Last year the institutional leadership at Texas’s University Health System, which contracts with the UT Health San Antonio physician network, made the decision to move all inpatient imaging off the radiology department’s PACS and onto a new enterprise imaging (EI) platform. Their goal was internal consolidation. 

As recently as eight months ago, cardiologists sitting down to work with medical images at Novant Health had plenty of choices on where and how to go about that part of their jobs.

Providers harness Nuance technology to create backstop for imaging cases that may slip through the cracks

The Illinois Bone and Joint Institute (IBJI) treats patients in the Chicago area for every orthopedic issue under the sun, from rheumatoid arthritis to total knee replacements, and its 100-plus physicians order thousands of imaging exams on an annual basis.

The Portland Clinic (TPC), a physician-owned, multi-specialty group serving northwest Oregon, first opened its doors in 1921, when gas was $0.26 per gallon and silent films still ruled the box office. Nearly 100 years later, TPC has built a tight network of five clinic locations with 30 specialties and primary care teams working together to provide the full spectrum of care for patients within the Portland metropolitan area.

The job market for radiologists has never been better, with fewer medical students pursuing a career in radiology and a considerable number of physicians nearing retirement. And those trends only compound the systemic issues of an aging population and the ongoing physician shortage.

News on the public health crisis touched off by the spread of the novel coronavirus has been mostly bad. But a few bright rays have begun piercing the darkness. One is the growth of patient and provider acceptance of telemedicine. 

Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City has pioneered a lot of innovation. This time it’s digital pathology. They’re all in with research and consultation and dawning with primary diagnostics, thanks to a jump-start from COVID-19, and a recent FDA clearance of Sectra Digital Pathology Solution for image viewing. 

In February and March 2020, the inevitable happened: COVID-19 came to the United States, hitting the country’s healthcare system like a 10-pound sledgehammer. 

Like a whirlwind, COVID-19 seemed to appear out of nowhere and completely disrupted the global community. Economies are stressed, industries are experiencing unprecedented changes, and governments are trying to manage it all.

Medical imaging volume was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, as the old adage says, this too shall pass. But when? And what should practices being doing to prepare for the return?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals have reported that stroke and heart attack patients are staying home instead of seeking the medical attention they need. Medical societies have warned against such actions, highlighting the importance of seeking treatment, yet the trend continues throughout the United States.