Leveraging PACS System Technology and Human Capital in Lean Times

2013-11-07
 

Medical imaging being reviewed by doctors

The question facing most radiology practices today is how to become lean and efficient when reimbursement levels are down and demand for services is on the rise. Knowing how to utilize PACS system (picture archiving and communication system) technology to increase clinical efficiency and streamline workflow is essential.

Optimizing productivity while improving quality is the challenge, according to David R. Phelps, MD, president of Radiology Associates of North Texas, who said that radiology practices are doing so by leveraging both manpower and technology.

A state-of-the-art PACS system, integrated with a radiology information system (RIS) and staff scheduling software, improves workflow and helps radiology practices meet the needs of referring hospitals and doctors. Streamlined medical imaging PACS system workflow leads to faster procedures and report turnaround, allowing patients and doctors to move more quickly to diagnosis and treatment.

PACS System Cloud Technology

The ultimate PACS system experience is a web-based platform, allowing radiology practices to manage total cost of ownership (TCO), while creating workflow-efficiency and system-integration capabilities.  Cloud technology enhances physician engagement by providing radiologists and referring physicians with real- time access to images and clinical reports so that they can deliver optimal patient care.

Phelps observed that the use of cloud technology has allowed his practice to move readings around its multiple locations from parts of the practice that are overloaded to those that have some unused capacity. “This is a much more practical now that PACS is wide spread,” he said.

Utilizing Staffing Data

Clinically-driven staff scheduling software reduces time spent on staff management functions leading to increased productivity and a proven return on investment (ROI). Radiology practices are studying staffing data to identify, assign and recalibrate staff and agency personnel to streamline their operation and increase efficiency.

Phelps’s practice moved from subjective hiring based on staff’s reported needs to a data-driven objective analysis of needs. “We look at procedure volume at facilities, and growth of those, and try to match the manpower to the volume of work at individual facilities,” he said. That way they’re not just listening to the squeaky wheel; they’re staffing based on actual data.

Meaningful use demands are pushing radiologists to be more efficient. Advancing technology allows them to do much more with less. At McKesson, we understand the challenges radiology practices face every day – more information, fewer resources, increasing patient care demands and ever-changing technology. We understand that better business health leads to better patient care – with cost-effective architecture and technology that scales to meet the size and complexity of a radiology enterprise.

How are you leveraging human capital to maximize profitability and deliver quality care as health reform takes hold?

Visit McKesson during RSNA (booth # 7358 North Hall) to learn more about McKesson Staff Augmentation professional services.

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