Practice quality improvement (PQI) is one of the four core components to the American Board of Radiology’s (ABR) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Diplomates who certified between 2002 and 2007 are required to participate in at least one PQI project over the course of their first 10-year MOC cycle. Diplomates who certified after 2007 are required to participate in 3 PQI projects per MOC cycle, each completed over a three year period, beginning projects in years 2, 5, and 8. Diplomates who enter their second MOC cycle in 2012 will have the same 3-project cycle as first cycle diplomates certifying after 2007.
When selecting a PQI project, several factors must be kept in mind. First, your PQI project must be relevant to your practice. Secondly, the goal of the PQI project should be achievable in your current practice setting. Thirdly, your project should produce results that you can measure time and time again throughout your project cycle. Finally, the PQI project should be reasonably expected to result in quality improvement.
PQI projects are not just limited to accuracy of image interpretation. Other areas for PQI include patient safety, report timeliness, adhering to practice guidelines and technical standards, and surveys of referring physicians.
While you must maintain and evaluate your own PQI data, your PQI project can be done in collaboration with your practice group, department, hospital, or radiology society. Be sure to maintain records of your data and participation. If your data shows no further improvement despite intervention or if you discover that your proposed intervention is not feasible, you may change your PQI project and begin the process again.
A variety of PQI project ideas and templates are available through radiologic societies. Furthermore, participation in potential projects may be available through your department, institution, or state medical society.
Finally, be sure to attest to your PQI participation each year in your ABR MOC database
Click here for information regarding a PQI template for Chest CT Radiation Exposure Reduction offered by ARRS.
Click here to view Jeff Kanne's outstanding review article on quality management in cardiopulmonary imaging in the Feb 2011 issue of JTI. This article includes several excellent suggestions for PQI projects.