Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

Radiology Data Registries: Know How to Comply

Published on the March 14, 2013, DiagnosticImaging.com website

By Whitney L.J. Howell

The number of radiology practices and departments looking to benchmark themselves against their peers through data registries is growing. But many still need guidance on what these databases are and how they can correctly participate.

For years, your practice or department has likely followed its own protocol for diagnostic scans, using what you felt were best practices for radiation doses, for example. According to industry experts, data registries are pathways to double-check yourself and ensure what you’re doing provides the best care to your patients.

“These registries are effective in the promotion of quality improvement changes and changes in high-quality health,” said Cynthia Moran, assistant executive director of government relations, economics, and health policy at the American College of Radiology (ACR). “The use of registries is so that people can see where they are in the performance metric.”

Although the ACR Dose Index Registry has received the most attention recently, seven additional registries exist — CT colonography, general radiology improvement, IV contrast extravasation, mammography, oncologic PET, night coverage, and quality improvement for CT scans in children. Together, these registries comprise the ACR National Radiology Data Registry (NRDR).

By providing data to a registry, you’re contributing to the body of information that will be used to craft future best practices guidelines. According to Moran, these registries also make it easy for you to compare yourself to your peers.

“If you provide data to a group or registry, you periodically get a report to see where you stand respective to your other colleagues,” she said. “If your numbers are far off from the performance of others, you can create a process to see what’s wrong and how you can do better for your patients.”

While data registries are most often lauded for improving the quality of care available to patients,  they do make a more direct impact on radiology practices, said Judy Burleson, ACR’s director of quality and safety metrics.

“When quality improvement and quality reporting programs are used in combination with reimbursement mechanics, it enables payers — private or Medicare — to pay for services for their beneficiaries based on quality rather than fee-for service,” she said. “When you integrate a quality program within payment structures, you’re inserting and element of value there.”

Ensuring Compliance

To participate in any registry within the NRDR, your practice must complete a participation agreement. Not only does this document outline the specific registry or registries in which you want to enroll — it isn’t required that you participate in all registries — but it also mandates that you have the proper privacy protocols in place to protect the patient data you collect and submit.

There are also other rules you must follow, Burleson said.

“To be in compliance with a clinical data registry like the ACR registries or specialty society registries, practices just need to submit specific data elements in the format that’s required,” she said. “This could be problematic for some sites that must figure out the best way to get this data and from where to find it.”

To read the remainder of the story at its original location: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/articles/radiology-data-registries-know-how-comply-0


March 18, 2013 - Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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