With so many technology systems in use — and many disconnected from one another — finding meaningful relationships between clinical, financial, and operational data can be a challenge. Understanding the behaviors of each is important because of their interdependence; the performance of one influences the other two, and together, they define the health of a radiology business, whether it be a practice, imaging center, or department. Furthermore, data from any of these areas can have little value unless there are insights that allow action to be taken, and that is key. Staff access to actionable insights is critical for improving clinical quality, operational efficiency, and financial health.

The Problem with a Data-Capture Only Approach

Multiple systems capture important pieces of data across every episode of care. Consider not only images, but also TATs, invoicing, and appointment duration (as just a few examples). There is a story plotted across pre-, during, and post-procedure activities that speak to clinical, financial, and operational performance. Individually, these data points give an incomplete picture, but together, they provide immense detail into performance. So, unless captured data has contextually meaning, it has no purpose or use.

For instance, take a simple idea like a dollar bill; it’s just a piece of paper unless people value and use it. The same applies to captured data that has no context, and therefore goes unused – it takes up space on technology infrastructure, uses staff time to maintain it, and requires financial resources to pay for it. Some leaders may utilize data warehouses and data analysts to achieve contextual value, but this also presents a few challenges; e.g., limited staff access to reports, outdated reports, misinterpretations due to inexperience, scoping to a specific area of business (limiting visibility into other areas), misalignment between reports, manual hours spent on report production, etc.

The Value of Actionable Insights

To have any value (especially at individual and aggregate levels), relationships must be drawn between the clinical, financial, and operations data points across pre-, during, and post-procedure activities. For example, measuring both patient throughput and financial health across a period of time can provide context about their performance. A financial administrator may see a decline or improvement in financial health and refer to patient throughput for insights. On the clinical and operational sides, leaders and staff can go deeper by investigating and making improvements to activities related to patient throughput; e.g., they adjust factors influencing scheduling, scan times, idle times, appointment efficiency, etc. These are all examples of actionable insights – when data has transcended from being merely captured to providing contextual value for staff to take action.

Putting Your Data to Work for You

Few, if any, systems are built with user-friendly ways to discover connections provide context between different data sets. However, a business operations platform for radiology is designed to collect rich data sets from disparate systems and correlate them to deliver actionable insights in near real time — primarily through automation so that staff time and costs are reduced. In other words, it produces a clear picture — from start to finish — easily and intuitively. These insights, in turn, allow staff (e.g., technicians, physicians, administrators, etc.) to take incremental and broad actions that boost the performance of their organization, leading to improvements across clinical quality, operational efficiency, and financial growth.

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