ACR readies six data registries
The American College of Radiology (ACR) will soon launch the first of six voluntary data registries that will include evidence-based benchmarks to assist quality improvements in imaging facilities throughout the country. ACR also said the National Radiology Data Registry (NRDR) will be a resource to help increase CMS physician compensation, and act as a guide for future research endeavors.

ACR Executive Director Harvey L. Neiman, MD, FACR, described the registries as “an important strategic initiative for all of radiology” that are designed by radiologists for radiologists.

Neiman added that the six-part NRDR will provide needed evidentiary foundations for radiology. “Prior to this,” he said, “there’s been limited evidence-based medicine within radiology. The College’s data registries will enable us to document the value of particular procedures and allow individual radiologists to benchmark their cumulative results with similar practices across the country.”

Additionally, participating in the registry could help with reimbursement issues. “If you do not have evidence that a procedure is effective, then CMS is not going to reimburse it,” Neiman said.

Three of the six registries are related to specific procedures (carotid artery stent, CT colonography, and CT angiography), but ACR said that all will include two-way exchange of information throughout various disciplines of radiology alike.

This month the College will launch National Carotid Artery Stent Registry (ACR-NCR), and will add an intracranial piece soon after.

In the Q4 2007, ACR expects to unveil its registry on CT colonography (CTC Registry), focused on resolving the complex issue of virtual colonography as an alternative to colonoscopy.

Otherwise, ACR expects that by early 2008 to launch a Coronary CT Angiography (CCTA) registry, and in mid-2008, ACR will launch the General Radiology Improvement Database (GRID).

Also, an updated version of the National Mammography Database (NMD) will come in 2008, as will a Dose Index Registry (DIR) that will initially collect dose estimates from CR and DR.