CAR Update November 2008

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Dear CAR Member,

The theme of this update from your CAR is external relations. A primary focus of CAR relations with other organizations and governments is to ensure the highest quality of care for your patients and to protect and enhance the profession of radiology. As you consider the following activities, you will feel confident that your CAR is appropriately connected on your behalf.

International Collaboration

American College of Radiology – The CAR’s relationship with the ACR is extremely important. The ACR helps the CAR identify current and impending issues Canadian radiologists will face in the near future, if not today. The experience, knowledge and sheer number of members in the ACR makes it an invaluable resource and ally of any radiologist in the world, certainly the CAR. We have fostered this relation with invitations to the ACR to speak directly to your CAR Board – Dr. Arl Van Moore, then Chairman of the ACR, shown right, as he addressed the Board in May. We are also pleased that Dr. James Thrall, current ACR Chairman, will be our keynote speaker at our 2009 Annual Scientific Meeting and the CAR will also meet with him and the ACR leadership at the upcoming RSNA meeting. In addition, the ACR offers a reduced membership fee to the ACR for members of the CAR, a significant value benefit for both organizations.

Radiological Society of North America – Similarly, the CAR has a close relationship with RSNA and invites input from RSNA to your CAR Board. President Dr. Theresa McLoud met with CAR Presidents in May (see right). In addition, the CAR will meet with the RSNA leadership, including Dr. McLoud, at the upcoming RSNA meeting (Nov. 29th to Dec. 5th). Other leadership meetings planned include the Royal College of Radiology, American College of Radiology, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, National Health Services (United Kingdom) and Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine… plus others.

International Radiology Quality Network (IRQN)
– The CAR is now a member of the IRQN which focuses on "matters related to the elements fundamental to the delivery of quality radiology services, the promotion of evidence-based and appropriate utilisation of radiology, the processes relating to quality control, quality assurance, quality improvement and practice accreditation." Our alliance fits extremely well with the CAR’s focus on quality assurance while enhancing your association’s international positioning. Most recently, the CAR provided input on the teleradiology position being developed by the IRQN.

Image Gently – The CAR is a member of Image Gently which is a "coalition of health care organizations dedicated to providing safe, high quality pediatric imaging nationwide. The primary objective of the Alliance is to raise awareness in the imaging community of the need to adjust radiation dose when imaging children. The ultimate goal of the Alliance is to change practice." In connection to this alliance, the CAR is mentioned in the publication rt Image as one of just several international members. Our next meeting with this alliance will be at the upcoming RSNA meeting.

Guidelines International Network – The G-I-N is "a major international initiative involving organizations from around the world. G-I-N seeks to improve the quality of health care by promoting systematic development of clinical practice guidelines and their application into practice." Dr. Martin Reed, Chair of the CAR Guidelines Working Group, attended the 2008 international G-I-N conference in Helsinki, Finland in September, where he advanced the CAR’s position as a key player on the international Guidelines stage with his presentation and poster on CAR Guidelines projects.

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) – The CAR is also a member of the IHE which "is an initiative by healthcare professionals and industry to improve the way computer systems in healthcare share information." With technology at the heart of the radiology profession, being a part of this organization and monitoring trends and developments in technology is essential.

National Health Services (United Kingdom) – Representatives of the NHS in the UK, Erika Denton and Tony Newman-Sanders, visited Ottawa in May for a special meeting with the CAR. The purpose of the meeting was to share the CAR’s experience in applying guidelines to decision support software. The CAR is sought out as a leader in guidelines applications, and exchanging experiences at this international level ensures your CAR keeps abreast of global trends in all areas of radiology.

