Guest post by vRad, a MEDNAX company.
Frost & Sullivan developed an insightful paper, Enable Your Imaging Service Line to Run Like Clockwork, discussing how Radiology and IDNs (integrated delivery networks) can benefit from consolidation in healthcare as U.S. states are covered by fewer, larger IDNs. IDNs want continuous reliable care across many service lines by leveraging scale and clinical resources to ensure easier access, higher quality, and better value and performance.Frost & Sullivan notes nine concerns Radiology must address to lead to an improved operation, performance and value.
- Maximize Alignment
Radiology must look to solve the problems of today by generating economies of scale and consolidating disparate data to prepare for tomorrow. Maximizing alignment results in better patient care.
- Large Systems Are Getting Larger
As health systems grow larger, they must have the flexibility to incorporate new facilities without disruption. This requires a single operating model and an optimized clinical workflow to translate their larger scale into a competitive advantage.
- Greater Expectations from Referring Physicians
Referring physicians want value beyond reports—they want Radiology to deliver clinical insights and patient management support.
- Changing Payment Models
As value-based/risk-based payments evolve, measuring quality and outcomes becomes essential. Strong data will be required for proper reimbursement.
- Necessity of Standardized IT Infrastructure
IT must consolidate disparate imaging platforms into one central infrastructure. This provides better management of enterprise-wide imaging, which IDN leadership requires.
- New Level of Imaging Data Required for Insights
IDNs must have imaging data that can be mined and measured to demonstrate quality, value and performance—data typically not found in today’s Radiology Information System.
- Optimizing Resources for Economies of Scale
Leveraging economies of scale allows your imaging service line to do more, without adding resources. Examples include maximizing sub-specialty coverage to ensure the right study is delivered to the right sub-specialty reader. Another is teleradiology coverage, which smooths out demand fluctuations and allows development of appropriate staffing models.
- Balancing Quality and Costs Leads to Better Outcomes
Radiology can deliver the highest value when integrated workflows allow accurate workload distributions. It must reach scale to have the right expertise, for the right condition, available consistently across enterprises. This will involve tackling technical and political obstacles.
- Enabling Imaging Informatics for Analytics
Aligning with IT on how to measure the success of the imaging service line is a crucial best practice to adopt. This ensures proper data is collected, standardized and measured against clearly defined goals.
These tactics address how to set up an imaging service line to leverage data-driven decisions and help Radiology and IDNs measure and improve quality, value and performance.