The Reading Room

Our latest update on all things imaging

Filtered by: September 2010 Hide

MRIs for Tracking Brain Development?

September 10, 2010

A new paper in the journal Science says that functional connectivity MRI can be used to gauge brain maturity during development. The paper suggests that this could be a potential application for MRI in the future for pediatric radiology.


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Utilization and Appropriateness News Roundup

September 8, 2010

First, this paper in Radiology runs through the many reasons for inappropriate utilization in what I thought was a balanced treatment of the different drivers. The paper also offers a number of recommendations for addressing potential over-utilization, including increased use of practice guidelines, decision support, accreditation, and more pressure from radiologists in the face of questionable orders. ABC news also covered the paper here (article plus video) and Diagnostic Imaging covered it here.

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Tiered Ordering System Improves Turnaround Times

September 3, 2010

I stumbled upon a story this morning that reminded me of some of the best practices we profiled for optimizing capacity in last year's "Elevating Interdepartmental Workflow" study. Profiled in the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange, Swedish Medical Center in Seattle developed a priority based ordering system for all hospital orders, including imaging tests. Similar to systems adopted by University of Minnesota Fairview and Rush University in our "Order Urgency Recalibration" practice, Swedish requires all orders to be categorized by priority according to specified criteria and created expect turnaround times for each. "STAT" orders require a turnaround time of 45 minutes or less, "ASAP" turnaround ranges from 45 minutes to 2 hours, "Routine" are within 8 hours and "Timed" have varying turnarounds which can be specified by order.


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CA State Legislature Passes Bill to Protect Against CT Radiation Overexposure

September 1, 2010

Following a tumultuous year for radiation therapy and radiology, in which The New York Times and other major news media sources reported on incidents of long-term patient radiation overexposure, California state legislators moved last week to enforce radiation regulations and improve reporting protocol to prevent further overexposures on the state-level.


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OIG Issues Second Advisory Opinion on Preauthorization Services

September 1, 2010

This week the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) released Advisory Opinion 10-13, which once again tackles the issue of supporting referring physicians on preauthorization requests. You may remember that the OIG already issued an opinion in May of this year. The gist of that opinion was that while acquiring preauthorization numbers on behalf of referring physicians could technically be viewed as a kickback, the OIG would be unlikely to issue sanctions. Programs could take steps to make sure that their service was on the level by, among other things, being transparent with payers and providing the service to all patients and physicians.


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