Reducing medical data silos is important for a number of reasons. If data is siloed and medical images can’t be readily accessed where and when needed, staff members may spend valuable time searching for and sending them. That leaves providers with less time to care for patients. If an image must be retaken, healthcare costs will increase and the patient’s radiation exposure will go up, which may lead to a reduction in quality of care and most likely harm patient satisfaction.
Data silos are a problem for health systems around the country. However, there are strategies available that can help healthcare teams eliminate medical data silos and access the images they need when and where they’re needed.
Healthcare leaders are barraged with daily demands. Perhaps it’s assessing whether new staff is needed, digging into financial reports, creating strategies for shifting to value-based reimbursement or working to secure market share.
But as they juggle numerous tasks, healthcare leaders should care about diagnostic imaging solutions. Why? Diagnostic imaging solutions help improve workflow, support improvements to patient care and help organizations meet regulations.
Diagnostic imaging solutions can support improvements to workflow by bridging communication gaps. Workflow intelligence platforms can be customized per an organization’s priorities. For example, a department might opt to build a workflow based on radiologists’ specialties and locations to optimize sub-specialists’ expertise.
As of today, the CMS is still planning on moving to ICD-10 codes on October 1, 2015. Will you, in the imaging world, be ready? While physicians and clinical staff will not be necessarily responsible for correct coding, the documentation that they do will greatly affect the way diagnoses and procedures are coded, and as a result, the way facilities and practitioners are reimbursed. It “pays” to take a few minutes to be sure that the documentation that you produce is clear, complete and detailed.
Healthcare’s shift from fee-for-service to value-based care is redefining the role of radiology within the care spectrum. While that can be a scary proposition at the outset, it actually presents opportunities for radiology to break out of its silo, contend the authors of an article in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
The article, “Advanced Practice Quality Improvement Project: How to Influence Physician Radiologic Imaging Ordering Behavior,” notes that although radiologists may have lost their traditional position as imaging gatekeepers, that freedom can lead to greater collaboration with providers and an important role on the care team.
The cost of unnecessary imaging in the United States, examinations that waste resources and expose patients to unnecessary risks, has been estimated at more than $12 billion annually.
Value-based care strategies and the use of evidence-based medicine both emphasize the judicious use of imaging, but patients should be active participants in any discussion. Engaging patients can be difficult because most do not fully understand the uses of and differences among imaging modalities.