Volume to Value: Medical Imaging Leaders’ Advice on Purchase of Diagnostic Imaging Equipment
Observations about the impact of volume to value on equipment purchasing decisions, and how vendors should help.
By Greg Freiherr, collaborating editor, Imaging Technology News.
The ongoing shift from volume to value could radically change decisions about the purchase of diagnostic imaging equipment. To gain insight on this topic, Carestream reached out to leaders in the imaging community. MD Buyline analysts, AHRA’s president, UVA’s CMIO, and others gave their perspective on how to allocate and invest in technology to ensure not only are the right resources in place today, but also for success in the future.
Here are some of the opinions offered on the purchase of diagnostic imaging equipment during the Q&A.
- “Consolidation has turned hospitals that were once competitors into members of an extended family. These integrated delivery networks have changed how equipment purchasing decisions are made. Whereas physicians may want the latest and greatest, the biggest and the best; more practical considerations are now being applied.” MD Buyline’s Tom Watson
- “We have aging baby boomers who have strong desires to remain active for work and leisure. This will continue to grow needs in orthopaedic care.” Dr. Christopher (Cree) Gaskin, associate CMIO at the University of Virginia
- “Ways to increase efficiency will be highly prized. If a vendor offers an image storage and viewing solution that meets the needs of all stakeholders across the enterprise, an implementation can save money and manpower while providing doctors a single access point to view all medical images on a given patient.” Dr. Gaskin
- “If other providers are drawing patients from your territory to nearby metropolitan areas, and you want to keep patients, then your facility must be competitive. But you don’t need equipment with every single bell and whistle. If you are not going to do prostate imaging or spectroscopy, a 3T magnet may not be necessary.” AHRA President-Elect Bill Algee
Bonus: 12 Discussion Starters to Guide Equipment Purchasing Decisions
We’ve compiled a dozen questions to assist your strategic planning discussions with administrators, physicians, and staff:
- What are our biggest pain points in terms of cost growth?
- Where are we focusing right now to improve margins?
- What have we tried in the past to manage costs that wasn’t successful?
- Do our vendors offer innovative approaches to managing the cost of service and supplies?
- What service lines are our greatest areas of opportunity?
- Who are our main competitors in the outpatient space?
- What are our options for improving our competitive position?
- How can we optimize the scope of our outpatient footprint and rationalize equipment across inpatient and outpatient sites?
- Where are we focusing right now in terms of population? How is that cascading down to imaging?
- What’s been our strategy for utilization management? How do we think it will affect our modality-specific volumes?
- What’s been our strategy for tracking and reducing radiation dose?
- How can we better image-enable the enterprise to support appropriate use and clinical collaboration?
Greg Freiherr has reported for 35 years about medical imaging. He currently serves as contributing editor for Imaging Technology News, and has been quoted as an imaging industry expert by trade publications, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.
Read the related blog on Radiology Equipment Selection Begins with Understanding Workflows.