Top Trends in Health Imaging & IT

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Google icon

Top Trends in Health Imaging & IT

When it comes to trends that matter most to imaging and IT, we again this year turned to our readers for answers. Some 434 imaging and IT decision-makers — representing a cross section of professionals within large, medium, and small hospitals and imaging centers — offered their opinions on 23 trends that encompass technology buying and operations, and shared their goals and challenges.

In this year’s annual survey, operations came out on top, but it is again obvious that operational, imaging, and IT priorities feed into each other. Two modalities high on this year’s wish list are multidetector CT and digital mammography. Successful deployments require a robust network and workflow adjustments.

Consider full-field digital mammography (FFDM). Implementing digital streamlines the mammography reading process, but it has a fairly lengthy learning curve. What’s more, sites often need to accommodate both analog and digital images in the early years, which tends to be complex and can slow workflow. Another option is digitizing priors. Multidetector CT brings other challenges. The acquisition speed of 16- and 64-slice CT enables facilities to increase procedure volume, while concurrently increasing the amount of data (and work) for the radiologist. Indeed, the data reveal that many sites are attempting to tame the multidetector beast; managing CT images is on nearly everyone’s radar.

So who participated? The majority of this year’s respondents were radiology administrators or business managers, but other areas are well represented. A fair percentage of CEOs, chiefs of radiologist, CIOs, and PACS administrators also shared their plans.

In addition to reflecting the needs of various imaging and IT professionals, the data from this year’s survey also cut across healthcare enterprises. Small, medium, and large hospitals as well as imaging centers and group practices are well represented. Despite the diversity of respondents, some priorities remain consistent across organizations. In fact, the top operational priority for many of the sites surveyed is radiology’s Holy Grail: improving departmental workflow. Increasing procedure volume is a close second, and both objectives drive purchasing decisions. For example, hospitals and imaging centers can facilitate workflow gains by improving the data network and adding or improving PACS image access.

Who Participated?
Radiology Administrator/Business Manager 19%
CEO/CFO/COO/Administrator 14%
PACS Administrator 13%
Chief/Director of Radiology/Radiologist 9%
Consultant 9%
Chief Technologist/Technologist 5%
Director/Manager Information Systems/Informatics 5%
CIO/CMIO/CTO/VP Information Systems 4%
Other 22%
Type of Facility Respondents Work For
Hospital: 200-500 Beds 27%
Hospital: Less than 200 Beds 26%
Hospital: More than 500 Beds 17%
Imaging Center 10%
Other (Physician Group Practice, Health System, Managed Care Organization, Group Purchasing Organization, Government, Education, or Academic Organization) 20%
Top Trends Ranked by Facility Type
Hospitals: Over 500 Beds Hospitals: 200-500 Beds Hospitals: Under 200 Beds Imaging Centers
1 Improving Workflow Improving Workflow Improving Workflow Increasing Procedure Volume
2 Adding CT Increasing Procedure Volume Increasing Procedure Volume Improving Workflow
3 Increasing Procedure Volume Adding/Improving Data Storage Adding/Improving Department Information Systems Adding/Improving Data Storage
4 Adding/Improving Department Information Systems Adding/Improving Department Information Systems Adding/Improving Data Storage Adding/Improving Department Information Systems
5 Adding/Improving Image Access Adding/Improving Data Network Adding/Improving Data Network Adding/Improving Data Network
6 Adding/Improving Data Storage Adding/Improving Image Access Adding/Improving Image Access Adding/Improving Image Access
7 Integrating Images into PACS Integrating Images into PACS Adding/Replacing PACS Adding/Replacing PACS
8 Managing MDCT Images Adding CT Integrating Images into PACS Adding/Replacing Advanced Visualization
9 Adding/Improving Data Network Managing MDCT Images Managing MDCT Images Adding/Improving Reading Room
10 Adding Speech/Voice Adding Speech/Voice Adding CR Adding Speech/Voice
11 Adding MRI Adding DR Adding CT Adding/Increasing Staff
12 Adding/Replacing PACS Adding MRI Adding Digital Mammo Adding Ultrasound
13 Adding/Improving Reading Room Adding/Increasing Staff Adding/Improving Reading Room Integrating Images to PACS
14 Adding DR Adding Ultrasound Adding Speech/Voice