PACS, cyber attacks, and mergers are in the news this week
Articles this week in Diagnostic Reading include: why radiology needs to define image storage guidelines; PACS alerts can boost communication with referrers; health services in the UK are recovering from last Friday’s cyber attack; hospital merger mania continues throughout the country; and registries can have real-time benefits for rads.
Why radiology – and radiologists – need defined image storage guidelines – Radiology Business
The sheer economy of storing images online should make it standard, but a maze of regulation and expensive penalties make it difficult for imaging providers to navigate the issue, according to a JACR article. Failure to maintain imaging up to state and federal standards can result in penalties up to $10,000 and place radiologists at risk of malpractice suits. If a lost or misplaced image results in patient injury, the radiologist personally bears responsibility.
PACS alerts can boost communication with referrers – AuntminnieEurope
A fatal accident due to an oversight by a referring physician has prompted staff at a radiology department to implement a PACS alert system; and it’s already helping improve communication and collaboration between radiologists and referring physicians. When radiologists detect unexpected significant and/or urgent findings, they attempt to inform the referring physician by telephone. Now the hospital is developing a system that provides alert notices for significant and/or urgent findings to referring physicians as well to ensure immediate treatment.
Patients are no longer being diverted away from accident and emergency units following the cyber attack that crippled some health services this week, NHS England says. When the computer virus struck last Friday, 47 trusts were affected and seven had to close their doors in A&E to ambulances. Some routine surgery and GP appointments were also cancelled across the NHS in the aftermath.
Hospital merger mania continues throughout the country – Fierce Healthcare
Hospital mergers and acquisitions were off to a strong start in the first quarter of 2017. The acquisitions reflect a continuing trend in the healthcare industry as hospitals look to cut costs, improve quality, and expand their service offerings. All healthcare organizations are required to implement strategies to improve the quality of care and patient experience while lowering costs. A number of organizations have determined that being consolidated into another health system will assist in accomplishing that goal.
With CMS’s push to base Medicare reimbursements on value-based quality metrics, radiologists are striving to change fundamental assumptions about how quality patient care is delivered. In this quality reporting environment, raw output will play an ever-diminishing role in favor of demonstrable outcomes. But how can radiologists prove that they’re having a positive impact on patient care? Radiologists now have access to benchmark data and are able to adjust their practice and workflows to achieve best practices, which ultimately leads to better patient care and outcomes.
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