This post was contributed by American College of Radiology Chief Executive Officer William T. Thorwarth Jr., MD, FACR.
The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine recently launched its ACT for Better Diagnosis campaign. As a physician, I am sure we all support the goal of improving diagnosis. In fact, the ACR has championed several efforts that will undoubtedly further this goal.
For instance, at the campaign launch, medical providers from the participating societies and government agencies stressed the importance of:
- Clinical Decision Support (CDS) use
- Specialist Involvement in Selecting Appropriate Tests
- Patient-Doctor Shared Decision-Making and Patient Involvement in System Design
- Pursuit of Artificial Intelligence Tools to Aid Diagnosis
I am proud to say that the College is a bit of pioneer in advancing all of these areas:
- The ACR has been developing Appropriateness Criteria since 1994 and championed passage of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA) that – beginning Jan. 1, 2020 – will require referring physicians to use appropriate use criteria-based clinical decision support when prescribing advanced imaging for Medicare patients.
- The Radiology Support, Communication and Alignment Network (R-SCANTM) connects radiologists with their referring providers to encourage cooperation to help ensure that patients get the right exam for their condition and avoid unnecessary care.
- The ACR Commission on Patient- and Family-Centered Care is placing patient representatives in ACR commissions and committees, has empowered patient advocates to produce ACR Appropriateness Criteria patient-friendly summaries, invites patient advocates to speak at ACR meetings and has incorporated patient advocates into a webinar series on the Medicare CDS requirements (and may ultimately do so for a host of other issues). Patient advocates also serve on the advisory board for RadiologyInfo.org – which gets more than 1.8 million visitors per month.
- The ACR Data Science Institute™ is producing – and urging others to use the DSI framework to produce – standardized AI use cases that not only ensure that the relevant clinical questions are answered by AI algorithms (to assist radiologists and aid diagnosis), but promote interoperability and reportability for ongoing quality improvement.
Improving medical diagnosis is a team effort. We need to continue to work together as a College and work together with our referring providers, other societies and our patients to improve the care we provide.
- What kinds of efforts do you have in place at your practice or health care system to improve diagnosis?
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