Newport Hospital has been designated a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence® by the American College of Radiology (ACR), the only hospital in Rhode Island to receive the designation.
The designation represents the pinnacle of medical imaging care and is an achievement that goes beyond accreditation to recognize best-quality imaging practices and diagnostic care. This includes a comprehensive assessment of the entire medical imaging enterprise, including structure and outcomes. The honor recognizes excellence at multiple levels — including the professional staff, the technology and the policies and procedures the organization follows — and superior patient care.
“Providing comprehensive care to patients and being an outstanding hospital for your community depends on timely and appropriate diagnostic services,” said Newport Hospital President Crista F. Durand. “This award is one more example of how Newport Hospital is continuing to advance the quality of its care, and I congratulate the many people here who worked so diligently and passionately to earn this prestigious honor.”
Almost two years of preparation, documentation, and accreditation preceded a site evaluation by ACR.
“It took quite a while to get everything in place, and there are very few sites that are considered ACR Centers of Excellence because there’s a lot of work as far as quality and commitment to achieve the accreditation for all the imaging modalities before you can apply,” said Christopher Monteiro, director of imaging at Newport Hospital and director of radiology information systems for Lifespan. “Personally, I feel that it’s a validation of the work that we do and the department we have. There’s a lot behind the scenes that people don’t see. Oftentimes, people don’t realize how advanced we are.”
In 2019, for example, Newport Hospital became the first hospital or site in Rhode Island to implement HeartFlow Analysis, which takes data from a coronary CTA and creates a digital 3D model of the coronary arteries. The analysis uses artificial intelligence and computer algorithms to simulate blood flow and assess the impact of blockages on the heart. This technology potentially can eliminate the need for a patient to undergo cardiac catheterization.
Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston is the nearest hospital in New England that holds the Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence designation.
At Newport Hospital, 5 radiologists lead a team of about 80 members across all diagnostic imaging modalities.
The ACR “specifically looks for staff involvement in meeting our quality indicators. Our staff has really made great strides this year by becoming involved in hospital committees, departmental committees, and beginning the process of our newly developed professional development program,” said Christina Umlauf, manager of imaging operations and quality assurance at Newport Hospital.
In order to receive this elite distinction, facilities must be accredited by the ACR in all modalities they provide, and in which the ACR offers an accreditation program. Another requirement is to participate in the Dose Index Registry® and General Radiology Improvement Database, as well as Image Wisely® and Image Gently®.