By Viviana Ruscitto, MBA, CRA, RT
Every day at the Annual Meeting I find myself very excited to receive the information and tools to take me and my organization to a higher level of efficiency, quality, and care. I had been particularly eager to attend the Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence™ (DICOE) session. The session frames the necessary foundation for preparing the tools needed to take your center to the next level.
The DICOE was established in order to challenge facilities to achieve a higher level of achievement. The details regarding the quality assurance and control were presented by Marion Boston. Marion is the assistant director of VSS and DICOE for the ACR. Over the course of the session, she reviewed and described details regarding how a comprehensive assessment would be performed of the entire center. The gears in my head began to turn as I absorbed as much as I could in order to align the required criteria and compare it to my current structure. The entire session was geared toward facilities’ commitment to excellence. How exciting would it be to have your facility declared a Diagnostic Center of Excellence™?!
The ACR sends out a team consisting of a radiologist, physicist, and ACR staff to perform an overall department radiology department assessment. The assessment reviews the following criteria:
- Facility organization and management
- Physical environment
- Radiation and general safety
- Quality management
- Patient rights
- Medical records
- Infection control
- Utilization review and appropriateness of services
- Emergency services
The ACR team will spend a full day on site to review and assess the site. For multiple locations the ACR will give you a choice of sites to select, your main site being one of them. The communication of results will not take weeks; you’ll receive same day results. There was comfort in the thought of knowing the ACR would establish an assessment in a few hours of the visit instead of having to wait an extended period of time.
Currently there are 10 Diagnostic Centers of Excellence™, and 36 pending applications. I left the meeting with a confidence regarding being one of the next applicants.