A trio from AHRA & more
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Lisa Fratt, Editor, Health Imaging
This week marked the annual meeting of AHRA: the Association for Medical Imaging Management in Orlando, Fla. The meeting provides radiology stakeholders an opportunity to immerse themselves in the strategic considerations of an ever-evolving healthcare landscape.

This year’s presenters pulled no punches. Radiology faces unprecedented challenges. In Tuesday's opening keynote, Brian R. Klepper, PhD, warned radiology administrators that he planned to grab their imaging  volumes.

The heightened competition, coupled with mounting cost-cutting efforts, makes for a tough environment.

Health Imaging, like AHRA and other radiology associations, strives to provide imagers with the tools and strategies they need to stay ahead in a complex environment. Only the strong will survive. This week’s potpourri  of strengthening exercises includes informatics strategies and quality initiatives.

At AHRA, Chris Tomlinson, MBA, of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, delved beneath the vendor neutral archive hype to explore what radiology really needs in a next-generation image storage platform. The role of PACS, he said, is a viewer and management tool. Meanwhile, deploying a PACS-neutral storage platform could produce savings up to $3 million over five years.  

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan also announced hefty savings this week. A statewide quality collaboration—the Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging Consortium (ACIC)—cut inappropriate cardiac CT angiography use 60 percent, according to results of a study published online Aug. 8 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

These efforts represent the wave of the future for radiology. In addition to focusing on high quality, efficient image interpretation, radiology will need to continue to tighten its belt and assist with programs to attenuate inappropriate imaging use.

It’s quite a shift. Information, knowledge and planning  can go a long way. Do you have any insights to share with Health Imaging on how your practice is setting the stage for upcoming changes? Please email and let us know. And have a terrific weekend.

Lisa Fratt, editor