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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

Radiation-safety ‘knowledge gaps’ not hard to find in the emergency room

Actionable awareness of radiation concerns is spotty in the emergency department, with midlevel providers who order imaging (mainly nurse practitioners and physician assistants) making factual errors and emergency-medicine residents shying away from counseling patients about imaging-related radiation risks. And attending docs struggle with the counseling piece too.  

ACR accreditation has largely positive impact on rad-onc practices

Analyzing patterns of change in deficiencies common to radiation-oncology practices, researchers have found that earning accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR) equips these practices with a reliable, peer-reviewed means of assessing their adherence to national standards. 

RLI Summit: Good radiology governance doesn’t just happen

All the leadership training in the world won’t make a lick of difference if good governance structures are not in place to manage cultures and implement up-to-date processes within radiology practices and departments.

RLI Summit: Radiologist, brand thyself

What attributes, aims and aspirations characterize your personal brand? Where does your brand mesh with, and diverge from, the brands and missions of your practice and your health-provider system? And are you building your personal brand intentionally—or passively letting outside forces shape it for you?

In radiology as in medical genomics, patient preferences should guide decisions around incidental findings

Incidental and secondary findings are on the rise, thanks largely to advances in diagnostic technologies and adoptions of value-based practice incentives. As such findings increasingly confound patients as well as clinicians—not to mention medical ethicists and malpractice courts—radiology would do well to follow discussions going on in the field of genetic testing. 

Catch colonoscopy complications with CT—not radiography

While complications from optical colonoscopy occur in less than 1 in 100 cases, the effects can be devastating: bleeding, infection, even death. In the rare case that a serious complication occurs, radiology administrators can ensure rapid diagnosis by prioritizing CT over abdominal radiography, according to a study published in JACR.

Stanford’s radiology department experiences the power of patient input

Envisioned by the Institute of Medicine back in 2001 and systematized by the Joint Commission five years later, PFACs—patient and family advisory councils—are now a fixture in most U.S. hospitals. Scope, mission and vision vary widely, but these groups’ essential aim is tapping the customer’s perspective in order to improve everything from waiting-room design to EMR selection. 

Radiologists anything but immune to clinical depression

Long exposure to low ambient light has been associated with an increased risk for clinical depression—think SAD, for seasonal affective disorder—and radiologists spend many hours working in the literal dark. Because of this and other risk factors, do rads tend to be more depressed than physicians in other medical specialties?

Utilization-management program points out positives of radiologist involvement

When radiologists collaborate with referring physicians to proactively manage imaging utilization, the participation of the radiologist has more weight tipping the scale toward success than does the specialty of the referrer. And the rad’s input has the greatest impact on primary care physicians who are heavy orderers of imaging exams.

Gov. Cuomo signs new legislation to increase access to breast cancer screening in N.Y.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation this week to increase access to breast cancer screenings, following up on the $91 million proposal he first announced in January during an emotional State of the State address. The bill requires numerous state facilities to observe extended hours, offers paid leave to all public employees, removes deductibles and co-payments for all screening mammograms, and more.