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ACR MRI Accreditation

Feeling overwhelmed by the whole process?

Do you feel like you need someone to hold your hand?

Here at Simply Physics we understand how intimidating obtaining ACR MRI Accreditation can be. Filling out the forms, collecting and filming the clinical images, acquiring the phantom images. You wonder if you've overlooked something or if maybe you've made some avoidable mistake. Are your scan parameters acceptable? According to the most recent numbers from the ACR, 32% of all sites fail on their first attempt!

We also understand how important ACR MRI Accreditation can be for your business. Delays in accreditation can cost you money, both in lost revenue and in the cost of resubmission. Let us put our years of experience to work for you and take you through the all of the steps painlessly, efficiently and, most important, accurately.

The MRI accreditation process can be divided into 3 broad categories:

  1. Filling out the forms, while tedious is not inherently difficult. We can easily talk you through that step.
  2. Acquiring and filming the clinical images. (See below for services.)
  3. Acquiring, filming and burning a CD ROM with the phantom images. (See below for services.)

Clinical Images
The ACR requires example images of the Brain, C-spine, L-spine and Knee. Most sites that fail do so because they haven't followed all of the ACR's published recommendations regarding resolution, anatomic coverage and filmed information, not because their system is incapable of acquiring adequate images. The key concept here is pay attention to details! This is accomplished by our Clinical Pre-Submission Review as outlined below:

  • We send you a Clinical Submission Checklist, one page per each anatomical part.
  • You fill out all of your scan parameters for each protocol, (FOV, matrix, TE, TR, etc.)
  • You send the checklist to Simply Physics where we review it for appropriateness.
  • We send it back with suggestions to improve your protocols to meet the ACR recommendations.
  • You implement the suggested changes, acquire the images and film them. (We will provide you with a list of the most common filming mistakes so
  • You send the images to Simply Physics.
  • We review the images for technical accuracy. Did you properly implement the suggested changes? Was all of the information properly filmed?
  • If everything is OK then you send the films to the ACR --- You're Done!
  • If problems are found, we send back to you our recommendations for changes, either in how the images are filmed or possibly changes to the scan parameters.
  • You implement the changes and resend the images for re-review, by that time, you should be done!

Phantom Images
In addition to the clinical images, which the ACR sends to two practising radiologists for review, you must also send 5 sets of images of the ACR MRI Phantom. These images, which consist of a sagittal localizer, ACR T1, ACR T2, Site T1 and Site T2, are sent by the ACR to an MRI physicist for review. Dr. NessAiver, the CEO of Simply Physics, has performed over 500 such reviews for the ACR and will personally guarantee that if he says your images will pass they WILL PASS or Simply Physics will pay the $500 resubmission fee. Simply Physics offers a Phantom Pre-Submission Review as outlined below:

  • We send you a Guide to Proper Phantom Positioning document.
  • You acquire the required images as described in the ACR Phantom Test Guide. (Don't worry, we'll talk you through any questions you might have.)
  • You send the images to Simply Physics for review using one of three methods:
    1. If you are a GE user, then you can send the images to Simply Physics on a 2.3 GB MOD. In addition to the review described below, Simply Physics will burn the images onto a CD ROM for a nominal fee of $50.
    2. If you have the ability to burn the images onto a CD ROM yourself (many Siemens users or facilities with PACs systems) then send us your CD.
    3. All other users must send their images to DesAcc which will burn your images onto a CD ROM (for $200) which you then send to Simply Physics.
  • We will perform a full review of both the ACR and Site images and send you a detailed report. (Click here for an example report)
  • If your images are acceptable then we tell you to send them to the ACR. If there are problems, we will clearly describe them and provide recommendations on how to eliminate them. These recommendations may be as simple as changing scan parameters or as envolved as having your service engineer perform major surgery on your scanner.

If you don't feel comfortable obtaining the phantom images yourself then, alternatively, Dr. NessAiver can come to your site and acquire the phantom images for you. He can also review your filmed clinical images at that time to speed the process along.

Yearly Performance Evaluation and/or Acceptance Testing
Since August, 2002 the ACR has required that all accredited sites have a Quality Conrol program which consists of Daily/Weekly testing by the technologist and yearly performance testing done by a qualified MRI Scientist or Medical Physicist. To date, the ACR has not required sites to provide evidence of this testing. That is about to change. The ACR will soon begin requiring that all renewing sites provide a copy of their most recent yearly report or acceptance test report for new magnets. Please go to the MRI Quality Control section for a descption of this service.

Pricing
Please contact Simply Physics directly for a quote for your system(s) at (410) 982-6599 or email at moriel@simplyphysics.com.

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