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.
To make matters worse, the huge preponderance of high-deductible care plans means patients are being introduced to radiologists in the unhealthiest possible way: via a bill for their services.
But the problem facing radiology goes far beyond mere introductions. The fact is, radiologists have the potential to contribute at a much higher level to both patient care and provider diagnostics.
The biggest obstacle at the moment is legacy technology that’s not conducive to the type of communication, data extraction, and data analysis that would bring radiology out of the shadows, so to speak.
Fortunately, newer radiology systems incorporate both sophisticated communication workflow engines (including critical results communication) and advanced data extraction/analysis. Radiology systems allow for real-time consultation, critical results management, and flagging of interesting files. They also support physician quality review systems and act as a hub for aggregating and manipulating data from multiple sources.
With qualitative intelligence & communication systems like these, radiologists can more easily participate in the patient-care cycle and radiology departments can move further toward their new paradigm as a key clinical decision support center.
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