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Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR)
HIGHLIGHTS

An update from your Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR)


September 2012

CAR 2011 Annual Report

Your CAR 2011 Annual Report – Planning Ahead is now available on the CAR website.

CAR Board of Directors for 2012-2013

Since being voted in at the CAR Annual General Meeting in April, the CAR Board of Directors for 2012-2013 has been hard at work on your behalf. If you have not yet done so, get to know them here.

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Medical Imaging

With the quality and cost of healthcare continuing to be regarded under an intense microscope, the CAR’s role in encouraging more effective imaging care is increasingly important. So far in 2012, the CAR has completed or been active in initiatives to build knowledge to support effective and appropriate imaging care.

With the contribution of more than 75 volunteers through an extensive process spanning nearly two years, the CAR has updated and released nine CAR Diagnostic Imaging Referral Guidelines.

The CAR, in collaboration with other organizations, has contributed to recent efforts of the Council of the Federation (COF), a coalition of the provincial premiers focused on collaborative intergovernmental relations. As part of its 2012 initiatives, the COF commissioned a report From Innovation to Action that includes plans to introduce clinical practice guidelines (CPG) in healthcare at a national level. The introduction of national evidence-based standards of practice into care is a positive step for quality and equity in Canadian healthcare. The CAR contributed to the initiative at the committee level and with other national specialty societies in providing advice on criteria which is important to the selection and implementation of a national CPG initiative. Further, the CAR, working with the CAMRT, was able to introduce the value of medical imaging as an area for prompt attention which the COF highlighted in its news release for the report.

Addressing Access and Wait Times for Medical Imaging

The CAR continues as a member of the Wait Time Alliance (WTA) which released its 2012 WTA Report Card in June. The 2012 WTA release was extremely successful in garnering significant audience and circulation numbers of 21.8 million in print/online and 7.6 million in broadcast. The report card highlights the need for attention to imaging benchmarks. To this end, the CAR has established a working group, chaired by Dr. Julian Dobranowski, to review previous CT and MRI benchmarks with the aim of establishing updated and relevant benchmarks, the use of which is to be promoted in 2013. In addition, the CAR will be working to help identify best practices in access to medical imaging that are in use across Canada to share through the CAR and WTA leading practices.

Increasing Awareness of the Role of the Radiologist

Making the public aware of the critical role that radiologists play in healthcare is a key role of the CAR. President Jamie Fraser previously shared with you the CAR‘s collaboration on Medical Imaging Team Day in May. The popular Canadian Healthcare Technology publication subsequently covered the event in its June/July issue. Following up on that, in July, Dr. Fraser was invited to submit an editorial in a special supplement of the National Post for Careers in Healthcare (see page 4 of the supplement).

Providing Guidance on the Lifecycle of Medical Imaging Technology

The CAR produced lifecycle of imaging equipment guidelines over 10 years ago that are still referenced by jurisdictions making purchasing decisions today. We believe those guidelines need updating. To this end, the CAR has begun a project, in collaboration with partners and relevant stakeholders, to develop new and more comprehensive lifecycle of medical imaging technology guidance through a robust process of research and consultation. With a need to provide high quality patient care in an environment of increasing pressures on the healthcare system, it is critical that medical imaging technology decisions be based on sound guidance. As is the practice of the CAR, members of the CAR will have an opportunity to provide feedback as the process unfolds into early 2013. Look out for CAR emails prompting you for your feedback or send us your feedback anytime by emailing us at feedback@car.ca.

New Terminology: CAR Practice Guidelines and CAR Referral Guidelines

The medical world generally uses the term clinical practice guidelines to describe what the CAR has, up to now, referred to as standards. Because it is recognized that CAR standards are meant to guide the practice of radiology, rather than mandate it, there is a tendency towards referring to CAR standards as guidelines. In order to bring CAR terminology in line with current terminology in the medical world, as well as with the intention of our products, all new CAR standards created from this point on will be referred to as practice guidelines. CAR Diagnostic Imaging Referral Guidelines will continue to be distinguished with the term referral guidelines.

