20 Years in the Making
It was 20 years ago, almost to the day, that I created and launched the first issue of Imaging Economics, a publication that its editor, Cheryl Proval, and I subsequently built into a substantive magazine focused on the broad economic issues facing a then-transforming profession. Having sold that publication, along with several other specialty health care journals that my business partner and I had created over the course of many years, I then launched what has become a very busy consulting business in the medical imaging field, and I have been fortunate enough to work with clients representing some of the most successful and innovative medical imaging practices throughout the country. Over the course of the past few years in this role, I have seen the convergence of many issues faced in similar ways by a host of radiology practices, outpatient imaging centers, and hospital imaging departments that I have worked with in every region and market size. These similarities in the issues and concerns faced by imaging executives and top radiologists led me to the conclusion that there was a need to find new information resources that would address these commonalities while providing a new direction for the achievement of success, however one chooses to measure it. Then, a funny thing happened on my way to the consulting mountaintop: I started ImagingBiz.com as a place to write about the topics that I felt were unaddressed. These were the same issues that I saw various organizations dealing with on a daily basis— that is, the fundamentals of navigating the landscape of the business of radiology. As ImagingBiz has flourished, I have found myself back in the publishing business, directing a growing and successful online publication that is rapidly gaining a reputation as a thought leader. It has focused, once again, on issues that were not being addressed by other resources. What started 20 years ago as a vision of how best to herald the future of radiology has now been transformed into a unique, nextgeneration information source combining media and consultative roles. Its mission is nothing less than to set a course for our profession’s achievement of its rightful place as medicine’s fountainhead. Although that may sound grandiose, my personal commitment to the radiology profession has been based on this belief. My work in the field has become something of a vocation for me, and it is this that inspires me to think of the specialty in grand terms. Cheryl Proval and I have forged a new pathway together again, and it is to her that I have turned to develop what really has been 20 years in development: Radiology Business Journal. Our vision is that this exciting new publication will become, to our profession, what Harvard Business Review is to the broader spectrum of today’s business leaders. To this journalist, there is no greater excitement than developing a journal that is fundamentally unique and intelligent in ways that our business’ leaders will find provocative and challenging. It is truly the thinking person’s radiology publication, and the content is skewed toward those in positions of leadership. You will literally see and feel the difference. We have invested in those elements of superior journalism that will result, I believe, in loyal and engaged readers among the imaging profession’s opinion leaders. Because of our history and our vast range of contacts, we have managed to attract high-level authors who have something of value to say and who offer thoughtful perspectives not found in other so-called industry publications. As you can see from the journal itself, in addition to this superior content, we have included unique touches such as printing on superior paper; using original illustrations, photography, and graphics; exceeding benchmarks for other quality indicators; and paying attention to detail. All are hallmarks of the best journals in the publishing profession. We will publish RBJ on a quarterly basis in 2008 and will increase its frequency in 2009, probably adopting a bimonthly schedule. It is our contention that combining this high-level compendium of business articles with the monthly online ImagingBiz.com and its sister publication, RadInformatics.com, will provide leaders with the optimal frequency of information access necessary to accumulate the knowledge needed to run their businesses effectively. Anything more would result in information overload, and anything less would shortchange the profession. I have been working as a journalist, publisher, business executive, and consultant in the field of medical imaging for nearly 25 years. Having built a business to the point where I was president of a $100-million enterprise with more than 400 employees, I have gained a unique perspective because I faced many of the same issues that I now provide advice about to my consulting clients. During virtually all business cycles, I have directed everything from human resources to legal affairs, merger/acquisition strategies, management, organization, marketing, and sales. Putting this business experience to work alongside in-depth knowledge of the medical imaging field (and packaging it in a way that will provide information not found in any other medium) is truly an honor. It is the culmination of a career that has been planned for this very opportunity to invest in a profession that has been so much a part of my life. It is with great pride, then, that I introduce each of you to this important publication. I invite you to enjoy it, participate in the debate, and use it as a source of information as you strive to develop your practice, center, or department into one of the businesses that will succeed in a new era, which will be defined by those bold enough to face the inevitable challenges of an incredibly complex new marketplace. Here’s to those of you willing to think grand thoughts.