AHRA 2016 Sneak Peek

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By AHRA Staff 

We are looking forward to seeing you at the 2016 Annual Meeting in Nashville in a few days – and so are our speakers! Here’s a preview of some of their sessions:



Radiation Protection Your Staff Needs to Know
1 Bowman HeadshotDennis Bowman, RT(R), CRT(R)(F)

I have been a “shooting” radiographer for just under 40 years, and for 20+ years was the clinical instructor at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP), which has been a digital department since 2002. You’ll find my session to be different than many other talks on digital radiography in that it is solely focused on practicality and how to actually use the equipment easily and correctly.

My presentation is set up to further educate directors, managers, and supervisors concerning how much their staff still needs to know about digital radiography, regardless of how long they have been using their digital equipment. I believe almost every facility in the US is using more dose than is needed and many don’t even know their staff are doing things to the image that are possibly unlawful.

The topics I will cover include the “new” digital optimum kVs and the mAs that goes along with them, how dose and mAs directly correlate with each other, and how by increasing the kV and dropping the mAs you can always decrease the radiation dose. In addition, I will talk about my universal CR and DR technique charts that can be used in every radiology department with any manufacturer. These are just a sampling of the many topics I’ll be covering.


Does Size Matter? The Impact of Automated Breast Ultrasound on Breast Density Reporting

DSC_0007 - Version 2Michael Peters, MBA, CMC, RT(R)(T) 

Breast density has become a hot and debated topic within the radiology community. We have become familiar with the term and the appropriate screening measures for the 40% of women who have dense breast tissue and 10% who have extremely dense breasts. Good thing the imaging world is on top of it! …Or are we?

The potential exists that women in 22 states haven’t been informed that they have dense breasts after an initial mammography screening. As of June 2016, only 28 states have passed laws requiring physicians to inform female patients if their mammogram detects heterogeneously dense or extremely dense breast tissue, and explain to them the appropriate next steps to take. The value of patient notification is significant since a breast’s density is one key factor that has been found to both elevate the risk for breast cancer and make it more difficult to detect cancer in standard mammography screening. The reporting laws are meant to spur women with dense breast tissue into considering additional breast cancer screening measures such as automated breast ultrasound and MRI, the technology necessary to make the distinction between malignant and fatty dense tissue.

Regardless of the slow adoption of a national standardization for breast density reporting, it remains the responsibility of our profession to inform a patient of any underlying condition that could impair cancer detection, resulting in an increase of late stage cancer. At my session, we’ll further discuss breast density and the impact that it has on the patient and profession.



Alphabet Soup: Cooking up HCAHPS Scores

Leslie Jebson, MHA, MBA, FACHE, FACMPE

My favorite group of peer healthcare managers and leaders to engage in active dialogue about pressing topics are the members of the AHRA. I have been extremely fortunate to have presented at prior Annual Meetings, and the level of engagement is simply unparalleled. The upcoming meeting in Nashville certainly appears to be no different, and I look forward to rolling up our sleeves, grabbing our spoons, and sipping on a little alphabet soup: HCAHPS, CG-CAHPS, MACRAs, and MIPS! We will be interactively engaging the group about these new programmatic acronyms being rolled out nationally; and the specific implications and opportunities for the imaging field. Looking forward to engaging dialogue, brainstorming, and empty bowls!




Data-driven Decision-making for Radiology Management – An Introduction to Data Mining
Dr. Kent HutsonKent Hutson, MD, CPE

How likely is this patient to be a no-show for their appointment? Which emergency head CT should be read first? These are the kind of questions that data mining can answer. We use data mining every day when we order something online or ask our cell phone for a nearby restaurant.

Data-driven decision-making, or “data mining,” is the process of using computer data analysis to make informed decisions. Rather than relying on humans to spot useful patterns from large databases, data mining uses computers to identify patterns in the data and provide potentially useful insights. While the techniques have been around for many years, the availability of inexpensive high-performance computing and access to massive databases have made this technology much more accessible.

At my session we’ll discuss the inner workings of some of the tools of data mining such as machine learning and deep learning. We’ll also discuss the importance of your knowledge of the problems you want to solve and how you can explain those best to a data engineer (or do the data mining yourself). Finally, we’ll walk through scenarios where data mining might be useful in radiology management for financial and quality improvement purposes. My goal is to give you a starting point to add data mining methods to your management toolkit. 


Analytics in Radiology: Transitioning to Value-based Care
Profile Photo_Woojin KimWoojin Kim, MD

The goal of improving population health at a lower cost and higher quality is placing increased emphasis on value-based care over volume-based approach in healthcare delivery. For example, at its core, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) seeks to tie 90% of reimbursement to quality by 2018. The field of radiology has also been, through the ACR’s Imaging 3.0™ initiative, moving toward value-based care. With the aims of delivering better value to patients, Imaging 3.0 has outlined what it calls the “imaging value chain,” where each link of this chain represents a discrete number of unique value opportunity activities.

In the center of the imaging value chain, inter-connected with every link, are data mining and business intelligence. Timely analysis and appropriate modification using data mining and analytics tools are critical to the effective monitoring of all components of the imaging value chain. As a result, data mining and analytics have become integral part of imaging informatics. Effective use of analytics will allow access to right information at the right time for right decision. With MACRA, incorporation of data and analytics will become even more critical to succeeding in this new environment.

My presentation will discuss the basics of data mining and analytics and their roles and benefits in radiology. Specifically, attendees will learn through real-life examples, how data mining and analytics can be used to reduce length of stay, improve compliance, ensure follow-up recommendations are completed, increase revenues, decrease errors and medico-legal risk, evaluate outcomes and quality, and optimize productivity and efficiency.

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