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The question of measuring quality in imaging services often arises in discussions among people in the industry. The answers about measuring quality, not so much.

At the 41st AHRA annual meeting in Minneapolis late last month, consultant Bob Maier, CPA, presented a list that both hospital imaging departments and radiology groups should consider in their planning for how to thrive in the coming accountable care organization environment, which in some cases is already here. Maier’s list is the subject of this month’s E-News Exclusive.

— Jim Knaub, editor
E-News Exclusive
Quality Measures in Radiology
By Jim Knaub

Imaging departments and radiology practices have been convincing referrers, payers, and patients of their quality for a long time, but measuring that quality is a different matter.

“Quality is the subjective measure of the delivered product or service,” consultant Bob Maier, CPA, told his audience at AHRA’s annual meeting last month. Maier, CEO of Tennessee-based Regent’s Health Resources, discussed how radiology departments and groups need to analyze and adjust how they do business as health care reform ushers in the dawning age of accountable care.

Full Story »
Worth Repeating
“As an informatics community, we really do need to take a step back. We’ve come up with a really nice framework in IHE [Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise] for the mechanics of image exchange, and we’re starting to see some legislation pushing toward that, but we seem to have lost the thread in terms of reports. I don’t think we have a consistent answer for reports.”

— R. L. “Skip” Kennedy, MSc, CIIP, technical director of imaging informatics for Kaiser Permanente
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Currently in Radiology Today
Physician Recruitment Center
Outside Images:
When to Report?

With many facilities loading outside images into their PACS, imaging and IT pros discuss when to report on them and how to determine the liability risk. Read more »

Protecting Providers
Companies reveal their latest dose-reduction efforts to help interventional radiologists measure and reduce radiation exposure. Read more »

Adding Value
Recent studies suggest that if findings from negative breast biopsies match pathology results, then patients can prolong follow-up imaging for 12 months. Read more »

Increasing Cloudiness
Learn how digital image sharing through cloud-based solutions may help improve health care and lower costs. Read more »
Other Imaging News
Annual CT Scans Recommended for Some Smokers
The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that high-risk smokers get an annual CT screening to check for lung cancer, The New York Times reports.

Breast Tomosynthesis May Reduce Recall Rates
Digital breast tomosynthesis may be an effective tool in reducing recall rates in breast cancer screening, as reported by Medical News Today.

Stony Brook Study Looks at CCTA for ED Patients
The use of coronary CT angiography in patients presenting with chest pain in the emergency department may lead to fewer hospital admissions, according to a Stony Brook Medicine press release.

Ultrasound May Prevent Kidney Complications
Ultrasound treatments may prevent acute kidney injury that often occurs after major surgery, BBC News reports.