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Quality Metrics: Definition, Creation, Presentation, and Use

Chapter
Part of the Medical Radiology book series

Abstract

Advances in diagnostic imaging have helped revolutionize the practice of medicine. These advances have enhanced physicians’ understanding of diseases, improved diagnostic accuracy, and contributed tremendously to patient care. However, heterogeneity and on warranted variation in practice of radiology exists locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. Variations in diagnostic radiology practices are well-documented numerous. Even in a single radiology practice substantial unexplained variation exists in how imaging tests are requested, scheduled, performed, reported, communicated, and how frequently appropriate follow-up diagnostic and therapeutic tests and procedures are performed. Such unexplained words and variations in practice of diagnostic radiology can lead to some optimal quality of care, waste, and a diminished patient experience of care. Initiatives to close such performance gaps enhance the value of radiologists and diagnostic imaging to individual patients and to the healthcare system.

To improve quality, initiatives to define, measure, improve and monitor quality are critical. In this chapter, we define quality, describe the importance of measuring quality and characteristics of good quality metrics in radiology. We well describe examples of diagnostic radiology quality metrics in safety, timeliness, effectiveness, and patient centered domains. We will briefly describe the process for creation, presentation, and distribution of quality metrics to enable managing and leading the changes needed to improve the care of individual patients and the performance of the healthcare system.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyCenter for Evidence-Based Imaging, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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