Diagnostic imaging is a major and critical aspect of healthcare globally. While one of the most tech-forward industries in medicine, Radiologists often spend valuable diagnostic time on administrative tasks or navigating cumbersome integrations. Here’s why it’s more prevalent now than ever before, and what you can do to ensure you’re able to focus where it matters most.
As demand for imaging services grows as a cost-effective effective diagnostic tool, populations are receiving greater healthcare coverage. Volume for radiologists has increased, while staffing remains the same. Radiologists face intense pressure to speedily diagnose patients, many of whom have complex medical histories and require cross-consultation of studies or EMR information that may not be readily available.
Radiologists are often interrupted at a rate of once every 12.1 minutes during working hours, and at a higher rate during after-hours interpretation. This leads to increased fatigue and decreased productivity. The responsibility of a Radiologist has also expanded, with many serving as economic gatekeepers, staff advocates, and monitors of patient safety. Ten percent of studies are “mis-ordered” leading to re-ordering and re-certification with insurance companies.
Radiology departments are often the largest source of revenue for hospitals, some contributing up to 35 percent. Costs are rising for running an efficient Radiology department as expenses for transcription, stipends, technology and service fees increase, leading to multi-million dollar expenses for large healthcare systems.
What does this mean?
- As Radiologists face productivity pressure, necessary contextual information may not be readily available for diagnosis.
- Radiologists have to navigate cumbersome administrative tasks and context-switch many times an hour following interruptions.
- If left unaddressed, patient care may suffer, and Departments and Practices risk facing rising costs.
What can be done?
Assess your pre-interpretive workflow:
How does your team navigate cases where contextual information is needed?
Are there instances where studies have been mis-ordered or otherwise mis-labeled before they reach a radiologist’s eyes?
Have you done an analysis on the cost of these pre-interpretive errors?
Inflo Health can help
Inflo Health is building tools to automate the collection and assessment of information relevant to a study, managing mismatches, duplications and missing information, before a study reaches a Radiologist. We are also building tools to automatically template and assign studies, efficiently getting them to the right Radiologist at the right time.
Reach out to us below to learn more.