The Big Question: What is Imaging 3.0?

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 - Rich Duszak, MD
Richard Duszak, MD, CEO, Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute

Unsustainable spending, rapidly rising insurance premiums, an increasingly fragmented delivery system, and burgeoning consumerism are all culminating in policy initiatives that will transform the way healthcare is provided—and paid for—across the country.

The end points of this transformation are unknown, but what seems almost certain is an evolution from our current transactional visit and service-oriented delivery model to one that focuses instead on coordinated longitudinal care. Future models must stop rewarding physicians and facilities for doing things to patients, and reward them instead for doing things for patients.

The ACR is challenging its members, its staff, and all medical imaging stakeholders to work together to help transform medical imaging into a more durable and more valuable enterprise. That change is reflected in the cultural transformation campaign being launched as Imaging 3.0.

Radiologist-driven technological improvements that have revolutionized medical imaging have also created an environment in which it is increasingly commoditized. Radiology interpretive services have been outsourced to physicians who provide only formal reports, contributing little to ensuring that patients receive the imaging care that is necessary, safe, coordinated, and most beneficial, in the most efficient manner possible.  There are opportunities for system-wide improvement, and as the recognized experts in medical imaging, radiologists are best equipped to transform the field.

In uncertain times, those who drive change are most likely to be successful. ACR has set forth the Imaging 3.0 initiative to help our profession chart its vision for the future and make that vision a reality.

Imaging 3.0 will optimize real-time access to information and knowledge, engage and empower patients, enhance incentives for aligned value and transparency, support a culture of learning, and ensure a robust and competent medical imaging support system.

Forward-thinking radiologists should view Imaging 3.0 as a call to arms, and assert leadership roles both locally and nationally in shaping America’s future healthcare system using the radiologist-developed technology and research currently available and championed by the ACR. Imaging 3.0 is a constellation of tools, services, behavioral changes, and resulting outcomes that characterize the future of medical imaging. Radiologists can make our system better—for individual patients and society at large—when they champion this vision and utilize these tools and services.

Focusing on patients is our future, and to that end, Imaging 3.0 can be summed up in just two words: Patient Engagement.

To learn more about Imaging 3.0, please click here.