Maximizing Imaging Value
When we study dramatic failures like those that bring down power lines, we usually discover multiple issues. It’s the same with imaging — numerous forces have combined to decrease profitability, including saturated markets, a more complex patient population and declining reimbursement.
In her webinar, “2014 Imaging Market Outlook,” Sruti Nataraja of The Advisory Board Company takes a comprehensive look at all the factors contributing to imaging’s current state and observes the following:
- We’re getting diminishing returns from traditional growth
- The worst is yet to come with hospital reimbursement cuts
November 8 is International Radiology Day. On the one hand, I think it’s wonderful that there’s a day to recognize the value that diagnostic radiology brings to healthcare and the numerous ways it helps improve quality of care. On the other hand, I believe that radiologists should not sit back on this day thinking about a job well done. Instead, International Radiology Day can be used as a call to action, further emphasizing the value of the work that radiologists do day in and day out.
Admittedly, 100 percent uptime is an unrealistic goal, but we all should hold ourselves to the highest possible standard when patient care and safety are on the line. Business Continuity, in addition to Disaster Recovery or Resiliency Planning, is critical in every area of a hospital.
Healthcare organizations have to make significant investments merely to keep operating. Replacing old equipment and updating software to stay compliant with regulations can feel like financial hemorrhages that can’t be cauterized. These money bleeds can be costly, with one-quarter of hospitals losing money on operations and the average operating margin at a slim 5.5 percent. Old, outdated PACS that operate in silos merely store images, unlike today’s sophisticated systems.
Investing in enterprise medical imaging software can help organizations as they endeavor to meet compliance goals and can help improve system health by offering a valuable return on investment (ROI). Here are three ways that updating or optimizing software can improve ROI at healthcare organizations.
Patient records contain extremely private information, from diagnoses to bank account numbers, and that data is consistently under attack. The Ponemon Institute estimates that during the last year, 40 percent of healthcare organizations faced some type of criminal data attack. In the past five years, more than 29 million patient records have been compromised. Healthcare CIOs who are responsible for overseeing their organization’s IT operations will have to answer for any security breaches.
Leaders of healthcare organizations are continually being challenged to do more with less while proving that improved efficiency and better patient health stem from their decisions. At McKesson, we work closely with healthcare executives and hear about the challenges they face. This allows us to create enterprise medical imaging solutions that can help them address their healthcare systems’ needs.
Whether healthcare systems have outdated PACS that operate in silos, need strategies to maximize their EHR investment or are trying to improve staff efficiency, most decision makers face overlapping issues. The most common considerations when choosing a new enterprise medical imaging system include return on investment (ROI), performance, patient care and balancing quality and cost.
“Optimization is an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible.”
Einstein never said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Why, because Einstein was smart and knew this could only be true if we lived in an unchanging environment with unchanging conditions. But the reality is the only thing constant is change.
Have you ever gone to a doctor for a checkup? Why?
Editor’s Note: In May 2014, Erkan Akyuz joined McKesson Technology Solutions as president of Imaging and Workflow Solutions (IWS). In his role as president, Akyuz interacts with customers on a daily basis and provides new opportunities for customers to learn about enterprise medical imaging technologies and achieve their healthcare IT objectives.
This article was originally published by Claudette Lew on Health IT Executive Forum and is republished here with permission.
- You began your journey in health IT at Mitra in Waterloo, Canada. How will your technical and engineering background influence your leadership of McKesson’s Imaging & Workflow Solutions?
Has your facility undertaken a Hospital Information System (HIS)/Radiology Information System (RIS) conversion project in the past? If so, you understand the complexities of this type of project and the interdependencies that exist between the HIS/RIS and the other downstream radiology systems. So what is the best course of action to ensure a successful project? Many facilities set themselves up for success by starting the planning and testing process early. This article will help guide you through the HIS/RIS conversion project as it specifically relates to the downstream enterprise medical imaging system. This will help you plan for the required changes and allow you to focus on the new HIS/RIS, not the other downstream systems.
When an injured child comes into the ED, no one wants to wait a minute longer than necessary for the radiology report, especially if there’s a suspicion of child abuse. At Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, NE, such cases regularly present themselves, yet radiology studies often took an hour or longer from exam completion to report dictation.
When I joined Children’s radiology department in 2009, I was tasked with decreasing that turnaround time to 15 minutes. My team and I knew such a drastic reduction would require a strategic approach rather than a tactical one. Simply upgrading equipment or eliminating bottlenecks would not be enough — every process and system would have to be optimized to the highest level to meet the goal.