Real-time Analytics Help VCU Health’s Radiologists Improve Efficiency, Productivity

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. “One of the primary challenges was that our data was spread across multiple, disparate systems,” Gibbs says. She hoped to reduce the time she was spending on generating reports and have access to a tool that would allow her to make data-driven business decisions quickly.

With goals of efficiency and data access at the front of her mind, Gibbs sought to implement a real-time analytics solution that delivered data visually and accurately. In addition, she wanted a solution that focused on radiology data rather than a generic analytics solution. “The ability to use customized analytics tools designed for radiology was very desirable for us,” she says.  

The VCU Health department of radiology chose to partner with Change Healthcare to help develop a brand-new solution, Imaging Analytics for Radiology. “We liked the idea of building a product with speed and utility in mind, a product that was custom designed for radiology data, as opposed to some of the other solutions that were very broad,” Gibbs says. 

Over a period of nine months, Gibbs and her team at VCU Health worked with Change Healthcare to develop many of the tools and customizable features built into Imaging Analytics for Radiology. “It really felt like the programmers listened to our needs and worked with us to develop to our needs,” she says. 

One of the features that she and her team helped develop concerned turnaround time analysis. This functionality allowed Gibbs to drill down to each technologist or radiologist and analyze the different steps of the imaging cycle. “With turnaround time analysis, I can compare a particular area where we are having an issue,” Gibbs says. “Within minutes, I can log in and look at individual turnaround times and find any barriers with that clinician. This is one area that is very useful in managing performance and setting benchmarks for improvement.”

Today, many of the managers at VCU Health have undergone training on Imaging Analytics for Radiology, expanding the group of users from three to approximately 15. Prior to being able to use Imaging Analytics for Radiology, her team spent valuable time collecting data that wasn’t presented in a user-friendly or visual way. “Imaging Analytics for Radiology allows our team to quickly access the information that we need and present it visually,” Gibbs says. 

For Gibbs, the qualitative benefits have been apparent as well. “We used Imaging Analytics for Radiology to look at ED volumes to quickly make assessments,” she says. “Being able to use that data to see the peak times across many months was incredible.”

Gibbs notes that she and her team were also able to revamp their transportation staffing around the data they obtained. “Our productivity related to the number of transports per FTE per hour more than doubled, and slightly beat the national benchmark of 2.7 transports per FTE per hour,” she says. “We could not have achieved these results without adding resources. This was a big win for us.”

Looking ahead, Change Healthcare continues to work with VCU Health on developing new features and functionality for Imaging Analytics for Radiology. For example, the teams are excited about the upcoming real-time dashboard to quickly identify the studies that are stuck in a certain part of the imaging cycle. “Our partnership with Change Healthcare has been an outstanding experience to date,” Gibbs says. “The company, as large as it is, feels like a small company to work with because of the very rapid implementation of new ideas.”