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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

Online bests print at informing patients on imaging radiation—but neither shines at busting a certain myth

Patients readily assimilate information on radiation risks in medical imaging when the facts are presented interactively and online. In fact, in a new study, the electronic medium beat printed materials at helping patients understand ionizing radiation, know which imaging modalities use it—and even correctly rank the modalities by the relative radiation amounts each one emits. 

Lead aprons block radiation exposure all right, but they also invite lead poisoning

A study of lead shields used during x-ray and fluoroscopy procedures at an academic medical center in New York City showed that nearly two-thirds of the shields had detectable lead dust on the surface. The finding has prompted the study authors to urge all imaging departments and centers to switch to lead-free shielding materials. 

Self-examination is crucial before making drastic MACRA-related changes

It’s official: The reporting window for MACRA has begun. While CMS has eased the reporting requirements for 2017, calling it a transition year, practices aiming for full participation still need to report all of the required measurements for a continuous period of at least 90 days. In fact, groups looking to maximize their chances of a positive adjustment should report as much data as possible, according to CMS.

Group working steadily to increase the visibility—and number—of women in radiology

Female radiologists have made strides increasing their presence and visibility over the 35 years since the 1981 founding of the American Association for Women Radiologists (AAWR). However, their numbers continue to lag far behind those of their male counterparts, especially in leadership positions. 

How to track inconsistencies in CT protocol usage

The CT Protocol team at the University of Wisconsin have created a methodology for measuring organizational adherence to standardized CT protocols, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Based on finding outliers in a large pool of scanning data, the workflows can be scaled to any size practice and are intended to help imaging centers identify problems.

5 tips for rolling patient-centered care into radiology

Radiology departments and practices can incorporate principles of patient- and family-centered care (PFCC) into clinical operations without hampering productivity. Every upgrade to radiology equipment and environment represents a new opportunity to engage patients and their families. And PFCC is “a collaborative process—a journey, not a destination.” 

Imaging leaders can't let pushback stop them from improving quality

I attended a lot of great presentations at RSNA 2016 in Chicago, but the one by Paul J. Chang, MD, on Nov. 28 had perhaps the biggest impact on me. 

Heavy overnight shifting takes a toll on emergency rads, although some prefer its payoffs

Emergency radiologists who work lots of overnight shifts and/or shifts longer than nine hours tend to feel less healthy, closer to burnout and more dissatisfied with their work than emergency rads who have more humane schedules, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. 

RSNA 2016: Radiologist burnout is real; here's how to fix it

With long hours, seamlessly never-ending workloads and frequent isolation, radiologists are increasingly experiencing burnout. It’s a problem that can have serious effects on one’s work if not addressed properly. But considering the nature of the business, burnout can be hard to prevent and manage within realistic limits of the profession.

Mentoring programs can help build the future of radiology

James Rawson, MD, radiology chair at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia, has a lot of experience with developing relationships between new recruits and those who are more established in the field of radiology. On Thursday, Dec. 1, Rawson will discuss the importance of developing future leaders in radiology in a presentation titled, “Mentors, Mentees and Mentoring in Radiology.” 

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