When was the last time you watched a movie on DVD instead of streaming? Or listened to music on CD? Or, for that matter, used a 3.5” floppy disk to transfer files?
In our private lives, physical media is all but obsolete. Cloud-based services make all our data available anywhere with an internet connection.
But the medical community has lagged behind the cloud revolution. It made sense to be cautious in the early days: Sensitive medical data has to be stored with more care than, say, your old Dave Matthews Band CDs. Now that cloud storage meets the industry’s stability and security requirements, medical providers are beginning to join the post-media age.
As hospitals work to lower costs while providing the type of high-value imaging services sought by patients, many are merging or partnering with independent imaging centers or other hospitals. As with any type of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, the devil is in the details. Without thoughtful preparation of the current imaging department and an in-depth analysis of what’s being purchased, hospitals may not achieve the goals set out for the merger/partnership.
There are three main areas where mistakes tend to be made:
Imagine someone quietly shadowing you through the work day, taking note of all the actions you took that require follow up. It would be a long list, especially if you’re a radiologist. Even for the most organized among us, keeping track of the patient and provider communications that need to take place in a single day can be overwhelming.
That’s the impetus behind today’s automated closed-loop radiology workflow systems — so sophisticated it’s like having someone at your side making sure nothing is missing or forgotten. And it’s not just about eliminating those middle-of-the-night realizations that you forgot something (although that’s certainly a benefit). It’s about reducing potential problems from communication gaps: Insurance company data suggests that communication problems are at least a causative factor in up to 80% of medical malpractice cases.
Relationship building is one of the most time consuming aspects of running a business. For a radiology practice, that means creating and sustaining relationships with referring physicians — a tall order. But, broken down into segments ‑ and with the help of technology ‑ that order can be quite manageable.
There’s some excellent information available on the web and elsewhere on ways to create new physician relationships while strengthening the relationships you have. We find it easiest to divide the work into three categories.