Think. Plan. Act.


z-business-meeting-nNow that you’ve decided you want to integrate and standardize imaging operations across your enterprise, it’s time to find a system and put it in place, right?

Not quite.

Before you can put an enterprise imaging system in place, you need to develop a strategic plan that meets your core business requirements. In other words, you must define what you want the system to do before you decide how it’s going to function. There are a few reasons to take this approach.

First, it’s necessary to chart the operational path for the system, which must include perspectives from both IT and finance. Second, you need to define your goals, because they will dictate how you measure the project’s success across your imaging operations. And third, you must align the system across all the sites in your healthcare enterprise.

Strategic Planning Is a Process

The strategic planning process for enterprise imaging is like any other long range planning process; it has distinct stages that repeat at a regular cadence. Once a year, you lay out the system-wide priorities. You establish consistent two-way communication between stakeholders. Then, at set intervals – every month, every quarter, or any timeframe you prefer – you measure your progress toward your strategic initiatives.

To make your enterprise imaging plan successful, you need both a macro view and a micro view. The macro view helps you determine where imaging system goals intersect with the overall priorities of the health care system, and the micro view helps you understand its impact on the individual sites and their local imaging activities.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center – a Real World Example

A good example of this process can be found in the 21-hospital University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). When they decided to develop an imaging system strategy, the newly hired Vice President of Imaging polled each hospital’s Director of Imaging about strategic priorities. From their responses and from her own list of system-wide priorities, she created a list of topics and distributed them. Then, she asked the directors to rank the priorities, add desired goals, and list the initiatives they wanted to lead.

After the top-ranked items were evaluated for feasibility, they were aligned with the health system’s goals and designated as the first strategic priorities for imaging. Those charter priorities included:

  • How to allocate capital
  • How to offer career development for technologists
  • How to standardize protocols.

UPMC used a collegial process to create their system strategy and sought viewpoints from the people who would be charged with implementing the plan. The process was collaborative instead of being hierarchical, which ultimately made it effective.

When you’re planning your own enterprise imaging strategy, replicate UPMC’s success by enlisting input and leadership where you need it. You may have it within your organization, but if you don’t, consider finding a partner who can help you think, plan then act. At Change Healthcare, we understand complex imaging systems and how they work in your overall hospital environment. If you’re looking for help moving your strategy from the department to the enterprise, contact us or book an appointment to see us during RSNA.

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