News | Clinical Decision Support | November 25, 2015

ACR Assist Empowers Radiologists to Efficiently Provide Value-based Imaging

Radiologist clinical decision support replaces variable, unstructured narrative report

November 25, 2015 — ACR Assist from the American College of Radiology enhances reporting systems with point-of-interpretation access to taxonomies, care pathways and algorithms, and classification and communication guidance to help radiologists produce structured, actionable reports in their natural workflow. Vendor-neutral ACR Assist is one of a suite of products that will help move Imaging 3.0 principles into daily clinical practice.

“ACR Assist brings evidence-based guidelines for recommendations and actionable reporting into clinical practice, providing guidance during interpretation at the time this information is most useful to radiologists,” says Keith Dreyer, DO, Ph.D., FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Commission on Informatics. “The technology was developed to meet practices’ changing needs while enhancing patient care quality by integrating key, structured data elements into variable, free-form narrative reports,” he added.

The ACR Assist collection of structured information includes raw clinical content, an encoding scheme that allows this content to be consumed by commercial applications and a communication framework that facilitates content delivery. Core clinical components include computer-readable versions of structured classification and reporting taxonomies, such as Lung Cancer Screening Reporting and Data System (Lung-RADSM), Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS), Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System (PI-RADSM), care pathways/algorithms (such as those found in incidentalomas white papers), and classification and communication needs for actionable findings.

Reporting vendors will be able to incorporate ACR Assist clinical guidance objects into the reporting process and use natural language processing (NLP) to determine when to provide the interpreting radiologist with a particular content object at the optimum time in the workflow. Information will be provided as assistance within the conventional reporting process (such as the ability to select from one of the Lung-RADS classification codes) rather than replace it.  

The Imaging 3.0 Informatics Infrastructure, a technology-driven approach to value-based radiology, starts with ACR Select clinical decision support to ensure imaging appropriateness. It continues with ACR Assist, the next step in the radiology value chain, and continues with programs in development that will provide a standardized core set of terminology to enhance communications among informatics initiatives (ACR Common) and enhancements to the college’s image and data exchange transfer framework (ACR Connect).

ACR Assist, along with other value-based imaging tools, will be demonstrated by healthcare information technology companies at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting.

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