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Journal: Journal of the American College of Radiology : JACR


The ACR recognizes that radiology practices are grappling with when and how to safely resume routine radiology care during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Although it is unclear how long the pandemic will last, it may persist for many months. Throughout this time, it will be important to perform safe, comprehensive, and effective care for patients with and patients without COVID-19, recognizing that asymptomatic transmission is common with this disease. Local idiosyncrasies prevent a single prescriptive strategy. However, general considerations can be applied to most practice environments. A comprehensive strategy will include consideration of local COVID-19 statistics; availability of personal protective equipment; local, state, and federal government mandates; institutional regulatory guidance; local safety measures; health care worker availability; patient and health care worker risk factors; factors specific to the indication(s) for radiology care; and examination or procedure acuity. An accurate risk-benefit analysis of postponing versus performing a given routine radiology examination or procedure often is not possible because of many unknown and complex factors. However, this is the overriding principle: If the risk of illness or death to a health care worker or patient from health care-acquired COVID-19 is greater than the risk of illness or death from delaying radiology care, the care should be delayed; however, if the opposite is true, the radiology care should proceed in a timely fashion.


We conducted a national survey to understand the impact of state-level density reporting laws on women’s level of density risk awareness and their engagement in conversations with providers regarding supplemental screening.


In December 2019, a novel coronavirus pneumonia emerged in Wuhan, China. Since then, this highly contagious coronavirus has been spreading worldwide, with a rapid rise in the number of deaths. Novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia (NCIP) is characterized by fever, fatigue, dry cough, and dyspnea. A variety of chest imaging features have been reported, similar to those found in other types of coronavirus syndromes. The purpose of the present review is to briefly discuss the known epidemiology and the imaging findings of coronavirus syndromes, with a focus on the reported imaging findings of NCIP. Moreover, the authors review precautions and safety measures for radiology department personnel to manage patients with known or suspected NCIP. Implementation of a robust plan in the radiology department is required to prevent further transmission of the virus to patients and department staff members.


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had significant economic impact on radiology with markedly decreased imaging case volumes. The purpose of this study was to quantify the imaging volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic across patient service locations and imaging modality types.


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


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


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