“Help me to help you” – Jerry McGuire

After using this blog to explore the opportunities for radiology group and cardiology service line leaders to use real-time, self-service analytics to drive change, I would now like to look at how radiologists can use radiology analytics themselves to understand their own behaviors and performance.

In this “run fast or get swallowed” world, radiologists must continue to prioritize activities that minimize report turn-around-time.  However, increasingly non-diagnostic activities are demanding of their attention too. The industry desperately wants to re-establish the value of the profession, particularly as the uninformed public believes that machine learning will make radiologists obsolete in the coming decade.  While that won’t happen, emerging reimbursement plans and value-based payment models that are tied to registry reporting have arrived, as has the prevalence of Clinical Decision Support (CDS) tools. Ostensibly, these activities should improve the quality of care at the lowest possible cost.

Ongoing Challenges

Understanding and monitoring the impact of these diagnostic and non-diagnostic activities is likely to be a persistent challenge that for many is the ‘new normal’.  I believe individual radiologists are wise to embrace this and work with their leadership to identify the metrics relevant to their clinical focus and business needs. At a minimum, working with group practice leadership to:

  • Understand the clinical value and productivity impact of non-diagnostic activities such as dose monitoring, managing imaging appropriateness, critical results reporting, CDS and tracking follow-up recommendations.
  • Evaluate individual productivity and quality performance against personal and group goals.
  • Obtain timely and continuous feedback that can be used to quickly improve individual performance.
  • Track clinical outcome improvement activities, care information and cost measures according to the new MIPS plans.

Achieve Understanding

As these challenges are addressed and group priorities evolve, inevitably the radiologists performance monitoring needs will evolve. Logically, any tool being used to support these efforts must provide the radiologist with immediate feedback on their contributions and progress towards goals. Let’s face it, radiologists are scientists at heart and appreciate using a sophisticated but easy to use tool that allows them to look at the data various ways until they have completely convinced themselves of its accuracy.

An independent solution like Foundations™ Radiology empowers radiologists to easily personalize the metrics they need to understand and improve such as:

  • Overall CDS utilization by specialty, facility or referring physician.
  • Referrer or patient follow-up rates by radiologist.
  • Prevalence of inappropriate exams by modality, exam type or ordering physician.
  • Screening exam callback rates by exam type, location or technologist.

In our next blog post we’ll re-examine the analytics needs of the cardiology service line, but from the cardiologist perspective.