Medical imaging software, with its dashboard technology, can be compared to a Formula One race car, according to authors of a new study published recently in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
“Not unlike a ‘beginner driver behind the wheel of a Formula One race car,’ today’s radiology system administrators sit at the controls of high-performance picture archiving and communication system (PACS), but they do not have the effective and efficient tools to ‘drive’ them,” wrote lead author, Dr. Bahar Mansoori, of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and colleagues.
Commandeering Medical Imaging Repositories
Academic radiology departments increasingly are relying on dashboard technology to track all their medical imaging data. Almost two-thirds of the study’s respondents reported that academic radiology departments use digital dashboards to keep track of medical imaging data such as that associated with revenue, expenses, examination volume and turnaround time. Fifty percent of respondents said that they have utilized dashboard technology for two years or less.
Medical imaging dashboards provide more visibility and control of medical imaging repository systems. Through medical imaging dashboards, radiology managers can monitor the status of system components to pull together data from PACS, a radiology information system (RIS), or a billing system, revealing vital financial or performance metrics.
In a presentation at RSNA, Mansoori stated that by consolidating such medical imaging data, radiology decision makers can take action in real time to improve organization efforts.
Leveraging Key Performance Indicators to Develop Dashboards
Researchers asked respondents what they considered to be the most important key performance indicators in three areas: financial, productivity and access. They found that the most important financial indicators were revenue (76 percent), actual expense (73 percent) and days in accounts receivable (73 percent). The most important performance indicators were total examination volume (81 percent), examination volume by modality (78 percent) and relative value units (73 percent). The most common access indicators were turnaround time (88 percent), backlog (80 percent) and signature time (60 percent).
“Right now in our department, we are using this data to develop the dashboard for ourselves, and monitoring all this data,” Mansoori said “Before the survey, we were not sure what the most important things were. It’s not easy to measure everything. There are thousands of things you could monitor in a radiology department.”
How have dashboards helped you run your medical imaging department?