New Year, New Models

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 - Lisa Fratt - Portrait
Lisa Fratt, Editor

January is the season of promise and fresh starts. We’re ready to improve performance, take the next steps toward achieving our goals or, at the very minimum, break bad habits.

In the radiology business, a few items bubble to the surface. One issue top of mind at the recent annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and in imaging centers and radiology departments across the country is radiation dose management—achieving the right dose for each patient. Patients are asking lots of questions, and referring physicians are looking to radiologists for leadership.

A simple, but very powerful, way to start the year is to take the Image Wisely pledge to optimize the use of radiation.  As of press time, nearly 1,500 providers took the pledge. Health Imaging & IT is on board, visiting with clinical leaders to learn more about challenges and solutions and share them with our readers. Our radiation dose roundtable provides an insider’s look at key issues. Read on for insights into emergency department utilization; there are legitimate reasons behind the onslaught of CT studies.  Find out why dose registries require thoughtful explanation and analysis (they aren’t perfect… yet). And learn more about the essential and complementary roles of technology and staff.

A more subtle, but equally pressing, need in the radiology business is data-driven decision-making. Think key performance indicators. (I know, they are on your list.) As reimbursement cuts mount and imaging demands increase, the need to do business better and smarter escalates. This month, we take a look at how practices are harnessing KPIs to stay ahead of the game. We’re finding tremendous untapped potential in the concept and utilization of imaging informatics dashboards. If it’s not part of your strategic plan, it’s worth a long look and serious discussion.

On the bad habit front, ergonomics ranks high. It’s a true pain in the neck, or wrist or back, all too often. Check out our top 10 list for a few pointers to ease radiologists’ pain and perhaps, boost efficiency.

RSNA 2010 remains relevant throughout the year. Our review revisits a few highlights of the show—including meaningful use, iPads and improving radiologist-specialist
collaboration. Health Imaging & IT will continue to follow these stories and many others to keep our readers on top of their businesses throughout 2011.

Finally, you’ll find that we’ve refreshed ourselves this month, too. We’re unveiling our own dashboard and an imaging insider’s Q &A page to help you drill down into key data and stay on top of the latest trends. Be sure to visit www.healthimaging.com, too for a good look at our new website—and we’ll have more to add soon.

Please let us know what you think. Best wishes for a productive and profitable 2011.