Optimizing Medical Imaging Value
Optimizing Medical Imaging Value
In a variety of Q&As and articles below, McKesson industry thought leaders and guest authors share expertise on healthcare challenges, interoperability, data sharing, value-based care and more.
Designed for healthcare organizations of all sizes and complexities, enterprise medical imaging solutions can help enhance your financial, clinical and operational effectiveness. From long-term financial impacts to helping improve patient care, healthcare executives must ask themselves a variety of questions when assessing which solution is best for their facility.
View these articles to help you optimize your medical imaging value to its fullest and choose the best solution for your organization.
The word symbiotic is rarely used to describe the relationship between two hospital departments, but it’s precisely what’s needed for successful tech projects, whether they involve changing IT systems or upgrading existing ones.
Without health care IT to drive new initiatives, imaging departments would install a system and use it until it was so outdated it ceased to be effective. At the same time, without robust physician adoption of new systems or features, IT upgrades benefit precisely no one.
You know that nagging feeling you get when you’ve forgotten something? Well, many medical imaging executives should be feeling that way. What have they forgotten? Important metrics.
Yes, they’re measuring quality metrics like patient satisfaction, referring-physician satisfaction, and length of stay. They’ve carefully reviewed the recommendations from the Advisory Board and CMS’s PQRS program, and they’re religiously tracking their relative value units (RVUs).
Nevertheless, they’re not measuring things that are vital to the success of their radiology imaging department. Why? Because healthcare has changed, and the shift from volume to value has begun in earnest. To keep up, we have to measure items that matter in today’s world. Here are four things radiology departments probably aren’t measuring—but should be.
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:
You’ve seen the future in health care technology coming out of RSNA. Now, you’re motivated to learn more and possibly invest in the tools you witnessed on the showroom floor. How can you keep any new investments in scope with your business needs?
In an interview with Health Data Management’s Tracy Granzyk on the RSNA floor, McKesson Director of Business Development Jordan Lister outlined why it’s increasingly important for radiology leadership to weigh timing, resources and long-term objectives as they seek new advancements.
Data breaches are becoming a far-too-common occurrence in the healthcare world, causing significant financial and legal headaches for providers. A recent Accenture study noted healthcare cyberattacks will cost $305 billion in lifetime revenue, and more than 25 million patients will have their data stolen from provider records by 2019.
Breaches are a persistent thorn in the sides of healthcare executives, but they should also encourage providers to frequently assess their medical imaging data contingency plans.
Healthcare organizations of all sizes and complexities must address the changing landscape of value-based care. Older, proprietary archive systems are increasingly becoming obsolete, replaced by vendor neutral systems that support each other seamlessly.
This digital integration must be supported by a similar departmental integration. Radiology departments looking to streamline their imaging processes and data with other departments and facilities can turn to vendor neutral archives (VNA) for this purpose.
Here are three ways that a VNA can streamline integration between departments, improving workflow and producing better overall care.
1. Shifting image management away from PACS
Every healthcare leader understands the immense cost of data breaches. Understandably, CIOs and security directors are increasingly concerned about data security. How can the right vendor neutral archive (VNA), allow these leaders to sleep easier at night knowing their data is secure?
Jonathan Carr, Business Development & Channel Manager at McKesson, notes that the centralized nature of a VNA provides the best opportunity for healthcare data protection.
“When you have a VNA, you basically have a centralized inventory of all your data assets in one system,” Carr said. Such an inventory can be used to help consolidate your data under a seamless encryption system.
Think moving a house is hard? Try moving a medical imaging data center with a PACS that serves six hospitals and 13 clinics in and around London and Manchester. But that’s exactly what HCA International Limited did, shutting down and packing more than 300 servers, moving them nine miles and powering them back up.
Needless to say, all medical imaging data had to be replicated before the move so that if anything happened in transit or there were problems at the new site, nothing would be lost.
HCA chose McKesson Medical Imaging Professional Services™ to plan and execute the PACS transfer, which involved the following:
Even though value-based care is one of the biggest challenges in healthcare today, a survey of health system CEOs found that 37 percent are still in the investigative stage. However, value-based care is becoming more crucial as fee-for-service reimbursement is dropping; it’s estimated to take up only 34 percent of payments by 2020. Health executives can begin preparations for value-based care by focusing on improving clinical communications – an essential factor impacting value-based care.
Physicians value medical imaging. In fact, about 9 in 10 primary care physicians who responded to a survey about imaging’s value reported that advanced imaging improves their diagnostic confidence and provides data that would otherwise be unavailable.
Healthcare executives, on the other hand, may approach medical imaging from a more fiscal perspective. Imaging has been identified as the most rapidly growing contributor to rising costs that is under physician control. Unnecessary medical imaging is estimated to cost the U.S. up to $12 billion every year.