ACR debuts 'turnkey' PQI project in value-based radiology

The ACR added a new Value-Based Radiology Project to its portfolio of practice quality improvement (PQI) projects, enabling radiologists to satisfy their MOC Part 4 requirement while demonstrating their value as member of the healthcare team.

This is the ACR’s first PQI project with a value-based radiology focus that goes beyond just radiology and engages physicians from a wide variety of fields.

“[The project] encourages radiologists to reach out to referring physicians to improve the practice of image ordering and become a more active member of the care team at their organization,” Mythreyi Chatfield, ACR senior director of data registries, told via e-mail. “We brought together staff and physicians from a variety of areas and perspectives to further simplify the format and execution of the project.”

This project also stands out because it is was designed to be “turnkey." “All the needed instructions, tools and interventions are readily available,” Max Wintermark, MD, chair of the Value-Based Radiology PQI Project explained in a press release. “You can implement and complete this PQI project much more efficiently than if you develop and run your own.”

This newest project will be explored during two sessions at the ACR 2015 conference in May. The sessions, “The Role of the Radiologist as a Valued Consultant” and “Imaging Appropriateness in the Era of Imaging 3.0,” are based on exams highlighted by the Choosing Wisely initiative.

The ACR says it developed this latest project in part to help diplomates who have difficulties fulfilling their MOC Part 4 requirement due to the many moving parts involved.

“Even with our existing projects, physicians need to get buy-in from their groups to participate in registries and be able to acquire the data they need to complete their projects,” Chatfield said via e-mail. “There is an ongoing need for more simple effective projects, and this project is an attempt to fulfill that need.”

As more physicians complete this project, the ACR will be able to collect and analyze the data to determine which actions were the most effective in improving quality of care. It also will allow future participants to compare their own results with those of their peers.

The ACR does not audit PQI performance, but has assumed a facilitating role to assure physicians follow a standard process that will be acceptable to the ABR.

The college has been developing PQI projects since 2008 and enrolling thousands of radiologists in the process. According to Chatfield, assisting radiologists with these projects came naturally to the ACR.  

“We felt that there was a need to help radiologists meet their MOC requirements, and it was an appropriate role for the ACR to step into,” Chatfield said via e-mail. “With our history of developing guidelines, developing programs for quality and safety, quality measurement and improvement, PQI projects brought together many of our areas of concentration.”