May 17, 2016 — National Decision Support Company (NDSC), in collaboration with the American College of Radiology (ACR), announced that the company's technology platform now powers two important ACR initiatives:
- Radiology-TEACHES, an imaging appropriateness clinical decision support education pilot project for medical students; and
- R-SCAN (Radiology Support, Communication and Alignment Network), a new initiative that brings together radiologists and referring clinicians to collaboratively improve imaging utilization.
These two efforts are designed to raise awareness for point-of-care imaging clinical decision support and the important role that radiologists play as imaging stewards. Both programs train current and future physicians to order the right study, at the right time, for the right reasons by providing Web-based access to ACR Select.
These timely educational and quality initiatives help all clinicians comply with implementation of the federal mandate for appropriateness guideline consultation before ordering advanced imaging studies under provisions of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA 2014).
Radiology-TEACHES, spearheaded by Marc H. Willis, DO, a radiologist and associate professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, is an education portal designed to improve a learner's knowledge of the appropriateness criteria, patient care and cost of medical care.
Participation in the initial pilot at Baylor was voluntary, but an overwhelming majority of participating medical students have asked for inclusion of Radiology-TEACHES as part of their clinical education program. One participating student said, "I want to be a doctor who does what is needed and is evidence-driven, not someone who orders everything just to cover all the bases. I do not feel prepared to order correct imaging based on what I have learned in medical school and there is definitely a need for this in the curriculum." As a result of this success at Baylor, the pilot scope has been expanded to include other clinical trainees such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners across five healthcare facilities, including leading academic centers.
The R-SCAN clinical improvement initiative was developed by the ACR so that radiologists and their referring providers could collaborate with a turnkey, Web-based, quality activity to improve imaging utilization. R-SCAN, which is supported by a Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI) grant award, equips participants in the network with tools that improve the quality of care, increase patients' access to information and spend healthcare dollars more wisely.
As a TCPI Support and Alignment Network, the ACR will support at least 24,000 clinicians to expand their quality improvement capacity, learn from one another and achieve common goals that focus on appropriate imaging. R-SCAN participants will reduce unnecessary testing and procedures based on imaging Choosing Wisely topics, and participating clinicians will have access to tools that help them transition to value-based care over the course of the four-year grant cycle.
"The R-SCAN program aligns with the ACR Imaging 3.0 initiative in which radiologists help referring providers select the best imaging exam, help patients avoid unwarranted testing, reduce errors and improve quality and safety," said William T. Thorwarth, Jr., M.D., FACR, chief executive officer of the American College of Radiology. "We are also pleased that this program highlights the Choosing Wisely recommendations," added Thorwarth.
"R-SCAN, through the ACR Practice Quality Improvement Project, provides all the needed instructions, tools and interventions to connect radiologists and referring clinicians, focus the conversations on imaging appropriateness and safety, and document improvements over time," said Max Wintermark, M.D., clinical advisor of the American College of Radiology R-SCAN Project. "We could not be more pleased to have the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) support for this project," added Wintermark.
ACR Select is a digitally published version of the ACR Appropriateness Criteria (AC), which covers more than 1,000 exams, 3,000 clinical scenarios and 15,000 discrete clinical endpoints.
For more information: www.nationaldecisionsupport.com