SIIM 2007 roundtable generates discussion on imaging management issues

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This morning got an early start at SIIM 2007 in Providence, R.I., when a group of 25 discussed financial, management, and technical issues at the “Imaging Center Administrators – CIOs & CFOs Roundtable.” The moderator for the breakfast event was Bradley J. Erikson, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Erikson said he was somewhat surprised that the discussion took a technical twist, which he attributed to who was in attendance. Rather than a group of CFOs and CIOs, there was a mix of mid-level radiology managers, IT staff, and vendors. Some mentioned they were in attendance to gain a greater understanding of the CIO needs. 

The financial portion of the discussion covered payment by relative value units (RVU) and net operating income. Additionally participants shared how they have had to lobby management for PACS funding and validate its return on investment (ROI). The question was asked regarding how do you improve ROI if there is a need to replace or update a current PACS system. 

Radiologist productivity was explored along with reporting, following the money trail and the concept of pooling. “More internal reporting is generating discussion and anxiety among radiologists, said Erikson.

Image storage made up a large portion of the discussion. Participants shared their experience with data warehousing, data migration, the business impact of PACS, RHIO image management, moving to filmless and paperless environments, long-term storage, disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

A government employee introduced the topic of sharing images, noting that the Department of Defense cannot share images with the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

“Don’t expect a seamless solution to DR,” said Erikson. He added there is a challenge in partial failures. Hurricane Katrina was referenced as an example for the need of DR and business continuity plans.