Radiology at the epicenter of healthcare delivery

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Dr James Brink.

But while this is true, radiologists must continue to move from “stewardship to leadership” to reinforce their value as providers of “timely and accurate diagnoses” and “actively engaged members of the care team”. Brink told session attendees.

“If we don’t engage as actors in value-based health care, we could become pawns in other specialty initiatives,” he said. “We need to participate as fully and vigorously as possible.”

Concrete actions

In his speech, Brink focused on the following concrete actions radiology can take to demonstrate its value in the healthcare business.

Eliminate low value imaging. Radiologists should measure and track low-value imaging and implement interventions to reduce it, from educating patients and treating physicians to examining their own biases and attitudes (for example, fear of prosecution. for professional misconduct causing unnecessary examinations). Brink cited a 2018 study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology which showed that decision support reduced the rate of low-utility imaging from 11% before its implementation to 5.4% and increased appropriate imaging from 64.5% to 82%. “Clinical decision support before imaging guides practitioners to the most appropriate imaging examination for their patients, and after imaging guides radiologists to the appropriate recommendation based on the results”, a- he noted.

Promote high added value imagery. According to Brink, the formula for evaluating the value of imaging is quality and experience divided by cost, quality including “accurate diagnoses and precise measurements” and experience including “fast and convenient service. and integrated care “. Patient care can be improved through the following efforts:

  • Reduce missed imaging care opportunities and improve screening adherence by actively engaging with patients – for example, offering transportation assistance.
  • Provide virtual consultations and e-mail consultations. “The Brigham and Women’s Hospital has developed a virtual reading room during COVID-19, and although it is a byproduct of the pandemic, it will be [continue] for the benefit of our referring practitioners, ”said Brink.
  • Improve access to ambulatory imaging and reduce emergency room visits for imaging.
  • Work with a clinical care team to provide patients with “end-to-end” imaging care. “Coordinating follow-up imaging ensures that necessary clinical diagnostic follow-up recommendations are executed, changed or rejected,” said Brink. “This requires dedicated and unique IT tools and collaboration between several care teams. “

Lower the costs. The establishment and use of appropriate imaging tools is essential to reduce costs, as is effective communication with patients and referring providers so that both groups are clearly aware of why an examination may or may not be necessary. Brink said. What’s another way to cut costs? Relocation of the secondary care service site to a community hospital and / or ambulatory care setting.

A holistic effort

Ultimately, radiologists must demonstrate “the extent of [their] contributions to patient care ”and strive to create a“ cohesive, integrated and fair imaging experience ”for patients and their providers by maintaining image quality, reducing healthcare costs through decision-making and service site support, and supporting vulnerable patient populations, Brink And don’t forget to collaborate with your physician peers.

“Radiologists and referents [must] working in multidisciplinary teams to better understand individual needs and address critical gaps in patient care, ”he concluded.

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