Andrei S. Purysko, MD, Physician Leader of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Prostate MR Image Quality Improvement Collaborative within the ACR Learning Network, contributed this piece.
With increasing reliance on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the diagnosis and management of patients with suspected or confirmed prostate cancer, variations in MRI quality can have detrimental effects on patient care. Obtaining high-quality images is essential but can be difficult to achieve consistently. In this context, the Prostate MR Image Quality Improvement Collaborative was designed to create a standardized system for increasing the percentage of MR prostate exams that meet quality criteria according to the Prostate Image Quality system.
Prostate MR Image Quality is one of the four Improvement Collaboratives of the ACR Learning Network, along with Mammography Positioning, Lung Cancer Screening and Recommendations Follow-Up. The Learning Network is a structured program in which multidisciplinary teams from different organizations share and learn from each other as they develop and apply methods to improve a defined aspect of care in their respective organizations.
Over the last eight months, teams from AdventHealth, Boston Medical Center, Duke Health, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Intermountain Healthcare and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center took advantage of the ACR ImPower structured program for quality improvement to conduct an in-depth analysis of the current state of prostate MR image quality in their organizations. Variations in quality were observed not only across different organizations but also within different sites of the same organization. To address that, the teams spent time identifying the barriers to achieving high-quality prostate MR images and worked together to define quality standards. Armed with this information, each team has designed solutions to address key drivers of prostate MR image quality with active participation from their frontline staff. Those who have implemented the interventions are getting closer to achieving their improvement goals, and all organizations have identified opportunities to improve quality by reducing variations in the processes across their sites.
All four Improvement Collaboratives will iterate based on the lessons learned from the first cohort. Specifically for the Prostate MR Image Quality, the Collaborative will have a framework to address common themes that have emerged during the program, such as patient preparation, MRI protocol adjustments, and technologist education. The incoming cohort will also benefit from having access to the expertise from the first cohort’s participating sites that will transition to become members of the Learning Network after they graduate in November. As a result, the program duration will be shortened from nine to six months, decreasing the time commitment to participate.
As the physician leader of the Prostate MR Image Quality Improvement Collaborative, I am incredibly proud of the accomplishments made by these teams. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with them, and I thank the leaders from their organizations for allowing these teams to make a meaningful contribution to the field that will positively impact patient care.
If your site is interested in participating, applications to join the next cohort are open through Tuesday, Nov. 1. We look forward to working with upcoming cohorts and sharing the learnings from the Collaborative with the community at large.Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, and join the discussion on Engage (login required).