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New tool to help clinicians choose most appropriate imaging tests

Yale New Haven Health System in June will launch an electronic tool designed to help clinicians choose the most appropriate imaging tests and enhance safety, efficiency and the patient experience.

ACR (American College of Radiology) Select is scheduled to launch this month for tests ordered in the emergency departments and inpatient areas across YNHHS. It is expected to launch for outpatient advanced imaging requests in the fall.

ACR Select applies only to advanced imaging tests such as CT scans, MRIs and nuclear medicine studies. It does not cover orders for plain X-rays and ultrasound studies.

The tool uses American College of Radiology criteria to assign a score to advanced imaging tests physicians order via Epic. Based on scores, requests are designated green, indicating the requested test is likely appropriate; yellow, indicating the test may be appropriate; or red indicating an alternate test is likely the best.

The goals in implementing ACR Select include improving the testing process and experience for patients by avoiding low-value tests; for ordering physicians by helping them request the correct test the first time; and for radiologists by ensuring they have the best information for interpretation and fewer canceled and reordered tests.