ACR Learning Network FAQ

What is an improvement collaborative?

An improvement collaborative provides a vehicle for participants to support, encourage and learn best practices from each other to improve performance at their local institution. The ACR® Learning Network will consist of four improvement collaboratives, each led by a radiologist expert who will supervise improvement teams at four to six facilities. The improvement collaboratives are: Mammography Positioning Improvement Collaborative, Lung Cancer Screening Improvement Collaborative, Prostate MR Image Quality Improvement Collaborative and the Recommendations Follow-up Improvement Collaborative.

Participating teams will work to solve the same problem at their respective institutions, learning and sharing as they go, supported by ACR ImPower, a team- and project-based, multidisciplinary and structured improvement program.

How will the collaboratives work?

Teams participate in 10 learning sessions held over nine months, learning systematic improvement methods while solving meaningful problems with lasting solutions. Methods and tools are provided to support a systematic approach to problem solving in complex healthcare environments. Just-in-time quality improvement training and project tracking help ensure projects continue to progress until the goals are achieved.

Program elements include:

  • Flipped classroom model training with three to five 10-minute online tutorials assigned between sessions.
  • Tools and templates to support a successful, standardized approach to improvement using A3 thinking.
  • Problem solving and change management support to solve the problem identified by the collaborative.
  • Platform for participants to support, encourage and learn best practices from each other.
  • Clear and objective project tracking to ensure project progress.

How does my institution sign up?

Applications are no longer being accepted to participate in the first cohort of the ACR Learning Network improvement collaboratives. Application submission to participate in the second cohort of the same four learning collaboratives is anticipated to open in late summer or early fall 2022.

What will be required to participate?

  • A vested interest in improving the collaborative focus.
  • Supportive department leaders.
  • An improvement coach with QI experience.
  • A team of engaged front-line staff and leaders.
  • Commitment to nine-month training program.


Project Team Roles

Approximate Time Requirement

Project Sponsor The person in department leadership who is highly motivated to complete this project and can provide the resources to get it done.  One hour per project per week or as needed
Physician Leader
Project team member to lead clinical decision making and ensure continuity with physician team.
Two hours per week
Improvement Coach QI professional who supports the team in the application of program concepts and tools. One coach can be assigned up to two project teams.
One day per week per project
Team Leader
Project team member with a leadership role or leadership potential to manage the project team.
Two hours per project per week outside of team member requirement
Team Member
Front-line staff that represent the process you are trying to improve. Two to four members per team.
Three to six hours per week; two-hour training sessions held every third week
Data Analyst If the team leader or coaches do not have the capability to access data from department systems, a data analyst will be needed to support the projects.
Two hours per project per week (heavier at the beginning of the course)

What could the future look like?

We expect that participating sites will become regional and even national leaders in their focus area, and will serve as an example for other facilities looking to reach similar performance goals in the future.