October 14, 2021
Ultrasound SmartBrief
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Clinical Advancements in Sonography
A study published in Science Translational Medicine found that patients with brain cancer who underwent magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound, a new ultrasound technique that allows the antibody drug Herceptin to shrink tumors by crossing the blood-brain barrier, did not experience any major adverse effects after the procedure. "Herceptin is also a huge compound, so if we can [get it in] we can pretty safely assume that we can get other compounds that are as large, or smaller, into the brain with focused ultrasound as well," said lead study author Dr. Nir Lipsman.
Full Story: The Guardian (London) (10/13) 
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A study in Clinical Breast Cancer found that contrast-enhanced spectral mammography performed better in predicting underestimated ductal carcinoma in situ among 113 lesions from 108 patients, compared with traditional mammography and breast ultrasound. "CESM is a promising modality that shows the potential to assess both morphologies, including microcalcifications and perfusion characteristics, at lower cost and faster acquisition," researchers wrote.
Full Story: AuntMinnie (free registration) (10/14) 
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Physicians were able to detect varicoceles in males after a standing scrotal ultrasound that would have been missed by a supine scrotal ultrasound, according to a study published in the Journal of Urology. The study involved 349 men diagnosed with varicoceles between 2008 and 2020.
Full Story: Medical Dialogues (10/12) 
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Technology Update
FDA offers tips for communicating device vulnerabilities
The FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health's best practices for communicating medical device cybersecurity vulnerabilities include notifying patients and caregivers as quickly as possible, particularly if the vulnerability poses a risk to patient safety. Cybersecurity guidance should be kept simple, straightforward and easy to understand, include a call to action and provide clear instructions for mitigating risks, help patients find reliable information online and be disseminated through multiple channels.
Full Story: Health IT Security (10/8) 
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Practice News
Patient cost calculators and analytics tools help diagnostic laboratories eliminate benefits investigation errors when labs are out of the patient's insurance network, says Heather Agostinelli, vice president of strategic revenue operations at XIFIN. Estimator and analytics tools can save time and reduce the number of phone calls between labs and payers, but insurers must provide all the necessary information, discrepancies exist between state plans and the associated national carrier policies, and the accuracy of all information must be validated, Agostinelli says.
Full Story: Clinical Laboratory News (10/2021) 
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Close to 43% of integrated health systems and medical care groups may need to postpone population health initiatives and put off hiring, according to a survey commissioned by the AMGA. Thirty-seven percent would remove services and close to 20% expect to lay off clinical personnel if the proposed Medicare pay cuts take into effect, according to the survey.
Full Story: Radiology Business (10/14) 
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Patient Care in Medicine
Researchers found that close to 93% of patients who underwent neck ultrasounds cited the importance of radiologist-led consultations, an indication of reduced patient anxiety, while those who did not have a direct interaction with a radiologist were more concerned during screening. "Our results indicate that a radiologist-patient consultation of imaging findings after neck US can be considered as value-based healthcare," researchers wrote.
Full Story: Radiology Business (10/12) 
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USPSTF updates guidance on aspirin use for CVD health
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The US Preventive Services Task Force released draft guidance noting that the risks of low-dose daily aspirin to prevent a first heart attack or stroke among adults ages 60 and older outweigh the benefits, given the risk of internal bleeding associated with regular aspirin use. All adults, regardless of age, should consult with their doctor about whether to stop or start taking aspirin, task force member Dr. John Wong said.
Full Story: Reuters (10/12),  The Associated Press (10/12) 
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Career Development
Employers can help stem the increase in burnout and stress among employees by making structural changes such as flexible work hours, reimbursements for commuting costs, mental health-focused employee resource groups and child care discounts. "Having leaders speak transparently around their own mental health challenges can foster an environment of trust," says Mind Share Partners CEO Kelly Greenwood.
Full Story: CNBC (10/13) 
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Losing your train of thought can be stressful, so breathe deeply and refocus by remembering you're there to have a conversation, not to give a speech, writes Jim Anderson. To prevent such an event, practice your presentation and resist making last-minute changes that may take you off course, he writes.
Full Story: The Accidental Communicator (10/12) 
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Legislative & Regulatory Update
The FDA has given premarket approval to Delphinus for its SoftVue 3D whole-breast ultrasound tomography machine. The system is designed to be used as an adjunct to digital mammography for screening asymptomatic women with dense breasts.
Full Story: Health Imaging (10/12) 
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Have you passed one of the examinations required for a credential (RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RMSKS) but haven't earned the credential yet? Please remember there's a five-year time limit on earning a credential once you've passed the first examination (i.e., you passed the SPI examination but haven't passed the specialty examination, or vice versa). Learn more about the five-year rule.
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The examination for the RDMS credential with an Abdomen (AB) specialty tests basic abdomen knowledge and skills essential to sonography professionals. Apply now!
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