Participating in Strategic Radiology has provided our practice with a collaboration platform, enabling us to stay up-to-date on best practices and assisting us in improving the health care provided to our community, most notably through radiation dose reduction education and referring provider satisfaction.
In June, one of Strategic Radiology’s most visible symbols of the value of collaboration, the Patient Safety Organization (PSO), will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Since it was listed by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) on June 19, 2013, SR’s PSO has stood as the first and only radiology-specific PSO in the United States.
AHRQ-listed PSOs are part of a national network focused on the reduction of adverse patient events and the shared goal of improving the quality and safety of health care delivery. Strategic Radiology’s culture of collaboration among disparate practices has provided an environment for benchmarking and sharing best practices that is unique in radiology.
By providing confidentiality of data and patient safety work product, PSOs foster a safe environment in which to collect and analyze data, improve quality, and share best practices. PSO participation also is recognized by Medicare as a practice improvement activity.
While enrollment in the PSO is mandatory for SR member practices, participation is voluntary. Since the PSO's inception, Lisa Mead, RN, MS, CPHQ, executive director, SR PSO Quality and Safety, has seen participation grow. “SR practices that participate benefit from the collaboration that occurs among the groups,” Mead says. “The feedback for the program has demonstrated high levels of satisfaction.”
Radiology Associates, PA, Little Rock, Ark., has been an active participant in the Strategic Radiology PSO since it joined the coalition in 2016. According to Shelby Bradley, quality improvement specialist: “Participating in Strategic Radiology has provided our practice with a collaboration platform, enabling us to stay up-to-date on best practices and assisting us in improving the health care provided to our community, most notably through radiation dose reduction education and referring provider satisfaction.”
Looking ahead, Mead sees much potential for new ways that the PSO can help practices optimize the quality of their service to patients and clients. “As we mature as an organization we plan to expand the services available to our participating practices,” she shares. “More education, more collaboration, better outcomes!”
The Strategic Radiology PSO offers the following activities, products, services, and opportunities for involvement:
· Adverse Event Reporting Database
Offers practices a central place to log contrast reactions, falls, extravasations and other adverse events involving patients. The data is protected under the auspices of the PSO and can be used for training and quality improvement purposes.
· Twice Annual Quality Forums
Twice a year, radiologists, practice executives, and employees dedicated to quality improvement gather to attend SR Quality Forums. SR member practices may send an unlimited number of people, and many new practices have used the forums to train their first safety and/or quality officers.
· Collaborative Workgroups
The PSO provides an ongoing environment in which to tackle issues as they arise, as well as a safe place in which to practice continuous quality improvement. Workgroups have been convened to tackle and develop recommendations, guidelines, and papers on many topics.
· Safe Tables
Safe Table discussions at Quality Forums and via Webex allow the quality operatives of Strategic Radiology practices to share details about adverse events and other quality issues freely without fear of reprisal or legal consequences. In providing a safe environment for exchanges around health care safety, the PSO paves the way for quality and safety improvement.
· Radiology Guidelines
Under the guidance of the physician chair of the Quality Committee, William Keyes, MD, the Strategic Radiology PSO has developed clinical guidelines for peer review, physician extenders, lung cancer screening, and critical and urgent results reporting.
· Practice Standards
Also under the guidance of the physician chair of the Quality Committee, the Strategic Radiology PSO has developed target benchmarks that exceed industry standards and strives to help practices achieve them.
· Payment Methodology Education: MIPS/Quality Payment Program
Ongoing education about payment methodologies and government quality reporting is provided by the PSO through written reports, webinars, and Quality Forum curriculum.
Participation in the PSO provides practices with the ability to benchmark their quality and safety performance against Strategic Radiology norms. This process provides opportunities to identify best practices and to disseminate them throughout the coalition. Examples include patient satisfaction, dose monitoring, and mammography detection rates.
· Culture of Safety Survey
All survey participants receive a copy of the results of the annual Culture of Safety Survey, including their results benchmarked against other SR practices. Subsequent surveys will be compared with baseline survey results.
Hub is the monthly newsletter published for the membership of Strategic Radiology practices. It includes coalition and practice news as well as news and commentary of interest to radiology professionals.
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