Three Must-Dos for Health Imaging Providers to Remain Vital

Advisory Board Company’s Imaging Performance Partnership research offers insights for imaging leaders

Recent years have seen transformational change occur in the American health care market. Keegrowth-strategies-for-imagingping up with each development is daunting, but equally challenging is identifying the implications of these changes on the future of health care delivery and payment. Below are three major takeaways for imaging leaders, courtesy of the Advisory
Board Company’s Imaging Performance Partnership research team. This outlook can serve as a guide for forging a successful radiology strategy in 2016 and beyond.

  1. Explore screening and interventional radiology programs as growth opportunities

Recent years have seen low-dose CT (LDCT) lung cancer screening and CT colonography (CTC) receive approval from the United States Preventive Services Taskforce (USPSTF) as essential health benefits. These decisions open the door for radiology providers to provide these potentially life-saving services to patients in an affordable way, while also demonstrating radiology’s value proposition as a gateway to the health system. Many providers also are exploring mobile mammography and partnerships with employers as a way of growing their programs. In order to ensure the success of these new initiatives, it is vital to deploy marketing strategies to referring physicians about the benefits and potential harms of these services.

Similarly, interventional radiology (IR) has had new life breathed into the specialty as pioneers advance the list of procedures outside of vascular services. Additionally, IR is attractive to both patients and health systems due to its noninvasive nature, its low cost compared to surgical approaches and the great outcomes results. Institutions with existing IR programs should align their growth with non-procedural specialties like oncology, pediatrics and primary care. Several programs have also seen success marketing IR directly to patients who are seeking an alternative to invasive surgeries.

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Diagnostic Reading #31: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology from the Past Week

Articles include: healthcare providers need multiple firewalls to protect patient data; radiologists need to establish a role on cancer treatment teams; a HIMSS/SIIM paper offers key features to consider when selecting an enterprise image viewer; 3D imaging helps diagnose 1.7-million-year-old cancer; and an Alzheimer’s vaccine could be available Image-illustrating-a-data-breachin five years.

Hack of Banner Health highlights the need for more firewalls – Health Data Management

A cyber attack at Banner Health that provided access to the information of 3.7 million individuals is a wake-up call to other provider organizations. Many hospitals only have a perimeter firewall used to provide protection for moving in and out of the core network. At Banner, the food and beverage system in the cafe that was used to ring up sales (often made with a credit or debit card) was attacked, and that opened the gate to the system’s network. This demonstrates the need for multiple firewalls across the organization. Continue reading

AHRA Update: Stressful Changes Looming for Radiology

Cuts in reimbursement and imaging, new Joint Commission standards and increasing patient expectations were top topics at AHRA2016.

A “sea change” in the environment of care, cuts in reimbursement and new standards from the Joint Commission were among the topics causing heartburn for radiology administrators at the AHRA2016 annual meeting.Image of person showing stress to AHRA updates

Sarah Hostetter of the Advisory Board Company opened her presentation by saying that “the changes in healthcare are enough to induce the need for an imaging stress test”. She then delivered an informative presentation on the “Key Forces Shaping Imaging Economics” that include volume, growth and regulatory outlooks for imaging, and the impacts of consumerism and value-based care.

Added stressors came in the form of updated standards from the Joint Commission that were presented by Judith Atkins, RN, MSN, McKenna Consulting. “For most providers, most of their reimbursement comes from Medicare. So Medicare has the power and they drove the Joint Commission to change its diagnostic standards,” Atkins said. “The new parameters will dramatically decrease imaging numbers.” Continue reading

Diagnostic Reading #30: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology from the Past Week

Patient portals and growth of the X-ray detector market are in the news

Articles include: the X-ray detector market is expected to reach $2.9 billion by 2021; experts call for a national medical device evaluation system in the U.S.; a court decision could potentially change the role radiologists play Image of an x-raywhen it comes to determining the medical necessity of a study ordered by a referring physician; patient portals offer access to imaging exam results quickly while also helping patients track their own care and communicate with their doctors; and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Million Veteran Program now has the distinction of being the largest genomic database in the world.

X-ray detector market to reach $2.9B by 2021 – AuntMinnie

The global xray detector market will reach $2.9 billion by 2021, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5%, according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets. The growth will be prompted by technological advances, an increasingly elderly population, government and venture capital funding, volume growth of orthopaedic and cardiovascular procedures and reimbursement cuts for analog systems, MarketsandMarkets said.

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AHRA 2016 Keynote: The Campaign to Stop Global Whining

Image of Carestream’s Dan Monaghan

Dan Monaghan, Carestream Health, Introducing the AHRA Keynote Speaker

Before introducing the keynote speaker Monday at AHRA 2016, Carestream’s Dan Monaghan asked the radiology administrators in attendance three questions:

  1. Do you need more hours in the day?
  2. Do you wish you had more time and more energy?
  3. Could you use less stress and more fun in your life?

With hands raised and heads nodding, there was agreement that medical imaging directors are feeling the pressure of increased demands from hospital administrators, reimbursement changes and cost controls.

Speaker and author Christine Cashen took to the stage and used a mix of humor and relatable storytelling to compel AHRA attendees to change their perspectives and join her in the “Campaign to Stop Global Whining.”  Her message was simple: conflict is inevitable; different personalities require different approaches; only you can control your emotional state; and as a leader in your department, your positive energy will fuel your team’s success.

