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Consensus Achieved on Quality in Cardiovascular Imaging

Implementation of practical safety measures will take money and strong leadership

TUESDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Guidelines on quality in cardiovascular imaging have now been developed, but their implementation will require a concerted commitment of effort and time, according to a report in the Nov. 14 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The report lays out guidelines that resulted from a meeting of the American College of Cardiology-Duke University Medical Center Think Tank on Quality in Cardiovascular Imaging held in Washington, D.C., in January 2006. Implementation of the guidelines should improve outcomes for patients and enhance their satisfaction with the treatment they receive and its costs, the report states.

"Imaging has transformed our ability to prevent, diagnose and manage cardiovascular disease," lead author Pamela Douglas, M.D., of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., explains in a statement. "Cardiovascular imaging has enjoyed both rapid technological advances and sustained growth, yet less attention has been focused on quality than in other areas of cardiovascular medicine."

The guidelines looked at four main areas: matching patients with the most suitable imaging technique, getting the best images, correctly interpreting images and communicating the results to patients' physicians. Choosing the most appropriate technique for each individual patient was key, according to Douglas. "Our goal is to identify which patients would benefit the most from each technique while minimizing inappropriate testing," she adds.

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