American College of Radiology
The American College of Radiology (ACR), founded in 1923, is a professional medical society representing more than 38,000 diagnostic radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists. The ACR is centered on six core functional areas: membership value, quality and safety, advocacy, economics, research, and education.
The ACR currently has 54 chapters — one from all 50 states, DC, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Council of Affiliated Regional Radiation Oncology Societies (CARROS).
The purpose of the ACR is “to serve patients and society by empowering members to advance the practice, science and professions of radiological care.” The College’s core values include leadership, integrity, quality and innovation.
Medical Imaging Accreditation
Since 1987, the College has accredited more than 39,000 medical imaging facilities in 10 imaging modalities, including:
- Breast MRI
- Breast Ultrasound
- Computed Tomography
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Nuclear Medicine
- Positron Emission Tomography
- Radiation Oncology Practice
- Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
ACR accreditation assures patients that they are receiving the highest level of image quality and safety. ACR’s accreditation process documents that a facility meets requirements for equipment, medical personnel and quality assurance.
The ACR Appropriateness Criteria® (ACR AC) are evidence-based guidelines that assist referring physicians and other providers in making the most appropriate imaging or treatment decision for a specific clinical condition. The guidelines were created to help providers enhance quality of care and contribute to the most efficacious use of radiology. The ACR AC includes 178 diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology topics with 912 clinical variants and over 1,550 clinical scenarios.
ACR AC are freely available to all physicians via ACR Select, a module contained within CareSelect Imaging.
In creating the ACR AC, the ACR Task Force on Appropriateness Criteria incorporated attributes for developing acceptable medical practice guidelines used by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), as designed by the Institute of Medicine.
The ACR National Radiology Data Registry (NRDR®) develops benchmarks and comparisons to help imaging facilities improve quality of patient care with its collection of registries related to a range of radiological procedures. NRDR aims to help facilities measure progress, document quality, enhance strengths and identify opportunities for improvement by providing objective measures regarding processes and outcomes in comparison to similar facilities nationwide. Available registries include:
- CT Colonography (CTC) Registry
- Dose Index Registry (DIR)
- Interventional Radiology (IR) Registry
- General Radiology Improvement Database (GRID)
- Lung Cancer Screening Registry (LCSR) TM
- National Mammography Database (NMD)
NRDR has been approved as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) for 2018 MIPS Reporting.
American College of Radiology Data Science InstituteTM (ACR DSI)
The ACR Data Science Institute™ collaborates with radiology professionals, industry leaders, government agencies, patients and other stakeholders to facilitate the development and implementation of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) applications that will help radiology professionals provide improved medical care.
ACR DSI Senior Scientists — a council of physicians, medical physicists, data scientists and software engineers — use their experience and skills in the areas of data science, framework, terminology, methodology and clinical integration to guide AI use case development for the radiological sciences.
Specialized Medical Education
- ACR Education Center ― The ACR Education Center, located in Reston, VA, offers specialized mini-fellowships in more than a dozen clinical areas. The center combines faculty lectures with intensive, self-paced review of hundreds of cases.
- American Institute for Radiologic Pathology (AIRP®) ― The AIRP is a program of the American College of Radiology that conducts five courses for radiology residents and fellows, and seven categorical courses for practicing radiologists and other physicians each year in Silver Spring, MD.
- Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI) ― The RLI is a source of leadership and business management training specifically for radiologists, with content developed by top business school faculty and radiology educators.
- The ACR also provides online education courses, lifelong learning and CME for medical students and physicians throughout their careers.
- The Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR®) – The official journal of the American College of Radiology, JACR informs its readers of timely, pertinent and important topics affecting the practice of diagnostic radiologists, interventional radiologists, medical physicists and radiation oncologists.
- ACR Bulletin – The ACR Bulletin is a monthly publication covering topics relevant to the practice of radiology, empowering members to advance the science, practice and professions of radiological care.
The ACR provides patient information through the website Radiologyinfo.org, co-produced by the Radiological Society of North America, to help patients understand how various radiology procedures and radiation therapy are performed.
Image Wisely® is a collaborative initiative of the American College of Radiology, the Radiological Society of North America, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. The campaign’s objective is lowering the amount of radiation used in medically necessary imaging studies and eliminating unnecessary procedures.
Image Gently® is conducted by the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging and founded by the Society for Pediatric Radiology, the American College of Radiology, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Its mission is to improve safe and effective imaging care of children worldwide.
Choosing Wisely® is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation that seeks to advance a national dialogue on avoiding unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures. The ACR is one of many collaborating national organizations representing medical specialists that have asked their members to identify tests or procedures commonly used in their field whose necessity should be questioned and discussed.
Radiology Support, Communication and Alignment Network (R-SCAN™), sponsored by Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPi), is a collaborative action plan that brings radiologists and referring clinicians together to improve imaging appropriateness based upon Choosing Wisely topics. R-SCAN’s Web-based tools and clinical decision support (CDS) technology aims to help optimize imaging care, reduce unnecessary imaging exams and lower cost. Participation in R-SCAN is free, and radiologists, primary care physicians, emergency care physicians and other clinicians who order imaging are welcome to participate.
Mammography Saves Lives® is a coalition of the American College of Radiology, the Society of Breast Imaging and the American Society of Breast Disease. The coalition was founded to reduce confusion regarding when and how often women should receive mammograms.
The mission of the ACR Foundation is to advance the profession and practice of radiology to benefit patients through specific emphasis on health policy research. The Foundation’s board has focused its efforts on advancing health policy research in an effort to:
- Demonstrate the critical role that radiologists have in the era of team-based health care to best serve patients and society
- Prioritize research opportunities to positively influence the policies that impact clinical care delivered to patients
- Develop empirical evidence that clarifies the role and value of radiology in evolving payment methodologies thus guiding policy-makers and payers in allocating resources to the most valuable patient care services
- Evaluate and demonstrate the important role that early detection of disease plays in population health management
- "ACR Chapters". www.acr.org. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
- "RadiologyInfo.org". www.radiologyinfo.org. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
- "Radiation Safety in Adult Medical Imaging - Image Wisely". www.imagewisely.org. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
- "Pediatric Radiology & Imaging | Radiation Safety – Image Gently". www.imagegently.org. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
- "Choosing Wisely | Promoting conversations between providers and patients". choosingwisely.org. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
- User, Super. "R-SCAN: Radiology Support Communication and Alignment Network". rscan.org. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
- "Home - Mammography Saves Lives". www.mammographysaveslives.org. Retrieved 2018-06-14.