I’m honored that ACR Board of Chancellors Chair, Jacqueline A. Bello, MD, FACR, invited me to be a guest contributor for her monthly chair column to introduce the ACR Bulletin’s three-part series about the ACR Learning Network. The series kicks off with an article in this issue about the Prostate MR Image Quality Improvement Collaborative, just one of the Learning Network’s four Improvement Collaboratives. Coinciding with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, this article highlights how dedicated teams around the country are working locally and with each other to improve prostate cancer detection with MR imaging.
The individuals profiled in the series are members of teams from across the Network’s four collaboratives striving to solve difficult problems in diagnostic imaging, sharing their successes as well as their failures along the way. This phase of their improvement journey started when they volunteered to join the first cohort of facilities participating in ACR ImPower — a rigorous 10-session program where teams learn proven improvement strategies, applying them to address identified local problems, and openly share their results. It was a leap of faith to be first. These teams did not disappoint. They demonstrated impressive and quantifiable improvements that directly translate into improved patient care.
Learning networks are designed to connect local sites to share knowledge as subsequent cohorts build on the successes of previous work. This results in an ever-expanding group of committed individuals from diverse practices all working together to solve challenging problems in diagnostic imaging.
These teams did not disappoint. They demonstrated impressive and quantifiable improvements that directly translate.
As I speak with team members from the first cohort that completed the ImPower program — whether team leaders, quality coaches, team sponsors or front-line staff — the consistent refrain I hear is that the work was challenging but the results were well worth it. Not only did the teams improve performance, but participants also emphasized how the experience brought them closer together as a team and helped equip them to tackle other important problems with rigorous improvement methodology.
The teams that successfully complete the ImPower program are invited to extend their improvement journey as ongoing members of the Learning Network by continuing to share data, provide mentorship to subsequent cohorts, and publish details about the results of their interventions. We will also begin providing formal recognition to those institutions that maintain outstanding performance through the upcoming ACR Performance Recognition Program.
I am pleased to share the roster of Learning Network participants and express my sincere gratitude to the many practices that are continuing in their efforts to sustain their performance gains. I hope you take a few minutes to read about the results of this work in this Bulletin series.
To learn more, please visit the ACR Learning Network web page for details about how your team can join this august group of practices focused on achieving superlative performance. We will also be featuring the ACR Learning Network at this year’s Quality and Safety + Informatics Conference in San Diego on October 24–26. (You can register here .)
Finally, on that note, I’m thrilled to have Quality and Safety and Informatics leaders teaming up to showcase the power of an integrated quality and informatics strategy at the upcoming conference. I hope you will join us.
This is an incredible moment for quality and safety in radiology. I am humbled and delighted to be part of it, surrounded by such brilliant minds and dedicated souls.
I look forward to seeing you in San Diego!