Insiders & Outsiders

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 - Lisa Fratt - Portrait
Lisa Fratt, Editor

For decades, medicine has been an insider’s club, shrouded in secrecy and touted as different from other businesses. Insiders often cite clinical complexity and state-of-the-art technology as reasons for maintaining the insider’s club. But this model is on the demise.

“The level of technical brilliance [in medicine] isn’t producing the kind of outcomes that we expect,” opines Jessie Gruman, president of the Center for Advancing Health (CFAH), in The Prescription for Patient Engagement. That’s because the behaviors that often make the difference between good health and disease—diet, smoking and exercise—occur outside of the exam room and are controlled by patients.

It’s time for a new model.

Richard Duszak, MD, CEO of the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute, and the American College of Radiology dub the new model Imaging 3.0. “Future models must stop rewarding physicians and facilities for doing things to patients, and reward them instead for doing things for patients,” Duszak wrote April 12 in’s inaugural Big Question column.

The engaged patient takes responsibility for his or her own health, which, in turn, establishes a foundation for healthy behavior. It’s a respectable goal and certainly worth pursing on its own merits.

For the less altruistic among us, there are bottom line implications. The physician who takes the time to educate and engage his or her patients may have healthier patients and better outcomes. In addition, as the culture of patient engagement builds, physicians who take the time to cultivate this model are likely to see increased referrals.

Medicine is pushing its frontiers in other ways as well. Our practice management feature offers a cornucopia of business advice from another group of outsiders—industry. Healthcare, according to new wisdom, has failed to solve intractable problems from within. Real solutions require an out-of-the-box approach that leverages unlikely sources. Check it out to find out how leaders have looked beyond their frontiers to rise above the status quo.

At the same time, clinical and technical advances continue to progress. We detail how molecular imaging is re-writing the diagnosis, management and treatment of Parkinson’s disease and review the role of 3D printing in medicine.

And if all this is not enough change to keep your head spinning, we provide a status update on the ICD-10 conversion.

How is your club evolving? Please let us know. And if you happen to fall short on strategies, check out our September/October issue, which will feature the winners of Health Imaging’s Patient-Centric Imaging Awards.