According to a recent survey conducted by AHRA and The Market Tech Group, Radiology Administrators continue their concern about stabilizing operational costs, especially those related to staffing and recruiting. Adding to this concern is the ever increasing demand for imaging services and new standardized guidelines for various procedures.
In September 2022 the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) released guidelines detailing new standards of care for Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA). For patients presenting with chest pain and low to intermediate risk for acute coronary syndrome, CCTA is now recommended as standard of care. This guidance has been endorsed by both the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the North American Society for Cardiovascular Imaging.
Providing adequate time for CT (and MRI) technologists to spend with patients and the ability to provide all relevant imaging services has always been a top priority for diagnostic imaging centers. When a new standard of care is announced, especially one which requires significant time to post-process and prepare the study after the acquisition can lead to extremely busy technologists and a general sense of frustration in the clinic. Overwhelmed technologists may lead to decreased job satisfaction, patient satisfaction and decreased throughput in the modality. All consequences are negative for business and can significantly impact an imaging centers profitability.
Trends such as these become even more burdensome on CT and MRI technologists as more complex studies (such as CCTA) bring with them the need for extensive image post processing. Post processing can take a few minutes or over an hour; it is completed after the study has been acquired and the tasks are performed on expensive third party software.
This is where outsourcing of routine and complicated studies may solve part of the situation the imaging market currently finds itself in. Precision Image Analysis (www.piamedical.com) provides a Cloud based solution to the time crunch put on CT and MRI technologists at busy diagnostic imaging centers. Precision Image Analysis has technologists standing by to assist busy centers with their image post processing needs.
In a typical workflow scenario, images are sent directly to the PIA Cloud from the modality. Once in the Cloud the studies are post processed by expert technologists employed by PIA. All studies are post processed to the exact specifications of individual reading radiologists and reports are returned directly to the PACS at the imaging center where they are used in the diagnostic interpretation. In the PIA scenario all studies are QC checked with a double read prior to returning them to the client PACS. What’s more, the one of a kind PIA service can provide direct physician access to the study, including the FDA Cleared software used for the analysis in the PIA Cloud.
Precision Image Analysis has additional benefits to the busy diagnostic imaging center keeping an eye on its bottom line and a focus on their ability to maintain themselves as a profit center. Third party software is expensive and requires expensive upgrades, annual service agreements and training expense. In an interview with Lee Mitsumori, MD, Straub Clinic and Hospital, Dr. Mitsumori noted, “For our practice, the advantage of using PIA was that we would not need to purchase vendor software and did not need to spend the time and resources to train personnel on its use”. PIA charges clients on a fee for service basis, clients pay for the studies that are post processed and returned to the PACS – no hidden fees, all costs are transparent and there are never any surprise invoices.
Call PIA today at 425-822-8199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation.
About the author. Daniel D. Bickford (www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-bickford) is President of Pintail Strategic Consulting which provides sales and marketing services to the diagnostic imaging industry, including PIA. Daniel was co-founder of Confirma, Inc., the pioneer of the breast MRI CAD market and manufacturer of CADstream.