American College of Radiology seeks help closing cancer diagnosis loop

The American College of Radiology is seeking help from the public to develop a new quality measure aimed at ensuring that cancer patients don’t fall through the cracks.

ACR recently scored a $341,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for this work and is now searching for experts to assist. Oftentimes, radiologists detect unexpected abnormalities in imaging studies done for other purposes, but lack the processes to ensure that patients and providers follow through on subsequent testing.

College officials are now accepting nominations for stakeholders to serve on the expert panel, tasked with “closing the loop” on such incidental imaging findings. Interested individuals have until Feb. 17 to apply, and can come from a variety of backgrounds including physicians, patients and caregivers, according to a Jan. 9 announcement.

Experts involved in the initiative will assess “systematic tracking and care coordination” by a diverse array of radiology practices. Their hope is to bolster diagnostic performance, reduce costs and redundancy and improve outcomes. Current compliance for such follow-up after incidental imaging findings ranges from 29% to 77%, the ACR estimated.

Funding for Closing the Loop is part of $3.7 million in grants the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded nine projects as part involved in its Diagnostic Excellence Initiative. Their overarching goal is to reduce harm from erroneous or delayed diagnoses, with a targeted focus on acute vascular events, infections and cancer.