September 3, 2013 – Reducing unnecessary radiation exposure is a critical health initiative in today’s imaging world, and a Columbus-based radiology practice is helping to solve this important patient health concern.
“Family and internal medicine physicians, in particular, were asking for detailed guidelines around when to order specific tests based on the patient’s condition,” said Frank Castellano, president and CME event program director at Columbus Radiology. “We developed an imaging education event series to help close this knowledge gap, reduce unnecessary testing and better expedite patient care.”
Columbus Radiology’s Continuing Medical Education (CME) classes offer imaging educational content for family and internal medicine practitioners, nurse practitioners and medical staff to help enhance their practice and to improve imaging ordering. Through partnerships with referring physicians in its hospital networks, the radiology group vetted CME event content with its primary care physicians to ensure that it was useful and actionable information.
“Collaboration between the radiologist and the referring physician is essential to patient care, and we saw an opportunity to take the lead on imaging guideline and protocol education,” explained Amanda McNutt, Columbus Radiology’s director of clinical operations. “Our goal is to shift the paradigm in healthcare imaging to where radiologists are highly accessible, active participants in the patient care team and facilitate the appropriate utilization of imaging. In our field, this level of collaboration is not the status quo.”
To date, more than 280 primary care physicians have participated in the CME event series in partnership with OhioHealth and other health systems. According to survey results from the most recent CME event, 97 percent of respondents agreed that they would make changes in the way they order imaging as a result of the event.
“This level of participation is unprecedented for continuing medical education seminars,” said McNutt. “We’re finding increasing interest from nurse practitioners and physician assistants. It’s a growing field in medicine, and now more than ever physicians are utilizing these health practitioners to expedite patient care and order images.”
After receiving feedback from prior attendees, Columbus Radiology extended invitations to surgical subspecialists to also present at the event, which enriched the learning experience for participants. This fall, Caitlyn Truong, a breast surgeon with OhioHealth, will present on the topic of screening for breast cancer and well as Dale Levy who will present on the topic screening for lung cancer.
In addition to the CME series, the radiology group also launched a new mobile application this year. The app allows physicians to review ordering guidelines and make imaging procedure decisions from the convenience of their smartphone.
Columbus Radiology was among the first radiology practice groups in the country to enable physicians to access ordering guidelines on their smartphones and tablets. A simple graphic interface matches patient indication with the pros and cons of various imaging procedures.
To register for Columbus Radiology’s upcoming “Imaging Ordering Guidelines Update” CME event on Oct. 16, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio, email [email protected]. Physicians, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants from all specialties and health systems are welcome to attend.
“We believe this is a successful model for others to follow to help improve patient outcomes and safety in our field,” Castellano added. “If the correct imaging procedure is ordered the first time, we can ensure the quickest diagnosis for patients, faster healing times and fewer repeated exams.”