March 31, 2022

New ACR initiative harnesses learning health system approach to improve diagnostic imaging

Twenty-two sites selected for ACR Learning Network to address cancer diagnosis performance

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) has selected 22 teams as the first cohort of the ACR Learning Network, a new initiative to improve diagnostic imaging through a learning health system approach. Funded by a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, four improvement collaboratives will address important areas of performance in cancer diagnosis.

“We are excited to roll up our sleeves and get the work underway with a remarkable group of facilities that have committed the time, resources and personnel to achieve meaningful improvement in one or more of these four important diagnostic areas,” said David B. Larson, MD, MBA, chair of the ACR Commission on Quality and Safety and principal investigator and physician program director of the ACR Learning Network program. “The facility teams will work together to solve the same problem at their respective institutions using a structured improvement process customized to their local environment.”

The ACR received nearly 200 applications from facilities across the country to participate in this first-of-its-kind program for the broad radiology community. The selection process was especially rigorous for the improvement collaborative’s first cohort that will establish the foundational work for subsequent cohorts working on the same problem.

“The excitement of the team members to get started is palpable across the facilities,” said ACR Executive Vice President Mythreyi Chatfield, PhD who co-directs the program with Larson. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm about engaging in a new approach to improving diagnostic performance both within the local teams and to develop generalizable knowledge to share across teams.” 

While resources limit participation to four to six facilities per improvement collaborative in the first cohort, Chatfield commented that there were many strong facility contenders that she hopes will apply to continue the work in the second and follow-up cohorts.

Application submission to participate in the second cohort of the same four learning collaboratives will open in fall 2022.

The ACR congratulates and is pleased to announce the following facilities selected for the inaugural improvement collaboratives:

  • Lung Cancer Screening – Collaborative Leader: Neville Irani, MD, University of Kansas
    • Duly Health and Care - Downers Grove, IL
    • Stanford Health Care - Palo Alto, CA
    • Radiology Associates Imaging - Daytona Beach, FL
    • Northeast Georgia Health System - Gainesville, GA
    • University of Rochester Medical Center - Rochester, NY
    • University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center - Cleveland, OH
  • Mammography Positioning – Collaborative Leader: Sarah Pittman, MD, Stanford Health Care
    • ChristianaCare’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute - Newark, DE
    • MemorialCare Breast Center at Long Beach Memorial - Long Beach, CA
    • Stanford Health Care - Palo Alto, CA
    • Solis Mammography - Addison, TX
    • Cleveland Clinic - Cleveland, OH
    • Doris Kupferle Breast Center at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital - Fort Worth, TX
  • Prostate MR Image Quality – Collaborative Leader: Andrei Purysko, MD, Cleveland Clinic
    • Intermountain Healthcare - Salt Lake City, UT
    • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - Houston, TX
    • AdventHealth - Orlando, FL
    • Duke University Medical Center - Durham, NC
    • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center - Pittsburgh, PA
    • Boston Medical Center - Boston, MA
  • Recommendations Follow-up – Collaborative Leader: Ben Wandtke, MD, University of Rochester Medical Center
    • Hudson Valley Radiologists - PC, Poughkeepsie, NY
    • Boston Medical Center - Boston, MA
    • Einstein Healthcare Network - Now part of Jefferson Health, Philadelphia, PA
    • Radiology Partners - Austin, TX

Visit the ACR Learning Network site for more information and program updates.