Achieving unprecedented clinical and business efficiencies. Winning new business. Brandishing vanguard-level technology prowess while employing zero IT staff. Such are the returns mid-size radiology practices are realizing from their selection of the cloud-based, hardware-agnostic IRP/Plexus Imaging Workflow Management system.
Two of the earliest adopters, 38-radiologist Triad Radiology Associates (TRA) in Winston-Salem, N.C., and 22-radiologist Radiologic Associates PC (RAPC) in Middletown, N.Y., both got up and running with the system early this year—and are already seeing results. Both report the implementation ranks among the best management moves they’ve ever made.
“Just after we made our selection, I was able to go and meet some prospects and actually close the deals,” says Andrew Mazzella, CEO of Radiologic Associates. “We picked up three nice accounts this year with Plexus being our platform and giving us the opportunity [to be heard]. We wouldn’t have been able to do that with our old PACS and RIS.”
Operationally, he adds, he doesn’t lament the loss of the “huge computer rooms and backup computer closets” the practice used to maintain.
“Ease and timeliness are important to today’s hospitals and outpatient imaging centers,” regardless of their size and IT capacity, adds Ted Kerner, MD, CEO of Triad Radiology. “They don’t want downtime. They don’t want complexity. They don’t want headaches. All of that is all basically removed from them with the IRP/Plexus system,” as Plexus creates interfaces, pushes and pulls data, and doesn’t favor one IT vendor’s devices over those of another. “This clearly has been an advantage when it comes to getting new business.”
Meanwhile the system sets up quickly, and it comes with a nominal entry fee and a low operating price tag—it’s pay as you go, and pay only for what you use.
Moreover, while the Plexus technology is essentially the backbone of a teleradiology platform, the IRP/Plexus solution comes with an assurance that the practice has signed on with a true long-term partner, not an eventual competitor. In fact, as both practices attest, the software as a service (SAAS) architecture makes it ideal for practices looking to expand their own teleradiology portfolio.
“Over the last 10 years, a lot of groups made the mistake of going with [a teleradiology company] that will eventually take away first their customers and then their jobs,” says Joseph Racanelli, MD, president of RAPC. “We are very sensitive about whom we do business with these days.”
“Plexus allows us to show we know exactly what we are doing, which is what allows us to acquire new opportunities,” says Kerner. “And to me, as a radiologist, because I don’t view them as anything but a partner—I don’t view them as competitive in any way—I am much more comfortable. That’s why we went with Plexus.”
In a phone conversation with RadAnalytics, Kerner, Mazzella and Racanelli expounded on the basis of their satisfaction with IRP/Plexus. Here is some insight they shared and some key points to consider for radiology groups needing to remix their image management and workflow backbone—with less dollars, and more sense.
Highly scalable and internally saleable
“It’s easy for IT resources to work remotely. And, in some ways, this is nothing more than a big IT resource working remotely. Up until now, we would purchase a RIS or a PACS. And as those technologies become outdated, sometimes your only options are major forklift-type upgrades that are extremely expensive up front and are difficult to sell to the practice. This is important because, behind all this, each of us has to push our practices. We are a technology driven specialty, but sometimes it’s a little difficult to communicate when partners start asking, ‘How much is it going to cost us to do this? Maybe we can just stay with what we’ve got until it breaks.’ IRP/Plexus is a very scalable methodology without the large upfront [capital cost]. It’s much more tolerable for practices to look at it this way.”
—Ted Kerner, MD
Business builder, staff pleaser
“When you are looking at acquiring a new customer, the transition has to be quick, easy and seamless for the customer. They’re urgent care, they’re medical office, they’re smaller hospitals that [may not have IT capacity, much less RIS and PACS]. Once you get IRP/Plexus into that new facility, it is easier to get the second one and the third one. And then on the back end, the change has to be seamless for your radiologists,