Medical Imaging Workflow
As the healthcare landscape continues to prioritize interoperability, data sharing and value-based care, the efficiency and flexibility of your medical imaging workflow is key. With this shift in healthcare, organizations must solve the challenges of simultaneously increasing efficiencies, reducing costs and maintaining patient care.
From a variety of McKesson industry experts and guest authors, get insight on key concerns for healthcare leaders, ranging from how to help your radiologists redefine their roles to improving your diagnostic imaging department. Read the articles below to begin improving your medical imaging workflow today.
Since the first PACS was developed in the early 1980s, medical imaging systems have continued to improve. Monitors have higher resolutions for viewing clarity. Images have 3D capabilities. Faster network speeds allow for more efficient image access.
In the 30-plus years since the construction of PACS, healthcare is now seeing its demise — or evolution. In this Q&A, industry consultant and speaker Don Dennison discusses the drive behind PACS’ evolution, what healthcare leaders need to consider and benefits organizations can gain.
Q: What is driving the need to “deconstruct” PACS?
Editor’s Note: This article was previously published on Imaging Technology News and is reprinted here with permission.
OSF HealthCare, an 11-hospital, 52-site, 138-year-old Catholic system based in Peoria, Ill., is recognized among Medicare’s Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations. As such they are constantly looking to improve care quality while reducing costs — all with an eye on transitioning, as all U.S. healthcare providers must, from volume-based to value-based care.
In this case study, Steve Kastelein, manager of diagnostic imaging applications for OSF HealthCare, discusses some of the overarching challenges they are facing.
It’s 1:00am on a Saturday. A patient comes into the emergency room complaining of cough and severe chest pain — hallmark symptoms of pneumonia. The attending physician calls for a chest X-ray. After making a preliminary read of the film, and seeing airspace opacity, the physician says that pneumonia is likely despite the lack of fever. But no radiologist will be available to review the X-ray and confirm the diagnosis until business hours the following day. The patient is sent home with oral antibiotics and instructions to drink plenty of fluids and rest. It’s a common enough story. One that can happen in any emergency department, any night of the week.
It’s never a comfortable moment when you’re trying to make a point and someone’s response is, “Prove it.” Yet that’s the discussion radiologists have been having lately, and the conversation about the value of their work is ongoing.
Proving value is complex — but certainly not impossible. Radiology data is one aspect of that proof; moving radiologists into a more prominent role is another. “We need to become better doctors—real doctors, if you will — who provide real value to our patients, our referring doctors and our hospitals,” said Dr. David Levin, professor and chairman emeritus of the Department of Radiology at Jefferson Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia at RSNA 2014. “We’ve let ourselves become the invisible doctors, and that is something none of us are happy about.”
When it comes to doing a job well, the right tool can make all the difference. Researchers, including Dr. Bradley Erickson at Mayo Clinic, suggest that PACS and RIS are not sufficient for the entire job. At last year’s RSNA conference, Erickson remarked that too many healthcare professionals are using databases for workflow, which begs the question, why aren’t we using workflow engines for workflow? “Use the right tool. Don’t use a hammer to pound in a screw,” he said.
Editor’s Note: This article recently ran in Imaging Technology News and is reprinted here with permission.
Established more than 30 years ago, Hawaii Radiologic Associates (HRA) has grown from its modest beginnings as Hilo Radiologic Associates to the Big Island of Hawaii’s most advanced radiology group. Today, the group of nine specialty trained radiologists provides diagnostic imaging services in four outpatient imaging centers located in East and West Hawaii and also provide professional interpretation services at four hospitals/medical centers around the island. Each of the radiologists is board-certified by the American Board of Radiology and many have fellowships or additional training in subspecialties such as musculoskeletalradiology, neuroradiology, body imaging, women’s imaging, nuclear medicine and vascular and interventional radiology. Because of their experience and skill, the radiologists ensure that each patient’s exam is performed quickly with accurate results. With the latest technology, the radiologists and technologists of HRA provide an array of diagnostic imaging procedures. Services at HRA include CT and CT angiography with multi-slice technology, high-resolution open MRI and breast MRI, digital mammography, high definition ultrasound, and digital X-ray and fluoroscopy.
Editor’s Note: This article by Mary Beth Massat recently ran on the Applied Radiology web site and is reprinted here with permission.
Interoperability: It’s the Holy Grail of healthcare. Everyone wants to obtain it, but it still remains elusive, particularly in cross-department and cross-enterprise patient data sharing.
The adoption of the electronic medical record (EMR) has been a game-changer in terms of presenting the clinician with a more complete patient record. According to Don Dennison, president/principal, Don K. Dennison Solutions, Inc., and Director at-large on the Board of Directors for the Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM), the growing prevalence of EMRs has led to the deconstruction of PACS. This means that certain PACS responsibilities are shifting to other applications, such as image storage to vendor neutral archives (VNA), and clinical image viewing to EMR enterprise viewers.
Late last year, the Journal of the American College of Radiology published a study confirming what many have been talking about regarding physician peer review. A whopping 86% of respondents said peer review is important for improving patient care. An even higher number (92%) said they believe physician peer review should be anonymous.
The authors, including Dr. Michael Loreto of the Department of Medical Imaging, Health Sciences North, Ontario, Canada, concluded that, “the incorporation of a non-anonymous peer review system generates anxiety and uncertainty within a radiology department.”
Editor’s Note: This article has been reprinted, with permission, from the March 2015 edition of Partner Voice newsletter.
The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets has transformed the way physicians can access healthcare information, including imaging. Vendors have tried to step up to the plate by offering myriad solutions to display data on mobile devices, but providers and their vendor partners would be wise to not lose focus on workflows.
In Harry Potter’s world, invisibility is a highly coveted attribute, whether it’s just a knack for keeping the professor from calling on you or a true disappearing act enabled by the cloak of invisibility. In radiology, invisibility is problematic — and becoming more so.
Despite the fact that patient centeredness is a core principal in today’s healthcare reform, most patients remain unaware of the contribution radiologists make to their care. In the past, this was an unfortunate fact we all accepted. Today, it’s a serious issue.