The use of a learning community and online evaluation of utilization for spect myocardial perfusion imaging

Samira Saifi, Allen J. Taylor, Joseph Allen, Robert Hendel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Resource-sensitive and quality-centered imaging begins with the selection of the appropriate patient and test. Appropriate use criteria have been developed to aid clinicians but are often not available in an easily accessible format. FOCUS (Formation of Optimal Cardiovascular Utilization Strategies), a Web-based community and quality improvement instrument, was developed to increase the feasibility of measuring and improving practice patterns based on the appropriate use criteria. The FOCUS instrument proposed to reduce inappropriate imaging by 15% in 1 year and by 50% within 3 years. Between April 2010 and December 2011, data were voluntarily collected through the FOCUS radionuclide imaging performance improvement module (PIM). Appropriateness rates were compared between phases of the PIM. For the 55 participating sites that had completed the PIM by December 2011, the proportion of inappropriate cases decreased from 10% to 5% (p < 0.0001). These preliminary data from initial participating sites suggest that through the use of a self-directed, quality improvement software and an interactive community, physicians may be able to significantly decrease the proportion of tests not meeting appropriate use criteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-829
Number of pages7
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • appropriate use criteria
  • imaging
  • quality improvement
  • utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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