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How Will Part IV Be Implemented in Nuclear Medicine?

How Will Part IV Be Implemented in Nuclear Medicine?

Physicians will be expected to participate in local quality improvement initiatives. The basic idea is to gather data about how we are doing, assess the data to identify what things we could be doing better, come up with an improvement plan, implement the improvement plan, and then re-measure to determine if we really improved. The ABNM expects that most diplomates are already involved in quality improvement activities, including 1) patient safety, 2) accuracy of interpretation/double reading, 3) report timeliness, 4) adherence to practice guidelines and technical standards, and 5) satisfaction surveys of referring physicians, patients, technologists, and colleagues.

ABNM diplomates will be asked to log in to the ABNM Web site and list the quality improvement activities in which they are participating. For at least one of these activities, the diplomate must complete three quality improvement cycles every 10 years. This means the diplomate must periodically decide where the greatest improvement in quality could be made in his or her practice, measure the current status, devise an improvement plan, and then remeasure to assess improvement. A PPA project timeline that details tasks that are required annually during the 10-year cycle can be found in the MOC section of the ABNM Web site at

To ensure compliance with Part IV, the ABNM will audit a small percentage of diplomates. During the audit, diplomates would be asked to provide documentation for the activities listed above. In addition, diplomates will have to document completion of 3 quality improvement cycles for one of the activities. In a complete quality improvement cycle, the ABNM will expect to see evidence that the project: 1) is relevant to patient care, 2) is relevant to the diplomate’s practice, 3) has identifiable metrics and/or measurable endpoints, 4) includes an action plan to address areas for improvement, and 5) includes remeasurement to assess progress and/or improvement. Dipomates may choose to participate in projects developed by accredited societies. Those participating in these pre-approved programs will be assured that these activities meet the requirements of the ABNM and no audit will be necessary.