Practice Management

By modifying the appropriate use criteria (AUC) for transthoracic echocardiograms (TTEs) and educating physicians on which tests should be performed in an inpatient versus outpatient setting, researchers at Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut reduced their inpatient echo order volume by 11.1 percent and boosted the efficiency of their department.

If some form of practice consolidation is in your radiology practice’s present or future, you should know that many tactical errors are made around the difficulty of sharing information across disparate legacy PACS packages and other peripheral solutions used by newly conjoining practices, departments or organizations. 

A simple educational initiative designed to show cardiac surgeons how often they used blood transfusions—and how much they cost—helped one heart center significantly cut its rate of blood utilization and save a projected $500,000 each year.

A Smyrna, Tennessee, cardiologist who was indicted on six charges of sexual battery against a patient early this year was found to still be practicing medicine more than a month later, according to local outlet the Daily News Journal.

Though many physicians are reluctant to change the status quo, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine Feb. 4 suggests automated office blood pressure measurement (AOBP) is the way to go when recording a patient’s BP, since the approach bypasses the so-called “white coat effect” triggered by more traditional methods.

“While the traditional process of hiring may serve the intended purpose to a great extent, tried and tested techniques from innovative organizations such as Google may be of value to consider," wrote Hardik U. Shah, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, in a Feb. 13 study.

A team of researchers identified gadolinium from MRI contrast in gliomas, adjacent normal brain tissue and necrosis, according to a study published in Neuroradiology.

A review of American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines from 2008 and 2018 found that, despite an overall increase in the number of clinical guidelines issued over the past decade, the majority of new recommendations are highly variable and based on low-quality evidence.

Administrators at the NHS Highland health board in Scotland have been accused of “blacklisting” after refusing to hire three veteran radiologists amid a severe staff shortage, according to a report in The Herald.

“Rather than bringing in many additional statin candidates, this testing should serve as a decision aid to ‘de-risk’ certain patients and distinguish those who may benefit from preventive pharmacologic therapies," Johns Hopkins researchers wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Increasing physicians’ bonus sizes was linked to significantly improved quality of care for their patients, according to a study from a single health system published Feb. 8 in JAMA Network Open. However, adding the behavioral economic principles of social pressure and loss aversion failed to further improve providers’ effectiveness.

Nearly a quarter of adults living with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) are prescribed at least one pharmaceutical that could exacerbate their condition, according to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology Feb. 10.