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Care Optimization


An abscess is one of the few breast-specific emergencies that require urgent treatment in emergency departments (EDs). A new study, presented at RSNA 2017 in Chicago, found that ED environments generate unnecessary exams in addition to some that incompletely identify malignancies.

Discussion about the safety of using gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) in medical imaging has increased in recent years as a result of the element being found in patients’ brains following MRIs. In a new study presented Wednesday at RSNA 2017 in Chicago, however, researchers found no evidence of harm from the gadolinium being retained.

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) is once again gearing up for its annual meeting at McCormick Place in the beautiful city of Chicago. What does RSNA have in store for attendees this year? Richard L. Ehman, MD, president of the RSNA Board of Directors, gave us a sneak peek. Ehman, a professor of radiology and Blanche R. & Richard J. Erlanger Professor of Medical Research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., previewed RSNA 2017 and reviewed some of the biggest issues affecting medical imaging today.

Patient-centric care is so important to Solis Mammography that every member of its staff keeps a “Promise Book” containing the practice’s guiding principles close at hand. The book offers an important reminder to the 600 or so team members spanning 44 sites: “Our promise is an exceptional experience, exceptionally accurate results and peace of mind for everyone we serve.”

Cleveland Clinic entered the rapidly consolidating world of radiology in 2016, developing strategic partnerships and mergers with independent radiology groups, and hasn’t looked back since. The health system reported revenues of $8 billion in 2016, a jump of almost 12 percent, and 11 percent of that revenue came from its radiology arm, the Imaging Institute.


Recent Headlines

Community hospital's incident learning system reduces errors, near misses

A small community hospital in the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa implemented an incident learning system in its radiation oncology department, realizing 35 to 40 percent decreases in errors and near misses. All it took was a simple reporting program along with the time and dedication of a safety committee including physicians, physicists, dosimetrists, therapists, nurses and office coordinators.

Teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate all it takes to manage biopsy pain

Adding a small amount of sodium to the local anesthetic used in image-guided breast biopsies can significantly reduce injection pain, according to an article published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Mammograms generated from DBT accurately represent density

Synthetic 2D mammograms built from digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) imaging don’t change or mask the effects of breast density, soothing industry concerns about obfuscation according to a study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

MRI before biopsy may be cost-effective detection method for prostate cancer

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center revealed in a new study that diagnostic MRI followed by one of three MRI-guided biopsy strategies could be a cost-effective detection method for prostate cancer.

Parents support age restrictions for indoor tanning, linked to increased risk of skin cancer

After collecting data from a group of parents, researchers from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute found that almost two-thirds of parents agreed with policies to ban indoor tanning for those under the age of 18, due to risks including skin cancer.

Have-A-Heart campaign advocates for radiation safety in children with heart disease

The Have-A-Heart campaign has recently been launched by the Image Gently Alliance, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and a coalition of pediatric medicine and cardiology organization, addressing the issue of radiation safety in children with heart disease.

Improving radiology reports for readability

With highly complex medical documents greatly mismatched with patient literacy levels, a team of researchers set out to test a simplified “grade vs. length” readability metric developed based on results from factor analysis of 10 readability metrics applied to more than 500,000 radiology reports.

Long PACS delivery time getting you down? Mass General has the solution

A group of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital cut the incidence of delayed image delivery to PACS by two-thirds by using an automated system that alerted managers when the time-to-PACS (TTP) had exceeded a certain threshold. The internally developed web application—called Tempus Fugit—demonstrates the potency of targeted workflow intervention in an imaging department.

Alzheimer's researchers seek changes to FDA drug approval standards

Advocates and lead researchers of Alzheimer’s disease published “Single Endpoint for New Drug Approvals for Alzheimer’s Disease,” urging the FDA to clarify and modernize its approach for approving new treatments.

Delaying starting age for mammography won’t reduce overdiagnoses

A survey of almost six million breast exams found not one case of untreated cancer had regressed by the next mammogram—refuting the notion that overdiagnosis could be reduced by delaying the starting age for mammography screening or increasing the interval between exams.