November 11, 2014 — Lung cancer is the No. 1 cancer killer in the United States, causing more deaths each year than breast, colon, pancreas and prostate cancers combined. The National Lung Screening Trial proved that computed tomography (CT) lung cancer screening (LCS) can reduce deaths due to lung cancer by at least 20 percent in individuals at high risk. The resulting endorsement of LCS by the United States Preventive Services Task Force means that millions of high-risk Americans will be granted insurance coverage for annual LCS beginning in 2015.
“Hundreds of CT lung screening programs will be required throughout the United States to meet this oncoming demand. Organizations providing screening services should consider establishing an internal credentialing process for those radiologists interpreting the exams to ensure they are up-to-date with current guidelines and reporting standards.”, explains Brady McKee M.D., section head, thoracic imaging radiology, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (LHMC) in Burlington, Mass., and co-founder of the hospital’s “Rescue Lung, Rescue Life” CT lung screening program.
LHMC launched their CT lung screening program in January 2012, and developed Lung-RADS, a lung imaging structured reporting and data system, to interpret and code exams. Lung-RADS helps standardize radiology interpretations and facilitates results communication and tracking, radiologist training, quality control and research. The American College of Radiology subsequently adopted Lung-RADS and recommends its use for CT lung screening exam interpretation, quality metric calculation, and national registry participation.
The new interactive online learning platform was developed by medical software specialists MeVis Medical Solutions AG in Bremen, Germany, and the multidisciplinary Rescue Lung, Rescue Life team at LHMC.
To help radiologists quickly learn to apply Lung-RADS to the wide variety of scenarios which may be encountered over time in a clinical CT lung screening program, LHMC has compiled more than 100 actual clinical cases and matching real radiology reports in the MeVis Online Academy including both negative and positive imaging exams. The MeVis Online Academy simulates a real-world reading environment on regular, consumer-grade computers so users may review exams with all the tools typically available on a diagnostic radiology workstation.
A reporting tool is available to identify findings, create a structured report and give a Lung-RADS overall exam assessment and follow-up recommendation for each case. Users can click on actual findings to get pathologic results where available. In addition to the cases, 50 multiple-choice questions covering Lung-RADS and other CT lung screening topics are available. Results from the cases and the multiple-choice questions are used to generate a report available for individual learners to document their efforts and to present for internal institutional credentialing purpose where applicable.
To prepare for the cases and questions, a comprehensive series of lectures are made available covering a variety of topics including CT lung screening risks and benefits, education campaigns, program initiation and operation, Lung-RADS reporting, radiation considerations and diagnostic interventions. This turns the lung academy at MeVis Online Academy into an effective learning tool not only for radiologists but also for professionals from other associated medical disciplines and for lung screening program managers and affiliated health personnel.
MeVis Online Academy is available, on a per-license basis, to individuals and organizations. Registration and payment is all online and no more complicated to complete than a typical online purchase. This intuitive, Web-based application requires no installation and works on broadband Internet-connected, consumer-grade computers.
“I wish I had had this kind of flexible and powerful learning tool at my disposal when we first started our CT lung screening program”, outlines McKee. “I recommend it to all institutions establishing internal radiologist credentialing standards and any member of the lung screening care team interested in a convenient and comprehensive CT lung screening learning environment.”
For more information: www.mevis.de