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Improving radiology through feedback and metrics

August 09, 2017
Business Affairs
From the August 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Despite the critical role that radiology was and is playing in patient care, most patients don’t even know that radiologists exist. Less than half of patients know that radiologists are physicians, and most think that the radiologist is the person who performs the exam, not interprets the exam. I remember distinctly at a family party someone asking me if being a radiologist was a real job. I did my best to laugh it off.

Technology offers many solutions to this problem. As in most business arenas, travel and physical presence at meetings has become less important. This is true of radiology. Why not leverage webex capabilities and screen sharing to close the gap with the physicians caring directly for these patients?

Using our current systems we were able to create a virtual consultation service where, if physicians had questions, they could, within our EMR, click a button to access the appropriate section. The message comes as an instant message to the radiologist in patient context. This way, with one click we are able to access the patient’s imaging studies and interact with the clinician either via IM or over the phone. As our department continued to increase in size and become more widespread, we used this tool to perform virtual ICU rounds. Thus, allowing us to maximize our time and our clinicians’ time while not losing the interaction with our colleagues and continuing to provide outstanding patient care.

We have highlighted two areas of innovation which have been implemented at NYU. However, a critical eye is needed for all of our current processes. We need to leverage our data to improve efficiency, improve turnaround time, and most importantly, improve patient care. As new systems develop, we need to keep our primary goals of outstanding patient care, research and education front and center in our minds to ensure that each new system and each new program result in improvement in one of these areas.
William Moore

About the author: Dr. William Moore is the chief of thoracic imaging and the clinical director of radiology information technology at New York University. Dr. Moore trained at Stony Brook University where he did his residency in radiology as well as his fellowship in medical informatics. Dr. Moore did his subspecialty training in thoracic imaging at NYU. He was the residency program director and the vice chair of education at Stony Brook before he returned to NYU in 2015.
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