Being a radiologist today can feel a bit like being on the Starship Enterprise: you have all these Star-Trek-like tools at your disposal – devices and applications with the ability to produce incredibly sophisticated digital images and insights that we couldn’t have imagined even twenty years ago. This technology and advanced visualization capabilities have fundamentally changed the way we obtain important diagnostic information and provide value for patients. But the reality is, it gets lonely in space. Behind this technology are people – and people still seek a meaningful human exchange, especially patients undergoing potentially stressful imaging exams. The irony of our situation is that, for all of us humans in the imaging spaceship, technology has become a barrier to meaningful care, even as the images that technology helps us acquire wield unprecedented clinical value.

Prioritizing patient comfort and satisfaction may be a hot topic among policy makers in today’s healthcare environment, but it’s nothing new for the healthcare providers who spend most of their time working directly with them. Radiology technologists like me have always known the vital role of a positive patient experience in creating clinical value for patients. In my role supervising MRI technologists at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, I’m made aware every day of the importance of providing a calming, supportive environment for our young patients and their families.

In our complex, multi-site tertiary care imaging department our challenge is to gather data about our imaging operations and create insights from it to help us make better business decisions, streamline operations and optimize access to care. Combining insights from modality data and imaging IT systems removes ambiguity associated with data and results in a rich information set that enables actionable insights. This approach helps us determine how to deliver care that is focused on increased value for the health system through elimination of inefficiencies and better outcomes for patients.

Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall when thought leaders in structural heart talk heart to heart about building their program, the challenges, the triumphs and the big picture, now is your chance, take a listen.