This shift in mindset can start with a few simple changes:

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The Role of Infrastructures, Imaging and Data in Personalized Healthcare

Carestream product capabilities support precision medicine

Access to, and analyses of, large databases of patient medical records, associated information, and content-rich Graphic depicting personalized medicineimagery are core mechanisms for identifying precisely defined subpopulations – and the personalization of healthcare. Progress toward the personalization of healthcare is made possible by defining patient subpopulations that reflect minimized variability with respect to the effectiveness and prognostic outlook for specific courses of treatment. The data about an individual patient can then be correlated with the treatments that produced the best results (together with the associated prognosis) for the subpopulation of patients and pathologies having similar characteristics. Healthcare IT infrastructures, high resolution 3D capture, functional imaging and data analytics represent key elements for the advancement of this paradigm.

Significant capabilities that support precision medicine are already available from Carestream. For example, Carestream Vue Connect and Carestream Vue for Vendor Neutral Archive, and Vue for Cloud-Based Services provide powerful platforms that allow access to (and storage of) the vast amounts of patient imagery and information. Such access facilitates initiatives in the area of big data analytics. Continue reading

Guess the X-ray: August’s Image Challenge

It is a new month – and time for a new “Guess the X-ray” Image Challenge. The correct answer for the July 2016 Image challenge is — nuts!

The X-ray image for August 2016 is now available! August Image Challenge

We welcome radiologists, technicians, RAs, MDs, PAs – or anyone who thinks they’re up to the challenge – to guess the subject in this educational X-ray quiz. This month there is a hint – it isn’t a clinical image! Please leave your answer in the comment section below or on our Facebook page. Let the guessing begin!

Good luck!

Sorry… Carestream employees and their agencies are prohibited from answering.

 

Diagnostic Reading #29: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology from the Past Week

In the news: reducing inappropriate imaging and archiving POC ultrasound studies

Articles include: a study that finds radiologists can work with referring physicians to significantly reduce inappropriate imaging; the topic of deconstructed PACS is creating controversy; telehealth initiatives are beginning to gain ground; a study reports it’s relatively easy to increase the number of ED point-of-care ultrasound studies being archived on PACS; and functional MRI might help settle an open question over “second impact syndrome” in child and teen football players.

Radiologists’ expertise cuts inappropriate imaging

Radiologists who participate in a radiology benefits management program (RBM) by consulting with referring physicians can help reduce inappropriate imaging by at least 20%, according to a new study published in the July edition of the American Journal of Roentgenology. This finding is good news for a specialty long considered to be behind the scenes in patient care.

Deconstructed PACS: 12 Tidbits on Hype, Reality, Caveats, ProspectsModule Image

There are few topics that create more controversy in the imaging informatics marketplace than the topic of deconstructed PACS, which could alter revenue flow in imaging IT while yielding a profound impact on vendors’ go-to market strategy.

 

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From Trust to Use and Beyond: A Healthcare IT Journey in 7 Chapters

CIO eBook chronicles healthIT migration from paper to electronic record keeping

Three years ago, when we embarked on our CIO eBook, the healthcare IT world was in a different place. EHR adoption was starting to rise, enabling more complete information access electronically within the enterprise.  Images were not typically available via a patient portal. They were hand-carried by the patient or sent by messenger to the referring physician. 3D studies were less prevalent, and study file size was smaller. Storage was a threat, but not a major obstacle. Cloud storage was commonplace for other industries, but not healthcare. Now look at how far we’ve come.

To understand the journey, read the eBook, “From Trust to Use and Beyond,” for a look at the major factors that have been driving clinical collaboration and change in healthcare IT. The interactive eBook takes a case study approach to the critical issues that are at the root of healthcare IT: trust, access, data, mobility, interoperability, integration and VNAs. Here’s a summary of what you’ll learn:

The issue of trust is at the heart of Chapter 1 in our CIO eBook. Clinicians are coping with change by placing trust in the things that have worked for them in the past. They know that when they spend time with patients, outcomes improve. Yet there is never enough time available. Meanwhile, adopting new procedures and a new workflow, no matter how promising the results might sound, is perceived as taking time away from patient care. So clinicians are skeptical. Chapter 1, “Building Trust”, is the story of Maureen Gaffney from Winthrop-University Hospital on Long Island, NY.  She is a clinician—physician’s assistant (PA-C) and RN who has ascended to Senior Vice President Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO). image of Carestream CIOebook

Ms. Gaffney’s approach to transforming her hospital was clear from the start. She began by enlisting the buy-in of senior management at the hospital, ensuring resources and transparency. Most of the actions taken on behalf of her project were guided by multidisciplinary committees which always included a clinician and an informatics specialist as members. The starting place was to ensure data integrity, coupled with an understanding of how the data would be used, and how the electronic version would fit into the clinical workflow. Continue reading

Diagnostic Reading #28: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology from the Past Week

Articles include an imaging technique that helps with cancer research; and survey shows large practices are increasingly more satisfied with their EHR vendors

A study reduces fears that use of clinical decision support systems could result in imaging exams being referred to other locations; an article reports telemedicine has the potential to dramatically transform the delivery of healthcare for millions of Americans; researchers report that observing eye-movement patterns in radiologists interpreting scans indicates each radiologist’s expertise and level of experience; new research through imaging shows a specific calcium molecule (TRPV6) is linked to aggressive cancers when it stops regulating itself properly; and a new survey shows large practices are increasingly more satisfied with their EHR vendors.

How to evaluate, use imaging clinical decision support 

A study conducted by physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital reduces fears that using clinical decision support (CDS) systems for imaging exams could lead to referring physicians sending their imaging orders to other locations. After reviewing 4,866 studies that had been initially flagged as low value by CDS software and were subsequently canceled by the referring provider, the team found that 111 were ultimately performed within 60 days.Doctor workplace with digital tablet and stethoscope Continue reading