Quality and Practice
The Department provides funding to support the provision of quality diagnostic imaging services, being those that are safe, appropriate, and efficient, where an emphasis is placed on accurate and timely communication and enhanced consumer knowledge and experiences.
Diagnostic Imaging Quality ProgramAs part of the Department’s broader commitment to funding high-quality diagnostic imaging services, the Department manages the Diagnostic Imaging Quality Program. In previous years, the Department has identified and funded a range of diagnostic imaging quality initiatives under various Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between the Department and the diagnostic imaging industry. Following the cessation of these MoUs, the Department has now developed a new and united quality program that is intended to improve the profile and scope of quality in diagnostic imaging.
This program has been established to fund various projects that aim to improve the quality of diagnostic imaging services in Australia through the pursuit of better practice amongst requesters/referrers and providers of diagnostic imaging services and informed and engaged consumers.
The Department seeks applications for funding for projects that improve the quality of diagnostic imaging services through official funding rounds. The first funding round opened for applications on 22 June 2011 and will close on 30 August 2011. The Department will seek input on projects from the Diagnostic Imaging Quality Committee, a group comprised of individuals with experience across the entire diagnostic imaging experience.
Ongoing ProjectsWhile the new quality program was being established, the Department has funded the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) to engage in several quality initiatives relating to diagnostic imaging. Information about the Diagnostic Imaging Quality Program is available on the Diagnostic Imaging Quality Program page.
Please see the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) website for further information about individual projects.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RANZCOG) is also being funded to enhance its Nuchal Translucency – Ultrasound, Education and Monitoring Program. Information about the Nuchal Translucency program.
Diagnostic Imaging Accreditation ProgramThe Department also manages the Diagnostic Imaging Accrediation Scheme. Stage I of the Scheme was introduced in July 2008, with accreditation arrangements covering practices providing diagnostic radiology services only. From 1 July 2010, Stage II of the Scheme was broadened to include practices providing non-radiology services such as cardiac ultrasound and angiography; obstetric and gynaecological ultrasound and nuclear medicine imaging services.
Since 1 July 2010 all diagnostic imaging practices intending to render any diagnostic imaging services for the purpose of Medicare benefits must be accredited under the Scheme. Practices that do not have accreditation cannot provide Medicare funded Diagnostic Imaging Services Table (DIST) services and must inform clients prior to carrying out services that they are not eligible to claim Medicare benefits.
Approximately 4,100 diagnostic imaging practices are currently accredited under the Scheme.