There’s a lot going on at this year’s Radiological Society of North America 100th Scientific Assembly (RSNA) this week in Chicago, but three topics in particular are resonating with radiologists:
- quality measures
All three are critical to advancing the industry, improving patient care, and supporting major shifts in healthcare, which is why they are taking center stage at sessions and the exhibit hall. Here’s how these topics are generating #RSNA14 buzz:
It’s no secret that radiologists are facing increased pressure to deliver and report quality from their organizations so that they can learn more from it. Because of this, focusing on quality is a major theme at RSNA14. Participants are looking for ways that can help generate quality measures, improve data analytics and communicate these more widely to show they are delivering optimum patient care.
In order to stay current on the latest best practices for radiologists, the American College of Radiology (ACR) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are leveraging the cloud for information exchange to bring clinical guidelines to the radiologists’ workflows and automate the process of collecting and reporting quality data.
Integrated Approach to Data
Another significant method of improving quality is through integration. “Multifaceted,” “comprehensive,” and “integrated” are all terms I heard in meetings, conversations, and sessions throughout the show. While the terms may vary, taking an integrated approach to data management is a high priority for all partners in the healthcare ecosystem and there is a push for more “open” networks to make information flow more easily.
Under our current system, we have multiple points of patient care that generate silos of patient information — physicians, referring providers, and specialists each have a different profile on any given patient. This is not only a barrier to the continuity of care, it is dangerous and delays proper treatment.
I was able to speak with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Executive Vice President of the ACR Mike Tilkin about this. He commented, “By integrating our nationally-recognized clinical guidance with tools such as PowerScribe, we enhance the reporting process by providing critical information to the radiologist when it is most useful – in-context and during interpretation.”
This means that every study done and image taken, its report, and associated RSNA best practices, can be securely accessed by the entire care team via the cloud. Additionally, this information can be shared and received on Internet-connected devices – even when the radiologist or consulting physician is not at the hospital.
In this day and age, nearly everyone relies on their smartphones to check email, look at Facebook notifications, and send calendar invites. It was only a matter of time before physicians were requesting this access to their patients’ records; in fact, our booth has been full of conversations around the future of mobility and healthcare.
For instance, physicians at Orlando Health wanted to look at echo and moving image studies on their mobile devices at home, so their health system utilized a medical image exchange to provide them with this access. This quickly became an incredible asset to doctors on-call: “The ability to get results on mobile devices and tie it back to a patient’s medical records is a total game changer,” said Megan McLendon, manager of Business Development and Innovation at Orlando Health.
While we reflect on the last 100 years of radiology at RSNA14, it is clear that we have entered a new era in radiology. As 2014 comes to an end, we should all celebrate how far we have come – and look forward to the advancements we will see in the future.
This post originally appeared at the Nuance What's Next blog.