Following Their Lead

Isaac Newton humbly stated, "if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." We all look to leaders in our field to emulate and follow and to sometimes stand on their shoulders, learning from their successes and mistakes in order to see just a bit further over the horizon.

Each year, Health Imaging honors a handful of sites as winners of our Patient-Centric Imaging Awards. These are organizations ranging from independent practices to larger academic centers that have recently implemented a project to improve the quality of care their patients receive. In addition to improving care in their own community, these organizations are leaders showcasing innovative solutions others can and should follow.

What kinds of results have these leaders achieved? One site improved mammography workflow to more quickly get results to patients, boosting satisfaction scores in the process. Another focused on radiation dose in fluoroscopically-guided interventional procedures and saw a 60 percent overall reduction in exposure. Two of the winners implemented imaging networks that reduced unnecessary repeat exams and allowed treatment of time-sensitive conditions to begin faster than ever before.

Outside of our Patient-Centric Imaging Awards cover story, our story on mobile stroke units brings together good ideas from two continents. Stroke specialists in Houston followed in the footsteps of German colleagues who had created an ambulance with an onboard CT scanner for quickly assessing suspected stroke. After a successful fundraising effort, the team in Houston was able to launch the first such mobile stroke unit in the U.S. earlier this year, and it’s already saving lives. Read more on page 14.

There is one area, however, where stronger leadership is necessary: diversity in radiology. Among the top 20 ACGME training programs, radiology ranks near the bottom in terms of representation of Hispanic, black, Native American and female trainees. The sobering stats can be seen in our Meaningful Measures section at the back of this book.

Leadership on this front is being provided by the American College of Radiology Commission for Women and General Diversity and others, but more must be done to improve diversity within the specialty. Not just out of a sense of obligation, but as a way of bringing different perspectives into practice, improving care, and making sure the radiology workforce more closely reflects the rapidly changing demographics of the population it serves.