Q&A: Agfa Healthcare’s George Curley shares his advice for departments moving to DR

Agfa Healthcare enters the AHRA 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Nashville, Tenn., with a bit of momentum after recently winning the 2016 North America Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Leadership in July. Research firm Frost & Sullivan cited Agfa’s MUSICA Image Processing Software when announcing the award, saying the company’s solutions have “earned it a solid reputation for service excellence and product reliability.”

George Curley, Agfa Healthcare’s senior marketing manager, spoke with Health Imaging while making final preparations for AHRA. He discussed being recognized by Frost & Sullivan, the pre-AHRA webinar he hosted and what Agfa Healthcare has planned for Nashville.

Health Imaging: I wanted to congratulate Agfa Healthcare on being awarded the 2016 North America Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Leadership. What was the company’s reaction to winning that award?

George Curley: Picture a graduation ceremony with hats being thrown up into the air. We were very excited. When we found out we were going to get the industry leadership award, it’s really like getting a J.D. Power Award in the auto industry—it’s really a mark of excellence. We talk about it with every potential customer we can, and we’re very proud of it.

Frost & Sullivan also issued a white paper detailing Agfa Healthcare’s performance compared to those of other companies. What does that white paper, and the award, say about the company?

The cornerstone of the white paper and the award is the fact that Agfa Healthcare wants to give everybody the best possible image quality, at the lowest dose, with the best possible productivity. And we try to supply customers with creative ways to get there.

Back in June, you participated in a webinar that was free for all AHRA members, and one of the topics of that webinar was the upgrade from film and CR to DR. What advice does Agfa Healthcare have for departments that may be faced with making that upgrade sooner than expected due to the Omnibus Bill?

The natural inclination is, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to do something immediately.’ But you really need to do a bit of an analysis on where it is going to have the biggest impact, and there are some things CMS hasn’t told anybody about how it will be implemented yet.

As a solution, we have a program called Fast Forward to DR, and that program was designed to help customers make that transition from film to DR or CR to DR. That migration has been ongoing for the past five years, but this change in Medicare reimbursements is going to accelerate it a bit, and it’s going to have varying impacts on different facilities. We put together this Fast Forward to DR program to help customers justify the change in DR based on their facility, the age of their equipment and what their priorities are.

What do you and your team have planned for AHRA 2016?

At our booth, we’ll have some of our portable DR systems—the ones you can take into the emergency departments. We’ll have three of those at the show, and some of our new detectors. We’ll be talking about return on investment with customers and giving them examples, we’ll be talking about our dose management systems. We’ll be talking about our Frost & Sullivan award with customers as well.

This text was edited for clarity and space.