The topic of efficiency in radiology is both politically and emotionally charged. Improvements in radiologists’ productivity are increasingly critical to financial viability, but cannot be achieved at the expense of clinical quality, especially at a time when quality will be increasingly closely linked to reimbursement. Further, any radiology group that begins tracking (or even providing incentives for) efficiency risks an uphill battle, in terms of changing the culture of its business.
For obvious reasons, applying analytics is essential to improving efficiency. Like any other informatics-based solution, the deployment of even the most robust analytics—and a successful change in behavior—will require the engagement of the majority of the practice’s physicians, along with the guidance of a practice leader who can champion the effectiveness of analytics. As we’ll explore more in the articles that follow, analytics will measure not just who did the most interpretations, but whether work output has increased in a balanced manner—and whether the practice has been able to maintain (or even exceed) its own standards for quality.
Bill Pickart is CEO of Integrated Medical Partners. He welcomes your comments at email@example.com.