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Practice Management

 

A study recently published in Journal of the American College of Radiology tested to evaluate if patient data provided by electronic medical records (EMRs) can help radiologists predict the probability of patients failing to show up to imaging appointments. 

The percentage of women interested or working in diagnostic radiology (DR) remains stagnant. The most recent statistic of women participating in DR was 26.9 percent in 2013, compared to 25.5 percent in 1990. 

Structured reporting in radiology has its detractors, but few would argue against the proposition that the days are numbered for traditional free-text narrative reports. The latter vary too much in language, length and style to consistently aid referring physicians making care decisions—a potentially serious demerit in the “prove your value” care era—while structured reporting offers a way to improve on not only consistency and actionability but also profession-wide quality.

Health Imaging caught up with Christie James, MS, president-elect of the Radiology Business Management Association, at last Friday’s annual meeting of RBMA’s New England Chapter in Somerville, Mass. James, whose fulltime job is operations manager of radiology revenue cycle management for the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, begins her 2018–19 tenure next April.

The disconnect over CT radiation discussions between emergency-room providers and the patients they serve may be wider than expected in the Image Wisely era. At one site, a new survey has shown that more than three-quarters of providers thought they’d routinely discussed radiation doses with CT patients—while fewer than one-quarter of patients said they’d been so informed.

 

Recent Headlines

7 steps to combat bullying in radiology

A recent paper by a team of researchers led by Jay, R. Parikh, MD, with the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center in Houston explores bullying in radiology. Published in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, it also includes a seven-step strategy of combatting such behavior.

Direct patient access to radiology reports: Up for debate

Should patients be able to receive their radiology reports directly from radiologists? Or should they only be allowed access when chaperoned by a qualified medical professional? Two experts holding opposing views on the matter go toe-to-toe in articles published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

3 ways radiologists can fend off repetitive stress injury

Radiologists reading digital imaging exams move their mouses much more and tap their keypads far less than computer-bound nonradiologist workers, and that’s just one of several factors contributing to the rise of repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) in radiologists.

Radiology trainees can cut rates of radiology-report addenda, adding value to patient care

Radiology trainees giving second reads to experienced radiologists’ image-interpretation reports can significantly reduce the use of post-script corrections, amplifications or clarifications—i.e., addenda.

Siemens softens advice on hacker-vulnerable imaging systems

Following last week’s advisory from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warning that four medical-imaging systems made by Siemens may be vulnerable to cyberattack, the company has announced it will issue software fixes by the end of this month.

Documentation of radiologist-referrer consults found lacking

Searching three years’ worth of physicians’ notes in their academic medical center’s EMR, researchers at NYU Langone found that many informal consultations between referrers and radiologists had been captured incompletely or inadequately, with potential implications for patient management. In a paper published online in the American Journal of Roentgenology, they recommend radiology practices draw up policies to head off such communications lapses.

Radiology department diagnoses its own MRI inefficiencies, prescribes remedies

Upon examining various performance metrics on their MRI patient throughput, members of the radiology department at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found they were losing close to one-third of their time to delays, bottlenecks or other avoidable inefficiencies.

Community EDs cut needless trauma CT using Canadian rule

After implementing an established rule for selecting head CT for trauma patients, a 13-site set of Kaiser Permanente community EDs in Southern California reduced avoidable head CT utilization by 5.3 percent while improving their performance on injury identification, according to a study published online July 21 in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

ACR updates contrast-media guide

Spotlighting fresh content on administering contrast to pregnant patients, updated patient-selection strategies and an entirely new chapter on contrast-enhanced ultrasound, the American College of Radiology on July 12 announced the latest version of its Manual on Contrast Media.

AHRA 2017 preview: Quality work rewarded is quality work repeated—and emulated

Numerous studies and surveys have shown that U.S. workers in every field, including healthcare, derive more job satisfaction from being recognized for a job well done than from any other top-down motivator. Not even a pay raise goes as far. Of course, turning that insight into action across a large radiology department takes a little doing.

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