Nudging a Diagnostic Unit from Good to Great with Historical Examination Study Analysis

Pramod Sridharamurthy
Thursday, March 5, 2020

Could untangling patterns in utilization and examination lifecycles of the past lead us to a better understanding of the current state? Could it also help us prevent an imminent deterioration of patient care? Can a diagnostic unit transform itself from a nimble operation to a center of excellence in a healthcare network?

This post explores those questions.

Reversing the future may not always be practically possible, but knowing the current trends can help imaging facilities prepare for the impending challenges that lie ahead. What are the sources of understanding, for instance, current trends in top examination procedures or devices that are used the least? What kind of data sets do you have as an imaging center operator which can help uncover those patterns?

Machine data and a myriad of other data sets including PACS, HL7, scan order systems, and so on make up today’s blueprint for a healthcare technology management (HTM) IoT platform. By monitoring the trends for a modality, exam type, operator and device, imaging centers can ensure that they are prepared to optimize assets to maximize revenues per asset type.

Of course, the platform should not be limited to just monitoring, it should go beyond and offer a ‘fitness criteria’ as essential indicators of the center’s viability in the marketplace. The criteria can range from understanding the productivity of the operators, a comparison matrix on examination performance between two or more operators conducting the same procedure type, and in identifying and tackling opportunity gaps to accommodate more procedures.

Exploring Examination Study Analysis

By analyzing the historical trends and slicing and dicing exam data on multiple dimensions, can result in better patient care and an efficient way to plug revenue loss. Exam data can be sliced on various dimensions like by modality, by the facility, by an operator, by specific device, by exam type and any other combination of the above list. Each ’slice’ of the exam data provides a different opportunity to optimize your operations and plug revenue losses.  Here are the three diagnostic practice areas you consider revisiting;

Uncovering Opportunities through Exam Analysis

One of the key aspects of a deeper exam data analysis is to understand what percentages of the exams are taking longer than usual. If the goal is to do more exams using the existing investment, then knowing if the exams are being done efficiently acts as the starting point. So, all the exams, whose duration are statistical outliers become suspects for further analysis.

Of course, many of the outliers will have valid reasons like the age of the patient (too old or young), health condition of the patient (very unwell, claustrophobic), etc. However, without outliers data, even genuine cases where there are opportunities to optimize is lost. If non-identifiable patient data like age, sex, health condition, weight, etc. are also available, then this analysis can be further trimmed and eliminating all the known cases of longer exam durations.

Also, by slicing and dicing exams by the facility, modality, exam type, operator and device ID, you can understand what your top exams are, which facility is doing how well, which device is being used the most or least and which operator is doing how many exams. Each of these metrics helps you prioritize your immediate action for the maximum impact.

Monitoring Ongoing Asset Utilization

You also need to monitor the most utilized to least utilized equipment based on exam volume. By multiplying exam volume data with the cost per exam, you get to know how much revenue the device has returned back.

Comparing Operator Examination Procedure Durations

You need a historical trend analysis of the total exams and that of exams taking a longer time to complete by device, operator, facility, modality, or exam type. By understanding the historical trend of your top exams by modality, facility, operator, and device, you can apply the right levers to optimize those first for maximum returns. Apart from that, by understanding the volume of exams that you perform the least, helps you create specific promotion plans to increase those exams and hence return on your investment.

The last word

These practices are a complete change in how imaging centers are geared toward the future because examination study analysis gives you multiple levers to manage the assets, both people and machines than you had before. And it becomes a source for critical reasoning and ‘what if’ analysis.

Now is the time to explore ‘slicing and dicing’ the imaging center in innumerable ways and consider withdrawing the systems and practices you’re currently using. The effective use of historical examination study data is crucial to increasing the number of examination procedures each operator performs and a source for recovering revenues that otherwise is lost forever with every passing day.

Schedule a demo with us today to discuss your options in bringing Clinsights to your imaging facility.

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