Harry Agress, Jr., MD, FACR, along with his entire department, refuse to let the demands of high volume threaten quality. It’s one of many reasons the American College of Radiology (ACR) saw fit to bestow its first Diagnostic Imaging Centers of Excellence (DICOE) award to Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) in Bergen County, NJ.
Also taking home a DICOE award on May 7 was the Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor, Maine. “The DICOE award, new in 2013, reflects excellence at multiple levels — the professional staff, the technology and the policies and procedures the organization follows — but, ultimately, it represents superior patient care,” said Debra Monticciolo, MD, chair of the ACR Quality and Safety Commission.
After 35 years at HUMC, Agress believes the DICOE award represents a long-term commitment from all staff members, as well as a willingness to evolve with the times. “Radiologists must continue to further enhance their concern for quality patient care,” enthuses Agress. “In addition to interpretation of results, the government and the public are asking for more patient-oriented considerations, increased efficiency, and better monitoring of quality and safety. It’s a major challenge, but it’s certainly something that we as an industry care deeply about and are up to doing.”
To receive this elite distinction, facilities must be accredited by the ACR in all modalities they provide, and in which the ACR offers an accreditation program. An on-site team (comprised of a radiologist, medical physicist, and a radiologic technologist or ACR senior staff member) reviews all aspects of the facility’s operations—including personnel, equipment, outcomes, quality control, safety policies, utilization reviews, and facility management.
“There is a great deal of satisfaction in being recognized with the DICOE award because it confirms our dedication and success in protecting the health of our rural, island-based population,” explains John Benson, MD, FACR, medical director of Medical Imaging at Mount Desert Island Hospital. “Our patients know, and this honor confirms, that they will receive the best patient-centered diagnostic care when they come through our doors.”