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Care Delivery

 

For Imaging Leaders, Keeping Up With Evolving Policies and Safety Standards Gets Harder By the Day

 The Words We Use to Describe Interdepartmental Relationships Matter More Than You Might Think

It’s a question that comes up time and time again in medical imaging: How should incidental findings be handled by the radiologist? Should they be included in the radiology report or just ignored? While radiologists don’t want to alarm patients, they also realize that not reporting a finding could have devastating results for the patient and involve the radiologists in malpractice litigation. There also are potential cost savings to consider. At a time when quality is being emphasized over quantity, reducing the number of unnecessary follow-up exams is a priority throughout all of radiology.

In an advisory posted to its website, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that each time a mobile unit is moved to a new location, a post-move verification test must be conducted prior to imaging patients at the new location. The advisory is in adherence with the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA).

With the ubiquity of electronic medical records combined with online patient portals, patients have easier access to physicians’ reports than ever before. But understanding those documents is another matter altogether.

 

Recent Headlines

AHRA Fall Conference: 3 competencies that help imaging leaders get things done

The AHRA 2016 Virtual Fall Conference begins Oct. 14, with virtual sessions available to attendees on demand for two full weeks. One session available on demand will be “The 3 Competencies: Building a Successful Imaging Project with Patient Care in Mind,” presented by Cathy Dolan-Schweitzer, MA, the president of Health Well Done in Yonkers, New York. 

MRI during first trimester does not pose risk to mother, fetus

Contrary to some conventional concerns, MRI scans in the first trimester of pregnancy appear safe for both mothers and their fetuses, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, exposure to gadolinium of any kind, including in MRI, came with an increased risk of adverse effects to the child after birth.

 
ACOs could have specific effects on radiology departments

The Medicare Shared Savings Program could affect radiology practices through accountable care organization (ACO) enrollment, according to a study by the Harvey L. Nieman Health Policy Institute that was published in the journal Health Care Management Science.

Imaging providers on Vancouver Island continue to struggle

Imaging providers in Vancouver Island, part of the Canadian province of British Columbia, have continued to experience issues taking care of patients in a timely matter. This week, two of the top stories on the Times Colonist, the daily newspaper of Victoria, B.C., focused on the issue. 

Radiologists may face greater exposure than first thought: 3 ways to reduce occupational dose

Researchers from the University of Belgrade in Serbia suggested an urgent need for improved radiation safety and training in wake of studies indicating that half of interventional radiologists have the beginnings of cataracts.

Patients with pacemakers and cardiac defibrillators undergoing I.5-T MRI exams: Is it safe?

More than three million individuals in the U.S. live with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) such as pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). But what happens when one of them need an MRI? Is it safe? 

Q&A: Weill Cornell Medicine physician talks HIFU technology, treating essential tremor

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a technology that has been used to address benign tumors in the uterus and cancerous prostate tumors. But it’s now being used to treat essential tremors after the FDA approved it in July.

One-stop breast clinic provides timely care to worried patients

After a positive breast cancer screening, patients need a fast diagnosis. Can one-stop diagnostic clinics do the trick? A one-stop breast clinic for individuals with suspect breast lesions opened in France in 2004, aiming to provide patients with a proper diagnosis by the end of the day of their visit. Researchers analyzed eight years of data from the clinic, sharing their findings in the European Journal of Cancer.

Radiologists should emphasize healthy habits to cancer patients

A new study suggests that just because patients have been diagnosed with cancer, does not mean people will automatically make positive lifestyle changes, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Imaging pregnant patients: 3 key takeaways from a recent survey

Is there a general consensus among U.S. specialists when it comes to abdominal and pelvic imaging of pregnant or potentially pregnant patients? Puneet Bhargava, MD, associate professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a survey to find out, publishing their findings in Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology.

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