MRI practitioners await word on launch of ACR accreditation program

November 6, 1996

Initiative may be unveiled at RSNA conferenceThe American College of Radiology will wait until the eve of nextmonth's Radiological Society of North America conference in Chicagoto decide whether its long-awaited MR accreditation program willbe

Initiative may be unveiled at RSNA conference

The American College of Radiology will wait until the eve of nextmonth's Radiological Society of North America conference in Chicagoto decide whether its long-awaited MR accreditation program willbe announced at the assembly.

The ACR has been developing a program for the last severalyears that would enable radiology to police itself on qualityissues. The program would stave off attempts from outside thespecialty to control quality and price (SCAN 3/16/94), and ismodeled on the ACR's successful mammography accreditation program.

A decision on launching the program in Chicago will be madeby an ACR executive committee the week before the RSNA meeting,according to Dr. William Bradley, director of MRI at MemorialMedical Center in Long Beach, CA. Bradley is the ACR's point manfor MR accreditation planning.

If the council gives the program a thumbs-up, it will be announcedat an accreditation programs refresher course, moderated by Dr.Stephen Amis at 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2. Amis, chairman of radiologyat Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, is alsochairman of the ACR's commission on standards.

Bradley will be joined on the panel by Dr. Stephen Feig, directorof breast imaging at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia,and Dr. D. David Dershaw, director of breast imaging at MemorialHospital in New York City, both of whom will cover mammographyaccreditation. Dr. John McGahan, chief of abdominal imaging atthe University of California at Davis, will discuss accreditationefforts relating to diagnostic ultrasound. Thomas Greeson, ACRgeneral counsel, will field legal questions on all the programs.

Bradley will explain how the MRI program will work. If he gainsa go-ahead from the ACR executive committee, he will invite audiencemembers to sign up their facilities for accreditation at the endof a 30-minute question-and-answer session.

The terms of site accreditation have changed little in thepast 18 months, Bradley said. Facility accreditation will be grantedon the basis of responses to a written questionnaire, a reviewof clinical images, and a phantom test of the facility's MR scanners,he said.

The ACR will be more involved, however, with the customizedMR phantoms than was initially envisioned, Bradley noted (SCAN3/15/95). At least one, if not several, manufacturers have beencontracted to fabricate the devices to ACR specifications, butsupplier names were not disclosed. The ACR will test each phantombefore shipping it to an applicant, Bradley said.