Increasing the Value of Enterprise Imaging Platforms with Analytics and Productivity Solutions
Integration of tools within enterprise imaging platform enhances quality and productivity of medical imaging.
As a healthcare provider, you are faced with the reality of value-based care that requires you to deliver excellent care, coupled with capitation payments. Your focus is on how to deliver the best possible care at the lowest achievable cost.
In this blog, I’ll explain how artificial intelligence and imaging analytics software tools can help enhance the quality and speed of diagnosis and reporting for radiology imaging exams – when incorporated into your enterprise imaging platform.
From a radiology services point of view, cost is often associated with productivity. Imaging providers are trying to do more in the same unit of time. That formula in itself creates a conundrum because on one hand, you are pressed to enhance the quality and the service. At the same time – and at the other side of the equation – you are pressed to increase productivity and volume to decrease cost.
Enabling technologies like imaging analytics, rich interactive multimedia reports, and worklist orchestration can help bridge the gap in the formula. Additionally, their integration into an enterprise imaging platform creates a synergy between them that maximizes their value.
Let’s take a deeper look at each technology and how they can affect outcomes.
Imaging analytics and worklist orchestration increase value of enterprise imaging platform
An algorithm-enabled radiology assistant is an imaging analytics tool that can be seamlessly integrated into the radiologist’s workflow. While a radiologist is reading a case and opening up the images, the radiology assistant launches and presents the radiologist with incidental findings, such as a quantitative assessment and images of present coronary calcifications* Pending FDA 510(k) clearance. The radiology assistant allows the radiologist to potentially reduce medical errors by identifying findings that might have been missed otherwise.
By using an algorithm-enabled radiology assistant, users can boost diagnostic confidence while simultaneously improving productivity and containing costs. Carestream currently incorporates third-party algorithmic qualitative results for osteoporosis, lung emphysema, coronary calcification, and fatty liver as part of our Clinical Collaboration Platform.
Obviously this type of solution would help with quality control and peer review. It also would help speed up the reporting time. A solution that would help increase a radiologist’s productivity further is worklist prioritization. For example, Carestream’s Workflow Orchestrator directs the study to the best radiologist for each case based on subspecialty, location and affiliation. The goal is to maximize the probability that any study acquired at any of the sites will be read within the study SLA by a sub-specialist located at or affiliated with the site, or preferred by specific facilities or referring physicians, while evenly distributing the workload and complexity among the members of the reading group.
When these solutions are integrated within the enterprise imaging platform, the productivity and quality gains are achieved without any additional work or action on the part of the radiologist.
Interactive multimedia reporting increases value of enterprise imaging
The next technology that can help increase the value of your enterprise imaging system is interactive reporting. In the image below, you see the classic static report on the left. On the right is Carestream’s interactive multimedia report.
Within the Carestream report, there are numerous interactive areas where either the referring physician or the clinician can click to bring them directly to the relative findings on the study. In this example above, if I click on the hyperlink, it will lead me to a specific lung nodule. That will call up our universal zero-footprint enterprise viewer and actually guide and present the clinician or the referring physician with the specific study findings and annotations. At the same time, the clinician can review the report and also consult the bookmarks or other findings that might be present on the study.
Additionally, the report can be populated with algorithmic findings from the radiology assistant. For the sake of example, let’s say that the algorithm has defined or has identified that a patient has coronary calcium. With a simple click, the radiologist can open up the reporting workflow and can decide on demand whether to include this algorithm insight directly in the report. The quantitative assessments that have been defined by the algorithm can be included in a table.
By means of the reporting module, hyperlinks also are available to the clinicians and referring physicians. This creates a nice feedback loop in the whole continuum of care. Lastly, the system can be configured to automatically include key images from the algorithmic findings directly in the report.
The synergy of the imaging analytics tool with the interactive report delivers more structured reporting. This can help increase quality, service, and clinician and patient engagements without adding significant additional cost. It also serves as the perfect container for communicating the imaging analytics findings and the algorithmic insights. And it dramatically speeds up access to the images and findings for the referring physicians and clinicians.
In summary, worklist orchestration, imaging analytics, and interactive multimedia reports can help bring significant added value to your enterprise imaging platform. These technologies can stand by themselves; however, their value is truly maximized when they are tightly integrated with the other components of an enterprise imaging platform.
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