Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Journal of the American College of Radiology : JACR


Many studies have suggested that disparities exist in the use of medical screening tests. The purpose of this study was to assess racial disparities in screening mammography in the United States via a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Concepts: Systematic review, United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Mammography, Race, European American, Indigenous peoples of the Americas


PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate all aspects of workflow in a large academic MRI department to determine whether process improvement (PI) efforts could improve key performance indicators (KPIs). METHODS: KPI metrics in the investigators' MR imaging department include daily inpatient backlogs, on-time performance for outpatient examinations, examination volumes, appointment backlogs for pediatric anesthesia cases, and scan duration relative to time allotted for an examination. Over a 3-week period in April 2011, key members of the MR imaging department (including technologists, nurses, schedulers, physicians, and administrators) tracked all aspects of patient flow through the department, from scheduling to examination interpretation. Data were analyzed by the group to determine where PI could improve KPIs. Changes to MRI workflow were subsequently implemented, and KPIs were compared before (January 1, 2011, to April 30, 2011) and after (August 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011) using Mann-Whitney and Fisher’s exact tests. RESULTS: The data analysis done during this PI led to multiple changes in the daily workflow of the MR department. In addition, a new sense of teamwork and empowerment was established within the MR staff. All of the measured KPIs showed statistically significant changes after the reengineering project. CONCLUSIONS: Intradepartmental PI efforts can significantly affect KPI metrics within an MR imaging department, making the process more patient centered. In addition, the process allowed significant growth without the need for additional equipment or personnel.

Concepts: Statistics, Physician, Management, Ronald Fisher, Fisher's exact test, Process architecture, Business process reengineering, 1973


The National Quality Forum (NQF) is a nonprofit consensus organization that recently endorsed a measure focused on CT radiation doses. To comply, facilities must summarize the doses from consecutive scans within age and anatomic area strata and report the data in the medical record. Our purpose was to assess the time needed to assemble the data and to demonstrate how review of such data permits a facility to understand doses.

Concepts: Ionizing radiation, Radiobiology, Sievert, Safety, Patient safety, Gray, Absorbed dose, Equivalent dose


To measure the knowledge of oncology patients regarding use and potential risks of ionizing radiation in diagnostic imaging.

Concepts: Ionizing radiation


CT examinations represent a substantial portion of the workload for many radiology departments, and optimizing service delivery is a critical function to ensure customer satisfaction. This article describes how the Six Sigma methodology was used in the radiology department at a large academic hospital to improve the patient experience and increase CT capacity while reducing waste and improving staff satisfaction. The 5 distinct phases of Six Sigma are reviewed as they apply to our CT Center of Excellence project: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. Process metrics used in this project include the percentage of outpatient CT exams started within 5 minutes of the scheduled appointment time, and the number of studies with protocols selected >48 hours before the CT exam is performed. Outcome metrics include monthly department expense per scan and CT Press Ganey “standard test and treatment” mean scores. An approach to developing interventions is described based on identifying critical sources of variation, ranking these by creating risk prioritization numbers, performing root cause analysis, and utilizing the failure mode and effects analysis tool to prioritize possible solutions. Finally, the key features of action plans and a control plan are reviewed.

Concepts: Quality, Root cause analysis, Motorola, Business process, Six Sigma, Process capability, Business terms, Sigma


Early detection decreases breast cancer mortality. The ACR recommends annual mammographic screening beginning at age 40 for women of average risk. Higher-risk women should start mammographic screening earlier and may benefit from supplemental screening modalities. For women with genetics-based increased risk (and their untested first-degree relatives), with a calculated lifetime risk of 20% or more or a history of chest or mantle radiation therapy at a young age, supplemental screening with contrast-enhanced breast MRI is recommended. Breast MRI is also recommended for women with personal histories of breast cancer and dense tissue, or those diagnosed by age 50. Others with histories of breast cancer and those with atypia at biopsy should consider additional surveillance with MRI, especially if other risk factors are present. Ultrasound can be considered for those who qualify for but cannot undergo MRI. All women, especially black women and those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, should be evaluated for breast cancer risk no later than age 30, so that those at higher risk can be identified and can benefit from supplemental screening.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Estrogen, Chemotherapy, Pleural effusion, Mammography


Random peer review programs are not optimized to discover cases with diagnostic error and thus have inherent limitations with respect to educational and quality improvement value. Nonrandom peer review offers an alternative approach in which diagnostic error cases are targeted for collection during routine clinical practice. The objective of this study was to compare error cases identified through random and nonrandom peer review approaches at an academic center.



Electronic health records (EHRs) often store information as unstructured text, whereas electronic data capture (EDC) using structured fields is common in clinical trials. We implemented a web-based EDC system for routine clinical care, and describe our experience piloting this system for breast cancer patients receiving radiation therapy.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Ionizing radiation, Metastasis, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Prostate cancer, Radiation therapy


In an era of declining reimbursements and tightening of the job market, today’s radiologists are forced to “make do with less.” With the rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called “Obamacare,” radiologists will be expected not only to interpret studies but to also take on many additional roles, adding a new layer of complexity to already demanding daily duties. These changes make it more important than ever to develop a personal workflow management system incorporating some of the most potent productivity tools. In this article, the authors discuss current productivity techniques and related software with the most potential to help radiologists keep up with the ever increasing demands on their time at the work place and help us lead more balanced lives.

Concepts: Management, Process architecture, Workflow, Getting Things Done