January 25, 2018

Radiologist Nicola Part of Team Selected as ACEP Choosing Wisely Champions

Gregory N. Nicola, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR Economics Committee on MACRA, is among a team of physicians chosen by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) as Choosing Wisely “Champions.”

Nicola, vice president of the Hackensack Radiology Group, worked with the team at Hackensack University Medical and Trauma Center, for two years to design and implement institutional paradigms based on Choosing Wisely recommendations. This included a program focused on appropriate spine imaging. Cross-specialty teams educated clinicians from across the institution about evidence-based care.

Under the program, titled “We’ve Got Your Back,” providers developed a clinical protocol for the evaluation of non-traumatic back pain in the ED, which stratifies patients into three pathways (Green, Amber, and Red). Each includes evidence‐based recommendations regarding imaging and medications.

“Organizations increasingly are embracing the recommendations of the Choosing Wisely campaign. The ACR R-SCAN program focused on imaging Choosing Wisely topics allowed my group to be part of the conversation. We leveraged R-SCAN resources to lead conversations about Choosing Wisely topics that were not being addressed at our home institution. This includes the appropriate use of imaging in minor head trauma, recurrent renal stones, and suspected pulmonary embolism.”

“Dr. Nicola’s work is a significant contribution to advancing evidence-based, high-quality health care. His work as part of the ACEP-recognized team shows the commitment of radiology and radiologists to the Choosing Wisely program,” said Debra Monticciolo, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR Choosing Wisely Task Force.