can help identify victims of intimate partner violence, according to a recent study. “Radiologists must be aware that intimate partner abuse is a common public health problem,” says one study author, Elizabeth George, MD, a radiology resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Researchers have found common injury patterns among victims of partner violence, and radiologists are in a unique position of accessing prior imaging records that may show a history of abuse. For example, the study’s principal investigator, Bharti Khurana, MD, emergency radiology fellowship program director at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, saw a young woman in the ED with an acute nasal bone fracture that was superimposed on an older fracture. Upon reviewing prior images on PACS, Khurana uncovered a recent wrist
fracture for the same patient — a suspicious finding the referring physician had not noticed. 

Learn more at bit.ly/ID_Violence.

Custom Leadership Training for Radiology Professionals

The Radiology Leadership Institute (RLI®) Leadership Summit will be held Sept. 7–9, 2018, at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. The RLI Summit is the only leadership training program in radiology that is designed in close collaboration with business school experts to bring the best business theories and research on how to improve your practices and departments. The 2018 summit will feature an all-new program built with extensive feedback from radiologists and past participants. Topics will focus on emotional and social competence, the dynamics of coalition building, design-thinking in radiology, and finance. 

For more information, visit radiologyleaders.org/leadership-summit.

Executive Leadership Symposium Offers Practical Solutions

The Radiology Leadership Institute (RLI®) will be hosting an executive-level course for experienced leaders across private practice and academic radiology, July 20–22, 2018, in
Arlington, Va. The RLI Leadership Challenges Symposium offers an intimate and focused setting for practice presidents and vice presidents, academic department chairs and vice chairs, and chief medical officers to work through a host of unique challenges under the guidance of preeminent radiology faculty. Attendees can consult with fellow leaders, develop action plans suited for their care environment, and examine case studies with insights on some of the most common problems facing radiology executives. 

Spots for this course are highly limited, so register soon at radiologyleaders.org/practical-solutions or call 1-800-373-2204.

"We will no longer be  valued just for interpreting images; the goal is now measureable improvements in efficiency, productivity, costs, achieving metrics, quality, and patient outcomes." – Paul J. Chang, MD, professor of radiology and vice chair of radiology informatics for the University of Chicago Medicine, at bit.ly/Rad_Value.

Rectal Cancer Staging Module Helps Radiologists Optimize MRI Protocols

Under the leadership of co-chairs Marc J. Gollub, MD, FACR, and Mukesh G. Harisinghani, MD, FACR, the ACR has developed a webbased interactive instructional activity that provides training for radiologist members of rectal cancer multidisciplinary teams and individual radiologists involved with diagnosis, management, and treatment of colon and rectal
cancer. Rectal Cancer Staging: A Competency-Based Assessment of MR lmaging Proficiency utilizes state-of-the-art e-learning tools and technology to ensure that learners can adopt and implement evidence-based MRI protocols, standardized reporting, and patient-centered shared decision-making. 

Learn more and purchase the CME-certified module at acr.org/rcstaging.

Earn Credit Through Tailored Learning

Select from an array of programs designed to meet your learning needs — no matter your subspecialty or career level. Participate on your own time, at your own rate. ACR’s learning activities include self-assessments, virtual courses, case studies, and more.

Find out more about individualized education offerings at acr.org/ACR_Learning.

New Data Science Blog Series

The ACR Data Science Institute™ has launched the AI Assistant blog, which offers valuable information and perspectives from radiologists, patients, data scientists, and other stakeholders about AI in medical imaging. 

Read the latest posts at acrdsi.org.

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.

So You Want to Start a Prostate mpMRI Practice?

A radiologist shares tips for building a successful program in the expanding clinical space of multiparametric prostate MRI — one that is complex and should not be entered into lightly. Read more at bit.ly/Start_MRI.

RADxx — A Networking Group for Women in Informatics

RADxx is picking up momentum. Learn about the networking initiative established to cultivate mentorship and other opportunities for women in radiology at bit.ly/RADxx_Networking.

From Small Talk to Real Connection

A conversation between strangers took one cancer survivor on a journey of advocacy. Read more at bit.ly/Patient_ConnectionConnection.

"Although the patient benefits of radiologistpatient interactions have been well studied, there must also be consideration of radiologists’ preferences and radiology workflow." – Olga R. Brook, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues, in bit.ly/JACR_Interactions.

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