Collaboration strengthens Emory Radiology’s clinical care, enriches its educational activities, and powers its research enterprise. In addition to dozens of Emory University and Emory Healthcare departments. partners include Georgia Tech, Morehouse School of Medicine, Harvard University, Addis Ababa University, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Grady Memorial Hospital, numerous radiology-related professional associations, and even sports teams.
NATIONAL IMAGING INFORMATICS CURRICULUM
Emory Radiology joins Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine/Penn Medicine and Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women’s Hospital as the co-directing sites for the National Imaging Informatics Curriculum (NIIC), a week-long online program introducing learners to the fundamentals of imaging informatics with emphasis on practical knowledge.
The course combines lectures, facilitated group discussions, readings, and problem-solving exercises designed and led by the nation’s leading informatics experts, including Emory Radiology’s Nabile Safdar, MD, MPH, course co-director and co-architect. Participating Emory Radiology faculty are Richard Duszak, Jr., MD; Falgun Chokshi, MD, MS; and Elizabeth Krupinski, PhD, along with Ashish Sharma, PhD, from Emory Biomedical Informatics.
The registration fee for a US-based residency program covers an unlimited number of trainees, faculty, and informatics staff, and the program helps ACGME-accredited programs fulfill the informatics instruction requirement. The first two sessions held in October 2017 and January 2018 trained more than 600 residents, fellows, and new attendings from 60 programs, including Emory. The next sessions in October 2018 and January 2019 will reach more. NIIC is sponsored by the Radiological Society of North America and the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine and funded in part by an AUR Strategic Alignment Award.
REPLeT RADIOLOGY ECONOMICS AND POLICY LEARNING ELECTRONIC TOOLKIT
Funded by an RSNA GE Healthcare/Education Scholar Grant (2017-19) to Vice Chair for Policy and Practice Richard Duszak, Jr., MD, the online electronic resource toolkit provides radiology trainees practical education in imaging economics and health policy. Content also satisfies the new curriculum requirements mandated for all 10 ACGME-accredited program types (e.g., diagnostic radiology residencies, interventional radiology fellowships). Practicing radiologists also may utilize the online learning modules for SA-CME credit—approximately two credits per course— required for ABR Maintenance of Certification.
Three dozen modules of approximately 20 minutes each are organized into five structured courses: Reimbursement Basics, Service Valuation and Costs, Current and Emerging Payment Models, Physician Performance Assessment, and Revenue Cycle Optimization. Two advanced modules are specialty-specific: nuclear radiology and vascular and interventional radiology. Each course includes case-oriented video mini-lectures, online self-assessment tests, and additional study resources. Signaling the importance of this project, RSNA is co-branding and hosting this series of courses on its online educational portal and making this initiative one of its priorities for trainee member communication and marketing over the next academic year.
PIONEERING DIRECT PATIENT CONSULTATION
Dr. Patricia Hudgins talks about Emory Radiology's patient consultation program for the ACR's Imaging 3.0 initiative
It started five years ago in the Ear, Nose, and Throat clinic. Patients diagnosed with head and neck (H&N) cancers wanted to better understand the results of their scans so they could make informed decisions about their care. Emory Radiology’s Ashley H. Aiken, MD, associate professor in the Division of Neuroradiology, and Patricia Hudgins, MD, professor and director of Head and Neck Radiology in the Division of Neuroradiology, started by collaborating with the treating ENT doctors on standardizing protocols so all of the H&N radiologists read and reported findings the same way. The resulting Neck Imaging Reporting and Data System (NI-RADS) is a best practice published in June 2016 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Dr. Aiken and Dr. Hudgins then tapped Radiology’s Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) for guidance on how radiologists could communicate directly with patients. For PFAC member Jim Stapleton, an H&N cancer patient himself, it had to start with the radiologist explaining her role so the patient could appreciate the expertise being offered.
They also talked with treating physicians and staff to ensure radiologists’ involvement enhanced patient care. Dr. Aiken and Dr. Hudgins then created the patient consultation program for H&N cancer patients.
“There’s something powerful about meeting with the expert who’s interpreting the images of your anatomy,” Mr. Stapleton says. “I could point to the image on the screen and directly ask the neuroradiologist my questions and get immediate answers.” Their work is showcased as a best practice in the ACR’s Imaging 3.0 initiative. Emory Radiology’s communications team co-produced the video component of the online materials.