ARRS A3 Submission and Guidelines

The submission site is open year-round, no deadlines.

Review of submitted A3 projects will be performed by members of the ARRS PQI-Subcommittee. There committee review dates in 2018 are:

  1. January 25, 2018
  2. May 25, 2018
  3. September 25, 2018

Notifications: Notifications regarding acceptance, revisions, or rejection will be sent within 10 days after each review date. If you have not received your notification, please check your junk/spam box for an email from cneumann@arrs.org. For additional questions, please email Christopher Neumann at cneumann@arrs.org.

General Information

  1. ARRS membership is not required to submit an A3 project.
  2. A3 projects must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the evening before the review date to be considered.
  3. A3 projects must be submitted online through the A3 project submission site. No fax copies, disks, or email submissions will be accepted.
  4. An A3 project may only be submitted once. Duplicate A3 projects (reporting the same data) that are submitted under a different title or author will be vetted and will not be considered.
  5. Only completed projects that meet the review committee standards will be accepted.
  6. A3 projects may NOT be submitted from commercial entities (those producing, marketing, reselling or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients reporting on the discovery of their scientific research).
  7. REVISIONS: Please proof your A3 project carefully for formatting, spelling and data errors. Pay special attention to the order of team members and author designation. Revisions may be requested by the review committee prior to acceptance.
  8. WITHDRAWALS: If you choose to withdraw your A3 project, please email your request to cneumann@arrs.org.
  9. Submission of an A3 project conveys permission to be posted online and featured in educational and promotional materials of the ARRS.

Authorship

  1. In the section “team leaders” please list anyone who would like to claim MOC part IV credit with the ABR.
  2. In the section “authors” please list anyone who would like to claim academic credit for an accepted A3 submission (equivalent to an abstract electronic exhibit).
  3. The submitting author (per contact info provided upon submission) will receive all notifications and communications related to the accepted A3 project(s), and is responsible for informing all co-authors of the ARRS review outcome.
  4. The authors and team members must not have any conflict of interest with regards to the submitted A3 project. If a conflict of interest exists, it must be disclosed at the time of submission.

Presentation at Other Meetings

  1. A3 projects may contain material that has been presented or published elsewhere, but this must be disclosed

Properly Formatted A3 project

  1. A3 projects must be submitted using the ARRS A3 submission template.
  2. All sections must be completed.

Evaluation criteria

The submitted A3 forms will be evaluated based on adherence to the instructions provided with the submission form.

Questions regarding the online submission process should be directed to Christopher Neumann at cneumann@arrs.org.

Learn more about the A3 tool

About the A3 Process Management Tool:

The A3 is a process management tool used in Lean Management. Lean methodology focuses on eliminating waste and achieving continual process improvement. The first company to successfully employ Lean Management was Toyota. The name A3 is derived from the paper size initially used for these reports, which measured 11 x 17 inches, which was the largest paper size that could be faxed between Toyota sites.

The A3 report is a visual tool that helps a team quickly assess the scope, status, and goal of a project, as well as any barriers. The A3 report and process rely heavily on the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle.

Every A3 report is specific to a particular goal and a particular process improvement project. In general, the title, theme, author’s name, and date are written as a heading. The left-hand side of the A3 template generally outlines the problem definition, description, and analysis. The right-hand side of the A3 template generally outlines the implementation, results, and follow-up.

Figure 1: Here is a sample annotated A3 form taken from [1]. Additional information on the A3 form and its sections can be found in the resources listed below.

The following additional resources can assist you in using the A3 process to address a quality improvement project.

Resources:

  1. Flug JA, Nagy P. The A3 Quality Improvement Project Management Tool for Radiology. JACR 2016;13(4)408-410. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26908396
    This article provides a basic overview of the A3 report with an explanation of how this can be incorporated in radiology improvement projects. The article includes an example of an A3 report.
  2. Larson DB, Mickelsen LJ, Garcia K. Realizing Improvement through Team Empowerment (RITE): A Team-based, Project-based Multidisciplinary Improvement Program. Radiographics. 2016 Nov-Dec;36(7):2170-2183. PubMed PMID: 27831843. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27831843
    This article provides a basic overview of the A3 report with an explanation of how this can be incorporated in radiology improvement projects.
  3. Larson DB, Mickelsen LJ. Project Management for Quality Improvement in Radiology. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015 Nov;205(5):W470-7. doi: 10.2214/AJR.15.14807. PubMed PMID: 26496568. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26496568
    This article provides a basic overview of the A3 report with an explanation of how this can be incorporated in radiology improvement projects. The article includes an example of an A3 report.
  4. Kruskal, J.B., Reedy, A., Pascal, L. et al. Quality initiatives: lean approach to improving performance and efficiency in a radiology department. Radiographics. 2012; 32: 573–587. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22323617
    This article provides an overview of lean process improvement and highlights the tools associated with Lean, including the A3 report. There is an example of an A3 report with a description of its role within the Lean system.
  5. Ghosh, M. A3 process: a pragmatic problem-solving technique for process improvement in health care. J Health Manage. 2012; 14: 1–11. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/097206341101400101
    This is a case report describing the A3 process with an example where it used to improve turnaround time for printed reports in a radiology department.
  6. A3 Report. Retrieved February 1, 2017 from https://www.moresteam.com/lean/a3-report.cfm
    This website provides an overview of the A3 report and includes an example along with a free webcast explaining the A3 report.
  7. Sobek II DK, Jimmerson C. A3 Reports: Tools for Process Improvement. Retrieved February 1, 2017 from http://www.lean.org/Search/Documents/133.pdf
    This document walks through the A3 process reports demonstrating the individual parts of the report and describing why the process is successful.
  8. A3 Reports. Retrieved on February 1, 2017 from http://www.beyondlean.com/support-files/a3-reports.pdf
    This links to a slide deck module aimed to confirm understanding and benefits of A3 report writing while describing how to complete a report.
  9. 9. Scoville R, Little K. Comparing Lean and Quality Improvement. IHI White Paper. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2014. (Available at http://www.ihi.org/resources/Pages/IHIWhitePapers/ComparingLeanandQualityImprovement.aspx).
    This describes Lean process improvement and compares it to the IHI Model for Improvement highlighting the many similarities between the processes.