The State of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Canada: Results from the CanSCMR Pan-Canadian Survey

Idan Roifman, D Ian Paterson, Laura Jimenez-Juan, Matthias G Friedrich, Andrew G Howarth, Bernd J Wintersperger, Paaladinesh Thavendiranathan, James A White, Kim A Connelly
Canadian Journal of Cardiology 2018, 34 (3): 333-336
Over the past 25 years, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) has developed into an increasingly valuable imaging modality. CMR is now a routine clinical tool for the evaluation of cardiovascular structure and function. However, current patterns in the utilization of CMR in Canada are unknown as are data on important issues such as wait times and appropriate use of this technology. To address these issues, we sought to perform a staged pan-Canadian Survey to initiate dialogue regarding the utilization and appropriate use of CMR in Canada. Two surveys were sent out to participants involved with the performance of CMR at tertiary care referral centres across Canada, one in 2015 and the other in 2017. Questions for both surveys were vetted by the executive committee of the Canadian Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance and were distributed to sites identified through Canadian Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance memberships. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data. Twenty-one sites participated in the 2015 survey and 17 in the 2017 survey. Our results highlighted that most participants believe that CMR is an important component in the clinical decision-making process. They also exposed important issues such as excessive and seemingly worsening wait times for CMR and suggested potential drivers of this phenomenon. Finally, our results confirm ongoing challenges in the imaging community in meeting quality assurance guidelines aimed at documenting appropriate use criteria. Researchers and policy makers should focus on mechanisms aimed to reduce wait times as well as increase use of appropriate use criteria.

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