Quality Assurance Tools for Radiologists

It is important for radiologists to lead the direction of the profession of radiology. This is about protecting the expertise that radiologists bring to imaging care, and about ensuring that imaging care remains of the highest quality. The CAR creates tools to aid radiologists in the introduction of quality assurance activities into their practices. An updated version of The CAR Guide to Peer Review Systems is now available, as is A Step-by-Step Guide: Maximizing the Effectiveness of Clinical Audits.

CADTH Report on Medical Isotopes and Alternatives for Diagnostic Imaging

The CAR provided input into a report released in June by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) on Optimizing Health System Use of Medical Isotopes and Other Imaging Modalities – link here for more details on the report and its complementary S.M.A.R.T. web tool, which can be used by radiologists and other health professionals in the event of a supply disruption in the production of Technetium-99m.

The CAR Canadian Reception at the RSNA

The CAR invites you to one of its most anticipated events of the year: the CAR Canadian Reception at the RSNA. The event gives Canadian radiologists the opportunity to come together with fellow Canadian radiologists during one of the world’s leading radiological events.

The reception will be held on Sunday, November 25 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Adams Ballroom of the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, 17 East Monroe Street, Chicago, Illinois. As the event coincides with one of the great Canadian sporting events of the year, the CAR is pleased to provide coverage of the Canadian Football League’s 100th Grey Cup.

Those wishing to attend are asked to contact Louise St-Amand at events@car.ca or 613 860-3111, ext. 212 by November 15, 2012. Please remember to specify whether you will be accompanied by guests or colleagues. We look forward to seeing you there!

CAR 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting – Mark Your Calendars

Mark your calendars for the CAR 76th Annual Scientific Meeting which will take place from April 25 to 28, 2013 at Le Centre Sheraton in Montreal, Quebec. The theme of the event is Quest for Quality: More than Just an Image. For more information, click here.

CAR 2012 Membership – Join Now!

As we move into the fourth quarter of the year, if you have not yet joined the CAR for 2012, we encourage you to become a member today. The initiatives we have highlighted above, and the many others in which we engage on your behalf, are only possible when we join together as one voice, one community.

Our warmest regards,

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


CAR 2011 Annual Report

CAR Board of Directors for 2012-2013

Enhancing the Effectiveness of Medical Imaging

Addressing Access and Wait Times for Medical Imaging

Increasing Awareness of the Role of the Radiologist

Providing Guidance on the Lifecycle of Medical Imaging Technology

New Terminology: CAR Practice Guidelines and CAR Referral Guidelines

Quality Assurance Tools for Radiologists

CADTH Report on Medical Isotopes and Alternatives for Diagnostic Imaging

The CAR Canadian Reception at the RSNA

CAR 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting – Mark Your Calendars

CAR 2012 Membership – Join Now!


Our CAR Partners:
Agfa Bracco Christie InnoMed Covidien GE Siemens

...continued (CADTH Report on Medical Isotopes and Alternatives for Diagnostic Imaging)

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The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) has released a final report for their Optimizing Health System Use of Medical Isotopes and Other Imaging Modalities project. This national guidance final report includes an example of a priority list developed with the Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) process as informed from a national perspective.

Complimenting this work, CADTH has launched the S.M.A.R.T. (Supply Management Application to Rank Uses of Technetium-99m) web tool. Options for diagnostic imaging alternatives and other contextual elements are unique to each setting where Technetium-99m use must be prioritized during a supply disruption. It is best to customize the information to each unique circumstance to decide how Technetium-99m may be allocated in this kind of situation. The web-based prioritization tool provides the ability for decision-makers to create their own output that may differ from the national perspective because it reflects local context.

CADTH’s web tool may be an asset for radiologists and other health professionals to use in the event of a supply disruption in the production of Technetium-99m. The key feature of the tool is the ability to generate a unique priority list for each user. The tool takes into account the context of the user while using the best available evidence to generate a priority list. The tool requires the user to input information on characteristics such as the size of the affected population, the types of diagnostic tests being performed in the facility and the imaging technologies that are available on hand, among other contextual characteristics. CADTH’s aim by producing a fully customizable tool was to avoid the “one-size fits all” approach and truly have guidance that is relevant to each individual user. CADTH has also produced a summary specifically for radiologists.

To access the report, tool and two-page brief visit the CADTH website.