Celebrating the achievements of a very successful CAR Annual Scientific Meeting this past April, I have begun to embrace my role representing you as your President. The CAR is working on your behalf on many levels to help our members be more successful in their practices.
Focus on Advocacy: Radiologists Seen More, Heard More and Better Understood
Advocacy continues to be a top priority for the CAR. While we have had success raising awareness regarding the importance of medical imaging, more work is needed to address the health human resources (HHR) challenges and integrate new technologies such as e-referrals and AI, all of which will improve access for patients and enhance workflows within radiology departments.
Engaging with Key Stakeholders and Meeting the Minister of Health
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a lunch with the Federal Minister of Health in Toronto. This event, hosted by the Economic Club of Canada, provided an opportunity for me to engage the Minister on the importance of radiology and to highlight some of our priorities. We also had the chance to connect with some of our members in the GTA and present Dr. Kate Hanneman with her 2023 Young Investigator Award. Occasions like these are where we get to know and hear what matters most to our members.
Members Have Accessed over 170 Educational Offerings and You Can Too
Education continues to be of the utmost importance. The CAR is focused on providing prime opportunities for our members to collect Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits through our Annual Scientific Meeting and our online learning management system RAD Academy. Within this platform, which is free for CAR members, radiologists have access to over 170 offerings ranging from Section 1 to Section 3 credits, all Royal College accredited. If you are not a regular consumer of RAD Academy, we encourage you to check it out and start earning valuable CPD by emailing [email protected].
Canadian Guidelines are so Important – Improving Patient Care
Guideline development is what the CAR is best known for. We have developed over 25 practice guidelines in the last five years. This is thanks to the work of our many volunteers and subject matter experts. As a result, our radiology clinical practice guidelines have become the trusted source across the country. We are also making significant progress on Clinical Decision Support (CDS). The aim is to package these enhanced referrals electronically and make them available to referring health practitioners across the country. The goal is to ensure that patients receive the right test at the right time. We are in the midst of development of Canadian referral guidelines; to that end we have established strong partnerships with stakeholders including the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) the College of Family Physicians of Canada, and the Nurse Practitioners Association of Canada. A huge shout out to Drs. Paul Pageau (CAEP) and Ryan Margau for their leadership and to our volunteers who have spent countless hours drafting these guidelines. Our aspiration is to push for the incorporation of CDS systems in all jurisdictions within Canada. This will be reflected in our advocacy work including in our 2024 Pre-Budget Submission and our Day on the Hill this October.
Working with Radiology Administrative Directors – Innovation in Radiology
The integration of new technologies in radiology continues to be a priority. During our Inaugural Canadian Radiology Directors Meeting (April 2023), we had the opportunity to connect with radiology directors from across the country. HHR and workflows are significant challenges. Introducing innovative solutions such as AI and information management will help to address these issues and improve productivity within radiology departments. We are also moving forward with our Radiology Artificial Intelligence Validation Network (RAIVN). RAIVN will focus on post-market review of applications approved by Health Canada. This will ensure the AI solutions that are integrated into radiology departments and clinics have met an established standard of functionality.
Raising the Bar on Quality: the Value of Radiology
The CAR has emphasized and focused on the quality of medical imaging in Canada. In addition to an extremely successful Mammography Accreditation Program (MAP), we have expanded our accreditation into different modalities. We have a CT Accreditation pilot project that is being facilitated by Niagara Health under the leadership of Dr. Julian Dobranowski. Initial outcomes have been positive, and we are aiming to integrate this into other institutions across the country. We are also in the process of creating a National Lung Screening Program, developed in collaboration with the Canadian Society of Thoracic Radiology (CSTR), a CAR Affiliate Society, and supported by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC). This program is geared towards general radiologists. There is a significant need across the country to help improve outcomes for Canadians with lung disease through early detection and the CAR is helping to address this need. In addition, we are also working with CPAC and our breast radiologist network to develop education to help decrease the abnormal call rate for mammography in Canada. Phase one and two of the QUEST Lung Cancer Screening education series has been launched and we expect to offer a case repository by September 2023.
Building Membership Value
Beyond advocacy, guidelines, accreditation, and education, the CAR continues to grow affinity offerings for our members such as preferential packages for CAR members with STATdx, TD insurance, and Bell, significantly reducing the cost of your subscriptions.
As your President, I thank you for your support and engagement with the CAR. This teamwork involving our entire community, led by CEO Nick Neuheimer at the office, allows the CAR to progress and remain a valuable resource for radiologists in Canada. I would encourage my radiologist colleagues to become involved with the CAR. There are several opportunities to join working groups and standing committees. For more information about these opportunities reach out to [email protected].
With the warmer weather upon us, the focus is on summer vacations. I hope that you are able to get away from work to re-charge your batteries. We would like to thank our members for their continued support and recognize the many radiologist leaders who to take time out of their hectic schedules, even throughout prime vacation season, to support and lead initiatives that will have a significant impact on patient care in Canada.
It is due to the support of our members, our Board of Directors and dedicated CAR staff that we are able to successfully amplify the voice of radiology in Canada.
Dr. Ania Kielar