Technology | Clinical Decision Support | May 31, 2016

ACR Expands, Updates Imaging Appropriateness Criteria

Continually updated national guidelines define appropriate imaging use and broaden clinical indications

ACR, American College of Radiology, Appropriateness Criteria update

May 31, 2016 — The American College of Radiology (ACR) released eight new and 15 updated Appropriateness Criteria, which define national guidelines for the most appropriate medical imaging exam or radiation therapy. These continually updated criteria now include 215 topics with more than 1,080 clinical indications. 

“ACR Appropriateness Criteria enhance quality of care by helping healthcare providers choose the most appropriate medical imaging exam, radiologic interventional procedure or radiation therapy for the patient’s condition. Such criteria use in exam ordering can improve quality, reduce unnecessary exams and lower costs,” said E. Kent Yucel, M.D., FACR, chair of the ACR Committee on Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology Appropriateness Criteria.

In the new version, the ACR added eight new criteria, including:

  • Chronic back pain suspected sacroiliitis/spondyloarthropathy;
  • Imaging after shoulder arthroplasty;
  • Suspected osteomyelitis, septic arthritis or soft tissue infection (excluding spine and diabetic foot);
  • Assessment of fetal well-being;
  • Resectable pancreatic cancer;
  • Borderline and unresectable pancreatic cancer;
  • Management of recurrent endometrial cancer; and
  • Nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancers.

“These comprehensive evidence-based guidelines are developed by expert panels of physicians from many different medical specialties. We urge providers to become familiar with ACR Appropriateness Criteria and use them in diagnostic and treatment decision-making,” said Yucel.

ACR Select, provided by National Decision Support Company, contains the digital version of the ACR Appropriateness Criteria diagnostic topics. This platform can be integrated with computerized ordering or electronic health record (EHR) systems to guide providers when ordering medical imaging scans.

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