Maintenance of Certification


Diagnostic Radiology and Its Subspecialties

Part 4: Practice Quality Improvement (PQI)


The overarching reasons for PQI are to improve the quality of care delivered, reduce errors, and improve safety. PQI projects serve to engage diplomates in the proper application of quality improvement principles.

The ABR has developed comprehensive PQI guidelines for individuals, groups, and institutions. The guidelines are available on this website, and the entire document also may be downloaded as a PDF file: ABR Guide to Practice Quality Improvement.

Templates for performing and recording PQI projects are also available:

PQI Recording Template for Individuals
PQI Recording Template for Groups

The ABR's Practice Quality Improvement (PQI) program addresses Part 4 requirements. For diagnostic radiology, five potential categories of PQI projects have been defined (note that other categories may also be applicable):

  • Patient safety
  • Accuracy of interpretation
  • Report timeliness
  • Practice guidelines and technical standards
  • Referring physician surveys

Descriptions of each category can be found by clicking here. Each diagnostic radiologist decides on a project in one of these categories, working as an individual, as part of a group, or within an institution or organization.


PQI Participation Requirements

With the implementation of Continuous Certification and its annual look-back approach, diplomates must have completed at least one PQI project in the previous three years at each annual look-back. The first evaluation of PQI participation will take place during the 2016 MOC annual look-back.

Each PQI project includes certain required elements, which are outlined below. Documentation and record-keeping are also important components. Under usual circumstances, these documents are not submitted to the ABR. However, because a percentage of MOC participants is audited each year, the diplomate must retain all source documentation for each PQI project in case he or she is selected for an audit. These records include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • measurements made
  • data analysis performed and conclusions reached
  • action plans for practice improvements implemented
  • a final paragraph of narrative self-reflection on the impact of the project, written after completion

Learning about PQI

The best way to begin participation in MOC Part 4 is to learn about the rationale for its inclusion in MOC, the goals of PQI efforts, and how to choose and complete a PQI project. The ABR has developed a guide to PQI, which is available here as a PDF file: ABR Guide to Practice Quality Improvement. This guide will help you start to learn about PQI.

Examples of other program resources that you may find helpful in learning about quality improvement include the following:

  • Online or in-person courses (including college, institutional, and commercial courses, e.g., Lean Management, Six Sigma)
  • Self-assessment modules (SAMs) on quality improvement
  • Society-sponsored CME offerings
  • Institutional courses

Many helpful reading resources on PQI are available, including the ABR's published articles for diagnostic radiologists.
See the list here.

Remember that you must attest to your PQI activity in myABR. Please click to access myABR.