Touchstone Imaging is proud to hold accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR). This is a hard-earned honor that recognizes the quality of our medical imaging services. While we are excited to announce that we have held this distinction for a long time, we realize that to our patients, you may not understand what this means and how it affects you. Follow along in today’s post as we review what ACR accreditation is and how we earned the certification.
Accreditation is the Gold Standard.
Before we discuss the ACR and our own medical imaging success, first, it is important that you understand what accreditation is and why companies in every industry seek to achieve it. Every industry has an industry authority. In the medical community, it is often an association or commission that serves to establish protocols and set industry standards of excellence. One of the most recognizable of these agencies is the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), now known as the Joint Commission. This agency is a neutral third-party that has no investment in hospitals or medical clinics but conducts voluntary inspections. They then rate and give feedback on how the company is performing and awards patient-recognized accreditation.
It is important to understand that accreditation is not automatic, and companies must reach out to agencies to be certified. They must then pass the strict accreditation inspections and prove that they consistently meet or exceed quality and safety standards. Although the accreditation is not required to practice, the results give a transparent view of what the company is doing right and where they fail to provide the quality and safety that patients deserve. It is believed by many, that the Joint Commission’s seal of approval may not be enough for a highly specialized area of medicine like radiology and medical imaging, which is where the ACR comes in.
The American College of Radiology
The American College of Radiology is recognized as the gold standard in medical imaging. Medical imaging centers that earn the gold seal of approval by the ACR must demonstrate a strong commitment to patients, paying agencies, and referring physicians by proving they provide the safest and best quality care and image production. There are several different seals that the ACR awards to imaging centers, to find out more about each, read here.
As a patient, this means that a medical imaging center that bears the seal of approval from the ACR has met the highest of industry standards and you can feel confident that the images they produce will help your diagnostic and treatment team evaluate and treat you effectively. It also means that you will receive the best care possible, in the safest environment that diagnostic imaging can offer.
ACR accreditation is not a distinction that is awarded to every applicant or every medical imaging center that offers imaging services. The ACR has awarded accreditation to 38,000 diagnostic imaging clinics in the United States. To put this into perspective, the medical imaging industry is one of the quickest growing industries in the United States and there are currently more than 100,000 facilities that perform diagnostic imaging tests. So, when you pick a facility that holds the accreditation, you can be sure that you are visiting a clinic that is in the top of the industry and provides superior quality service, well above their peers. You should never select a medical imaging center simply because they have an MRI machine and an open appointment slot.
ACR Accreditation at Touchstone Imaging
Touchstone Imaging is a medical imaging company that owns and operates diagnostic imaging facilities across the nation. We seek out the leading radiologists in each region, partnered with our state-of-the-art equipment and technology, to provide with the highest quality care for our patients. Touchstone Imaging is proud of our longstanding ACR accreditation in MRI, CT, Mammography and Breast MRI, and is a designated Lung Cancer Screening Center.
To achieve MRI accreditation through the ACR, a diagnostic imaging facility must meet rigorous standards. These requirements include a thorough evaluation of the facility, evaluating staff qualifications, quality control, policies and procedures in place, and quality of the images produced. Be awarded this distinction means that the imaging facility performing the MRI has met some very strict standards and you can feel confident in the images they produce for you.
The ACR awards CT accreditation to diagnostic imaging facilities that provide CT scans of the highest quality. To be considered for this accreditation, the imaging facility must submit images and radiation dose measurements produced by their CT machines, as well as their protocols. These things are reviewed by a team of industry experts to offer a quality score. This ensures the highest-quality images and clinical practice.
The mammography accreditation from the ACR relies on peer review and feedback on several qualifying factors. Staff qualifications, equipment, quality controls, quality assurance, image quality, and radiation dose are all evaluated to determine quality and safety for patients. The Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) requires that all facilities that offer mammography to be certified — which shows how important accreditation is!
Touchstone Imaging is proud to have proven ourselves worthy of achieving the gold standard, as evidenced by the American College of Radiation’s seal. Having these badges means so much more than a beautified logo — it is a commitment to our patients that we provide high-quality, safe, medical imaging tests for our patients. When you are looking for a diagnostic imaging center that you can trust in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Florida, and Arkansas, find a Touchstone Imaging Center near you!