March 08, 2021

Updates: Closing the Results Follow-Up Loop

Through an award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Diagnostic Excellence Initiative, an ACR® technical expert panel (TEP) developing The Closing the Results Follow-Up Loop Measure Set continues to refine the quality measures’ specifications, which assess follow-up of incidental findings on imaging exams.

To date, the panel has participated in multiple virtual meetings to discuss ways to adequately and appropriately measure radiologists and clinicians according to each measure’s unique concept. They also analyzed components of real-world workflows and barriers to today’s closing the follow-up loop processes.

Public Comment Period

At the close of the ACR initial 30-day public comment period on Jan. 7, 2021, the TEP reviewed the wide range of stakeholder input submitted. After discussion, the TEP revised the draft measures based on comments received. Overall, the comments addressed the measures’ feasibility in practice, data capture and ability to measure the intended actions.

An ongoing comment period (opening in mid-Spring 2021) will accept comments from the public as the measures are iteratively updated. Comments are requested each time the measures are updated based on preliminary beta testing results, input from the health information vendor community and input shared during this ongoing comment period. More information about the ongoing public comment period will be announced in the second quarter of 2021.

Measure Testing

In February, the ACR measure development team completed the alpha testing phase of the Closing the Results Follow-Up Loop measures by participating in interviews with volunteer alpha testing sites. The interviews engaged the sites’ clinical, technological and quality measurement experts to identify issues regarding data capture and areas to update as they apply to the health information technology platforms.

Beta testing, the next phase of measure development, will begin around April 2021.

Call to Action

We invite all radiologists to participate in upcoming activities, which support the continued development of the Closing the Loop Measure Set, including:

  1. Volunteer as a beta testing site. The beta testing phase of development is integral to the quality measures’ success to improve the targeted measure populations’ quality of care. By participating in testing, the measures will be implemented in routine practice as we pinpoint feasibility and other issues in real time. Beta testing participants will receive an honorarium (on a first-come, first-served basis) for their participation.
  2. Invite commenters to share their views. The second-round public comment period will open in mid-Spring 2021. The format will include regular posts of the most current measures with revisions based on public comment, preliminary beta testing feedback and health information vendor input.

To learn more about these activities and the measure development process (including panel meeting summaries and other activities), watch the Closing the Results Follow-Up Loop page for the sign-up form to become a measure tester. The webpage will also include the portal for the second-round comment period when it becomes available.