I’m headed to Grapevine, Texas in a few days for the annual meeting of the Association for Medical Imaging Management. As I browse the list of sessions, I am once again reminded of the central role image management plays in the 21st century imaging department.
Without mentioning RIS or PACS, it’s clear that image management technology is absolutely key to the initiatives that top the to-do list for radiology administrators. They are juggling patient safety, meaningful use, healthcare reform, cost-cutting measures and much more.
Data, business analytics and efficiency are essential to meeting these goals and effectively managing the imaging department or enterprise, and RIS/PACS houses the tools to operationalize these process improvements.
The ticket for radiology administrators is to partner with the RIS/PACS provider and mine the image management to meet their needs and hone their departments.
I’ll admit—it’s far easier said than done. Too many departments fail to fully leverage their RIS/PACS and put these systems to work for them. They use the systems effectively, but not proactively. The tide seems to be turning, however.
Consider that RIS is the powerhouse of meaningful use for radiology. As more radiologists join the $44,000 meaningful use incentive line, administrators are going to have to leverage RIS and PACS for their full worth.
Doing so requires a robust image management platform…and more. Also needed is a vendor/partner that can provide the education and support to help practices manage the challenges of the next few years and deliver cost-effective, efficient high-quality service that meets the needs of patients, referring physicians and payors.
After observing this market for more than a decade, I remain confident that image management technology is up to the challenge. Those practices and administrators who can put these systems to work for them will find the tools and data they need.
Are you putting your RIS/PACS system to work for you? How are you leveraging your image management investments to drive your practice to succeed?
Let us know.