Parental leave policies in radiology examined | Study tests safety of wearing respirators during MRI | Review finds lack of rigor in many AI imaging studies
April 9, 2020
American College of Radiology
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Radiology News
Eighty percent and 88% of radiology residency program directors reported having paternal and maternal leave policies, respectively, compared with 42% and 87% of those who had paternal and maternal leave based on the mid-1990s American Association for Women Radiologists survey, respectively, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Researchers also found that nearly 90% of programs provided trainees with fluoroscopy and angiography rotation adjustments throughout pregnancies or as requested, but parental leave policies didn't cover nontraditional parenthood or breastfeeding issues.
Full Story: Health Imaging online (4/8) 
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Three of four respirators were unsafe to use in MRI systems due to their strong attraction to magnets, resulting in total contact loss with a 3D-printed head and imaging interference, according to a study in Clinical Radiology. Researchers called for the use of World Health Organization-approved surgical masks for patients undergoing MRI and for radiologists to test respirators using a handheld magnet of more than 1,000 gauss as recommended by the ACR.
Full Story: Health Imaging online (4/8) 
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The use of artificial intelligence for interpretation of medical images gets a lot of interest and attention, but few studies have included rigorous methodologies, and many are at high risk of bias, according to a systematic review in The BMJ. A model that blends AI with clinical expertise in imaging is promising, says Dr. Bibb Allen, chief medical officer of the ACR's Data Science Institute, but he says the study highlights a need for additional work before the technology is ready for routine use.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (4/8) 
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University of Washington radiologists said their radiology department rescheduled elective imaging procedures, set up COVID-19 symptom screening at hospital entrances and used reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction to screen those admitted for COVID-19, performed chest imaging only when necessary, used portable imaging equipment, practiced infection control procedures, and tracked hospital staff with coronavirus exposure to manage amid the pandemic. The department also developed a command center for staff, resource and facility coordination; enabled remote health care; and set up facilities and equipment to better respond to patients with COVID-19, researchers wrote in Radiology.
Full Story: AuntMinnie (free registration) (4/9) 
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A study in Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology found that 13 of 23 interventional radiology residency program directors had formal mentorship programs, but only two were directly supported by their departments. Researchers also found that 50% of those without formal mentorship systems are working to develop one but said they are being hindered by time constraints and financial backing.
Full Story: Health Imaging online (4/8) 
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Health Care News
Researchers examined MRI scans from 42 individuals with multiple sclerosis and found that gray- and white-matter atrophy volume and the number of T1-hypointensity areas had a significant association with expanded disability status scale scores, suggesting that all three factors significantly indicated MS severity. The findings were published in PLOS ONE.
Full Story: AuntMinnie (free registration) (4/9) 
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US deaths from COVID-19 rose by a record 1,922 on Wednesday, pushing the death toll to more than 14,700 as the number of cases surpassed 431,000, but signs that social distancing has been effective are emerging. A model developed by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts daily deaths in the US could peak around Sunday, while National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said he expects US COVID-19 fatalities will be lower than initially estimated.
Full Story: CNN (4/9),  The Hill (4/8) 
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Blacks with cancer were 14% more likely to have metastasized disease before diagnosis than Asians, according to a study in JAMA Network Open. Researchers also found that compared with Asians, blacks and Hispanics had an up to 40% lower likelihood of undergoing definitive treatment, while blacks, Hispanics and whites had increased odds of worse cancer-specific and overall survival.
Full Story: United Press International (4/8) 
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Health Care Policy
The CMS has paid almost $34 billion in advance and accelerated Medicare payments to health care providers and this week plans to send hospitals the first $30 billion of $100 billion allocated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. "Amid a public health storm of unprecedented fury, these payments are helping providers and suppliers -- so critical to defeating this terrible virus -- stay afloat," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.
Full Story: Healthcare Dive (4/8),  Radiology Business (4/8),  FierceHealthcare (4/7) 
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Technology News
Health systems have found that flexibility, having a mission control center, using technology tools and making a quick transition to telehealth have helped the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. "We have to be nimble, flexible, adaptable in this incredibly changing environment," Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, executive vice president and chief clinical officer at Providence St. Joseph Health, said in a webinar hosted by Modern Healthcare.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Health Care (4/8) 
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ACR News
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