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6 Ways To Get An Extra Radiologist For Free

With continuous advances in diagnostic imaging technology and utilization, the workload in radiology has increased considerably. According to a study on radiology workload published in 2015, "the average radiologist interpreting CT or MRI examinations must now interpret one image every three to four seconds in an eight-hour workday to meet workload demands." As the workload increases, so does the need for faster, more efficient, and accurate ways to meet the demand. Such advances would be like adding an additional radiologist at no additional cost.

6 Ways To Get An Extra Radiologist For Free

Here are six suggestions that can help expand your team of experts without actually adding a body or a paycheck.

Break Down The Data Silos As a radiologist, you need to access comparative studies and historical patient information to make precise recommendations to your referring physicians. This means accessing large DICOM files or information that originated in another department. Running out of room for those massive data and DICOM files doesn't have to mean that you will add valuable minutes or more in accessing archived images and patient data from isolated silos. As per David Shaywitz, MD, PhD, in a Forbes commentary, "Silos are a medical tragedy … Valuable, even vital, information often remains uncaptured, unanalyzed, and, especially, unshared."

Find a consolidated archiving solution that breaks down vendor and department silos and manages data access and storage according to your clinical protocols and workflow. Be sure that you find a vendor-neutral archive that does the following:

• tags your data so you can easily access and share relevant patient-specific, condition-specific longitudinal data and images among members of the care team;

• integrates all of your clinical departments into one actionable repository for a collaborative landscape;

• provides future-proof data lifecycle management automating and managing your data logically—according to your protocols and data storage growth; and

• thinks the way you do and adapts file and data management based on your changing medical data needs.

Turn Your Radiology Workflow Into A Symphony When every second counts, you don't want to get bogged down tracking which radiology specialist should read which study. From referring physicians who prefer a particular radiologist to interpret their diagnostic studies to subspecialty radiologists who are skilled in advanced diagnostics, it is important to get the right study to the right radiology specialist without slowing down the workflow.

You need a way to orchestrate the handoff to the right interpreting physician; harmonize all of the multitasking steps; enable consolidated access to patient images, subspecialists, peer review, and patient information across multiple sources; and orchestrate your workflow without missing a beat. A workflow orchestration solution can help. Look for a solution that leverages your existing health care information technology investment and doesn't require a complete system replacement. With advances in digitalization, your system should go beyond the basic worklist.

Be Sure You Have The Right 'John Doe' Great care requires a complete picture of relevant patient data. Even with complex enterprise EMR implementations, necessary patient data exist, but they aren't available when and where they are needed. EMRs are transactional and not built for collaborative care. It is difficult to gain a complete, longitudinal view of a patient's medical history across a lifetime or even at a particular point in time. Diagnostic data are often missing or incomplete.

Having one electronic health network that can be shared between the care team and the patient may be the answer. This facilitates teleconsultations for more cooperative patient care. For radiologists, having the complete picture of the right patient cuts down on duplicate studies and helps radiologists make focused, informed impressions and interpretations.

Speed Up Your Turnaround Time We all know the saying: Time is money. For radiology, this is even more relevant. It is essential for a radiology department to deliver high-quality reports as soon as possible to their referrers. Of course, one reason for this is that reimbursement is based on the reports that are delivered, but it's also important to stay competitive in the digital age. Keep in mind, you are competin