On Monday January 29, 2018, as part of our ongoing work on diagnostic imaging (DI) referral guidelines and quality improvement, the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) convened a symposium on diagnostic imaging referral guidelines, appropriateness, and computerized clinical decision support systems (CDS).
The idea for the symposium originated with the CAR’s Referral Guidelines Working Group, chaired by Dr. Martin Reed. In order to properly guide the CAR Board of Directors on the best way forward for our referral guidelines and work on CDS, the working group wanted to engage stakeholders at the national level to learn more about their work and how the CAR might collaborate with them on projects designed to enhance patient care and ensure the appropriateness of imaging orders.
The goal of the symposium was to open lines of communication and collaboration on issues and strategies related to imaging referrals and quality improvement. The connections made at the symposium will serve to advance project plans to expand and enhance our DI referral guidelines, while setting a foundation for the broader use and implementation of CDS technologies across Canada.
The morning opened with keynote presentations from Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute) and Dr. Ramin Khorasani (Brigham and Women’s Hospital). Dr. Grimshaw focused on the current state of medical guidelines development and implementation, with an emphasis on how the mode of implementation can influence the level of update of a given set of guidelines. In his presentation, Dr. Khorasani spoke from his experience as a primary investigator on the Medical Imaging Demonstration project, which collected data regarding physician use of advanced diagnostic imaging services to determine the appropriateness of services in relation to medical specialty guidelines.
Following the keynote presentations, the CAR welcomed two panels of stakeholders from national health agencies. The panel discussions focused on the agencies’ current involvement in DI referral guidelines and quality improvement and future interest in collaborating on projects related to guidelines, appropriate imaging, and clinical decision support. The roundtable discussion that followed presented a clear opportunity for the CAR to collaborate with the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians and the College of Family Physicians of Canada on DI referrals and the implementation of guidelines via quality improvement projects designed to enhance patient care.
A full report of the meeting will be posted on the CAR website in the coming weeks.