Case Studies

It’s just complicated. That’s the view many radiology practice leaders have of managing their information technology. But bringing together the right systems, software, infrastructure, and team can conquer that—even for large, complex practices like Central Illinois Radiological Associates (CIRA). Interpreting more than one million studies per year, and serving more than 26 hospitals, cancer centers, and clinics across multiple hospital systems utilizing multiple IT solutions, the secret sauce is a single worklist that helps unify study management across all sites.

Imad Nijim, chief information officer of MEDNAX Radiology Solutions and Virtual Radiologic (vRad), has been in medical imaging and informatics for more than 18 years. He’s seen a lot during that time, but nothing quite as groundbreaking or exciting as the artificial intelligence (AI) currently being developed by researchers all over the world. Nijim spoke with Radiology Business about MEDNAX Radiology Solutions’ plans for AI, what he sees in the industry today, and the company’s big plans for RSNA 2018.

I love being a neuroradiologist and helping patients. I’ve always loved it. But there are downsides to the work as well. The stress levels might be high, you can feel isolated or restricted and your work list may control everything you do—it’s no wonder burnout is so high in our profession these days.

As far back as my undergraduate years, I knew I wanted to work in a field that combined medicine with computer science. I actually had a professor who told me that was a silly combination. He said there’d never be a real-world need for it. How wrong he was—and how fortunate I am to now work for a radiology practice whose hallmark is its enthusiastic embrace of IT and imaging informatics.

PACS is powering better workflow in breast imaging, transforming the way breast imaging radiologists read studies and interact with one another by improving physician efficiency, accuracy and saving time. Metrics matter in healthcare today and now excellent efficiency, productivity, quality of care and provider and patient satisfaction are measures of success that belong together in the pursuit of better breast imaging.

Cleveland is yet again blazing new ground in healthcare. This time, myriad health systems are actively collaborating to share images. A first for the U.S., we believe. University Hospitals Health System (UH) is leading the charge that now includes more than two dozen hospitals, providers sites and health systems and counting. Here’s how they did it.

Having been in the Sectra PACS fold since 2004, members of the radiology department at six-hospital CoxHealth in Springfield, Mo., didn’t need much convincing to “VNAble” their existing system so it could handle cardiology workflows on top of their own.

Sharon Gibbs, director of the radiology department at VCU Health in Richmond, Virginia, aims to provide quality, timely and efficient care. To do so, she must define, analyze and track the metrics and quality needs of her large care providing team, which consists of more than 40 faculty radiologists, over 200 technologists, and numerous other stakeholders. Gibbs knew that a single analytics solution would enable her to gather data more quickly.

Change Healthcare is primarily known for its state-of-the-art technology and business solutions, but the company also provides consulting services, including overall assessments of an organization’s overall business health. Sometimes, healthcare providers know they need help keeping up with the rest of the industry, but need to be pointed in the right direction before they can get started; that’s where Change Healthcare enters the equation.

For the team at Roper Radiologists PA (RR) in Charleston, South Carolina, organization plays a pivotal role. And in 2017, the practice found itself at a bit of a crossroads. They wanted more advanced tools at their fingertips for assigning reads and filtering worklists, but they felt limited by their available tools.

In RBJ’s 11th annual survey recognizing 100 of the largest practices in the U.S., consolidation emerges as perhaps the single most inescapable sign of disruption throughout the profession. An analysis of this year’s list, together with respondents’ comments, details how hard it has become to identify a representative sampling of the largest practices in the land.

Workflow is both the magic and worry of radiology. To borrow a phrase from a nursery rhyme: when it is good, it is very good indeed, but when it is bad, it is horrid. While many radiology groups enjoy good workflow, most have room for improvement in measuring productivity, managing studies and balancing workloads to boost business and burn out physician burnout and ease fatigue. Here’s how two leading radiology group practices are making workflow better.