Canadian Collaboration   Top 

Input to Your CAR Board of Directors – In order to serve you well, the CAR seeks input from fellow radiology organizations. One example – at its Board meeting earlier this year, the CAR heard from: American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists, Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine, Canadian Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Canadian Association of Registered Diagnostic Ultrasound Professionals, Canadian Interventional Radiology Association, Canadian Radiological Foundation, Canadian Heads of Academic Radiology, College of Family Physicians of Canada. We will continue to foster these and new relationships in future.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada – As one of its National Specialty Societies, the CAR has a direct alliance with the RCPSC. The CAR provided input in 2008 to the Specialty Committee on Diagnostic Radiology as it undertook a review of specialty needs. CAR member Dr. Grant Stoneham was named the new Chair of the committee in 2008, filling a position exceptionally held previously by fellow CAR member Edna Becker. Ensuring a close CAR liaison with that committee will be critical to the future of the specialty. In November CAR President David Vickar and CEO Adele Fifield attended a RCPSC one-day conference on Health Human Resources held by the RCPSC. This month, Dr. Vickar will also be meeting with the RCPSC and the Subspecialty Committee on Pediatric Radiology, chaired by CAR member Ravi Bhargava. Finally, the CAR is an approved accreditor of Continuing Medical Education for the RCPSC and the CAR is currently undergoing a re-accreditation application which is being aptly chaired by CAR member Louise Samson, Past President of the RCPSC.

Canadian Medical Association – The CAR is part of the Canadian National Medical Organizations of the CMA which enables the CAR to remain abreast of national medical issues and trends. Then CMA President, Dr. Brian Day, gave the keynote address at the 2008 CAR Annual Scientific meeting in May. Following that, in August, the annual conference of the CMA was attended by CAR President David Vickar and Past President Bob Miller. The current President of the CMA is CAR member Robert Ouellet. The CAR is also a part of the Wait Time Alliance, a separate alliance that is facilitated under the CMA.

Canadian Interventional Radiology Association (CIRA) – CEO Adele Fifield was pleased to speak to the CIRA executive at its meeting in Montreal in October. Given our like memberships, collaboration between the CAR and CIRA will enable our associations to determine how best to address issues of particular interest to interventional radiologists.

Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists – President David Vickar and CEO Adele Fifield participated in CAMRT’s strategic planning meeting in February, and in June, Past President Robert Miller attended CAMRT’s Annual Conference. As the profession of radiology continues to change, it is essential for your CAR to be active in determining changes in the scopes of practice of technologists. In this regard, the CAR and CAMRT are active in a joint committee on this topic.

Fostering strong provincial-national relations is a key goal of your CAR - your CAR intends to play an integral role in helping to ensure an equally bright future for radiology in all provinces. For example –

Atlantic Radiology Conference – President David Vickar and CEO Adele Fifield attended the Atlantic Radiology Conference and spoke at the Annual General Meeting of the Nova Scotia Association of Radiologists (NSAR) in October. The conference also facilitated meetings with the Presidents of both the NSAR and New Brunswick Association of Radiologists (NBAR). Earlier in the year, Past President Robert Miller visited Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to update members of the CAR, followed by visits to New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island by Vice President Jamie Fraser.

Association des radiologistes du Québec (ARQ) – Following an ARQ decision earlier in the year to not continue as a universal member of the CAR in 2008, the CAR has shown its commitment to working on behalf of all CAR members. In addition to meeting in July with the ARQ executive, the CAR has had ongoing discussions with the ARQ, and took part in the Société canadienne-française de radiologie conference (more below on that). The positive growth in the relationship between our associations was reflected in the ARQ’s letter in September to its members. The letter encourages members to join the CAR in 2008 and highlights our new dynamic and the need for a strong national association to protect the interests of radiologists. We look forward to a strong and vibrant relationship with the ARQ in 2009!

Société canadienne-française de radiologie (SCFR) – The CAR was present at the 2008 SCFR conference in Quebec City in November. In addition to being an exhibitor, the CAR was well represented by CAR Board members Jacques Lévesque and Céline Bard, who gave a presentation on behalf of the CAR, as well as CEO Adele Fifield and Josée Roy-Pilon, Director of Communications and Events. The SCFR will be an annual event of the CAR!

Alberta Society of Radiologists (ASR)
– In October President David Vickar spoke at the ASR’s Annual General Meeting in Lake Louise. A highlight of that conference was appropriateness criteria in imaging. Our Guidelines Working Group Chair, Martin Reed, was a speaker at the event.

