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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

AHRA 2017 preview: Be mindful with social media

Social media can be a boon to healthcare workers and the provider institutions they work for—but it can just as easily be a bust. Just ask the nursing students expelled from school for posting “hilarious” x-rays of an anonymous emergency patient with a foreign object lodged inside a body cavity. The students committed no HIPAA violation, just a breach in basic ethics. But the lapse was enough to derail a couple of promising careers before they even began.

Structured reporting increases ‘normal’—but ‘unremarkable’ persists

Implementing structured reporting templates has helped an academic radiology department increase its collective use of the clear and definitive term normal. However, use of the fuzzier term unremarkable also went up, suggesting more training may be in order.

AHRA 2017 preview: Disruptive technologies headed radiology’s way

U.S. healthcare is in for a wave of technology-driven disruption over the next five years unlike any it’s seen up to now—and it’s up to imaging professionals to light the way in figuring out what to embrace, what to reject and what to take a chance on.

Greasing radiologist/referring physician communication leads to better reads

Smoothing barriers impeding radiologist/referring physician communication can better care through improved timeliness and more nuanced interpretations, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. For the University of Texas Health Science Center, this meant building a communication tool within PACS and assigning clerical staff to troubleshoot the system, rather than leaving radiologists to figure it out on their own.

Radiology residents lack training in how to communicate results to patients

Radiology’s shift to value-based care has providers considering even the smallest details related to the patient experience. A recent study published by Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology, however, shows that radiology residents are not being trained on the proper way to communicate exam results to patients.

Radiology urged to beef up ethics education 4 ways

When it comes to knowing codes of ethics pertinent to their profession, radiologists and radiology trainees are largely wandering around in a darkness of their own choosing: In a recent survey, widely distributed and promoted online, more than three-quarters of rad respondents said they’ve never read the American Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics.

5 tips for running a technologist-focused QI project in radiology

A tech-centric project aimed at improving the quality of radiographic images in the radiology department of a pediatric teaching hospital has succeeded in cutting technologists’ collective error rate from 2.7 percent in the project’s first three months to 0.9 percent in the final six months. 

CT a justifiable choice over fluoroscopy for guiding spinal injections

Along with confirming CT as a fast and relatively low-radiation means of guiding epidural steroid injections for pain relief in the spine, researchers in New York City have shown CT guidance similarly safe and speedy for other back-pain interventions like injections to nerve roots and facet joints. 

When patients rate radiologists, radiologists should listen with discernment

Radiologists fare well overall in online physician reviews posted by patients at RateMDs.com, although the reviews betray evidence of the “halo effect”—the doc can either do no wrong or gets almost nothing right—according to a study running in the May edition of the American Journal of Roentgenology. 

3 ways radiologists can lead from behind, in front and all points between

If you’re a radiologist, you’re a leader. Even if nobody reports to you, you influence your peers, your healthcare colleagues and even those you report up to—and everyone else with whom you cross paths in your line of work. Given this actuality, you would do well to adopt as your own the business-management principle popularly known as “360-degree leadership.” 

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