The CAR's Outlook for 2024
By Dr. Ania Kielar, CAR President
Coming into a new year, the CAR will continue to seek out new opportunities for advancement and enhancing patient care.
Over the past few years, there have been some significant challenges in radiology and our members have worked tirelessly to advocate for enhancements in healthcare delivery and quality patient care.
While things are improving in terms of recognition for the value of medical imaging, additional investment is needed to ensure Canadians have timely access to radiology services. There continues to be a major shortage of health human resources and equipment across all jurisdictions. In addition, radiology departments are experiencing high levels of burnout. Given these challenges, both patients and radiologists have felt the firsthand effects of not receiving required imaging in an acceptable timeframe. The CAR is working hard on our members’ behalf to rectify these issues. In the last year, we have met with several MPs, Senators, and Deputy Ministers. We have also met with our provincial partners to ensure that we are on the same page with our advocacy efforts and engaged the media to raise awareness of the challenges facing radiology in Canada. We have also partnered with other national societies including the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists and Sonography Canada to have a unified voice at the federal level.
Our commitment to patients remains the top priority. The CAR continues to push for a federal investment in medical imaging equipment, the implementation of new technologies such as AI, and the development of radiology resources, so that we may better serve Canadians. We have also enlightened the government to the importance of Clinical Decision Support systems and are working on finalizing our Canadian e-referral guidelines. As we prepare for the unveiling of the 2024 Federal Budget, our hope is that the government is committed to supporting an investment in medical imaging for patients. We recognize that there are competing priorities given the health system challenges we are all facing; however, radiology is an essential service and is the keyhole to all other specialties.
We have worked hard to provide resources to our members by offering education as a member benefit. RAD Academy, our online learning management system, is thriving and has over 190 accredited courses including a newly released Lung Cancer Screening Program. These courses are complimentary for our members. Under the leadership of the Scientific Planning Committee and Dr. Tanya Chawla, Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) Chair, we were successful in hosting our largest ever ASM last April in Montreal and are anticipating an equally successful meeting in 2024.
The CAR Journal continues to prosper. With a 300% increase in submissions and an impact factor of 3.1, the journal continues to strengthen its position as a reputable source for radiology education in Canada and internationally. Kudos to Dr. Michael Patlas, Editor-in-Chief, and to the CARJ Editorial Board for their success.
Other initiatives are on the horizon for the CAR including expanding our accreditation programs. The CT Accreditation pilot at Niagara Health is nearing completion. In the coming months we will be opening this program to other institutions across the country. We will also be offering more breast focused education to help meet the read requirements for the CAR MAP program.
We have taken preliminary steps in the validation of AI radiology applications in the Canadian healthcare system. Understanding that this is a growing area, the CAR has developed a Health AI Validation Network (HAIVN) to ensure that AI solutions are evaluated post-market and are adapted to the needs of patients. This initiative, led by Dr. Jaron Chong, Chair of the AI Standing Committee, will help to validate AI technology and make certain that it is functioning as intended.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank all our members for their support. Countless volunteers have dedicated hours of their time to help draft guidelines, advocate for patients, and undertake lifesaving radiology research. It is because of you that we are making such great strides in the advancement of radiology in Canada. I would also like to acknowledge our corporate partners who have supported us throughout the last few years and continue to help us deliver on our initiatives. We hope that we can count on your continued support for 2024 and beyond.
Dr. Ania Kielar