Manitoba Association of Radiologists – President Elect Ted Lyons speaks to Manitoba radiologists in November.

British Columbia Radiological Society (BCRS) and Teleradiology – In early 2008, President Elect Ted Lyons spoke to members of the BCRS to highlight the achievements and future direction of the CAR. In October CEO Adele Fifield also spoke to the BCRS Annual General Meeting. Adele also joined a panel discussion on teleradiology at the meeting. Member interest and in some cases concern, is increasing around the formal introduction of teleradiology companies into Canada this fall. Adele was able to reiterate how the CAR, in anticipating the need to be prepared for teleradiology, held a conference on teleradiology several years ago, followed by a member survey in 2006/2007. This survey facilitated the CAR’s updating of its teleradiology standard this year – a fine example of how the CAR is protecting the quality of your evolving profession.

Your Voice to Government   Top

Building on our previous update, we share some details of government level meetings the CAR has been undertaking. As we move ahead, the CAR also looks forward to collaborating with your provincial radiology associations on projects within your regions.

Federal Provincial Territorial Radiation Protection Committee – In November CEO Adele Fifield spoke at the meeting in Ottawa of the pan-Canadian committee of health policy and decision makers. In this presentation, we were able to highlight our extensive work in radiation awareness including our popular brochure produced earlier this year.

Health Canada – In June President David Vickar, President Elect Ted Lyons, Guidelines Working Group Chair Martin Reed, and CEO Adele Fifield met with Joy Smith in Winnipeg, then Chair of the federal government’s Health Committee. Ms. Smith was extremely interested in CAR Guidelines projects, and that relationship will continue to be fostered through the new Conservative government. More on CAR work at this federal level in an upcoming update.

Nova Scotia – While in Halifax for the Atlantic Radiology Conference, President David Vickar and CEO Adele FIfield met with NS government representatives from the WINS (Wait Time Improvement in Nova Scotia) strategy concerning a CAR Guidelines project being undertaken by the NS government. The meeting emphasized the need for direct radiologist involvement in guidelines projects in order to educate physicians on the value of guidelines and to improve guidelines uptake.

Saskatchewan – In November Guidelines Working Group Chair Martin Reed met with Saskatchewan government officials concerning the CAR Guidelines project it is undertaking. This visit will be followed by one by CEO Adele Fifield. As with other Guidelines projects, the CAR offers its active involvement in guidelines projects in order to promote physician understanding of the importance of appropriateness in imaging orders.

British Columbia – While in BC for the BCRS AGM, CEO Adele Fifield met with BC government officials to discuss CAR guidelines and quality assurance initiatives, as well as the government’s focus on patient safety. The meeting identified clear potential for future collaboration.

Meetings in addition and similar to these in all provinces will be a focus of the CAR throughout 2009. We have heard your concerns in recent months regarding the need for updated equipment, increased manpower and protecting the quality of imaging care in Canada. Our responsibility in voicing your concerns is of the utmost priority for your CAR.

Reminders!   Top

Your CAR Website – source of CME opportunities – Don’t forget to visit your CAR website regularly for updated information on accredited continuing education opportunities. Most recently, we’ve added the course "Practical Radiology in Whistler" to be held February 8th - 13th, 2009.

Donate to your Canadian Radiological Foundation – The CRF, your charitable foundation, funds research and education in radiology. A report on CRF’s current study of imaging equipment and utilization in Northern Canada will come out next year. Please donate to your CRF when you pay your CAR dues or at anytime through the CAR office.

Your CAR Dues! – Those of you who have yet to pay your 2008 CAR dues have recently received or will receive an invoice in the mail. It is critical that you please pay your dues online or by calling 613-860-3111. Let’s build the CAR momentum by ensuring your CAR has the strongest voice possible, a voice that is made up of each and every one of you!

Look for an overview of the work currently being undertaken by Board Working Groups on your behalf in your next update.

Our warmest regards,

Adele Fifield, O.Ont., CAE, B.A., B.Ed.
Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Association of Radiologists