Case Studies

Bill Lacy, vice president of medical informatics at FUJIFILM Medical Systems U.S.A., spoke with Radiology Business about AI’s impact on radiologist workflow and what the company has planned for HIMSS19.

A family from Pennsylvania’s Plain People community, which consists primarily of Amish and Mennonite families, recently took their child to Cardiology Care for Children (CCC), a small yet regionally renowned practice in Lancaster.

Fourteen years ago, radiologist Dean R. Ball, DO, founded a breast imaging practice to meet the needs of the underserved communities in and surrounding Youngstown, Ohio. Today, the practice Ball founded, Tiffany Breast Care Center, employs 16 mammography staffers, up from five in 2004. Although the practice has grown significantly, Ball is committed to reading the X-ray images for each of his patients—which is upwards of 15,000 annually.

In today’s era of value-based care, healthcare providers and vendors are more focused on customer service than ever before. FUJIFILM Medical Systems U.S.A., Inc. (Fujifilm), for instance, recently made significant strides with its own customer service, skyrocketing to the top of MD Buyline’s customer experience ratings for digital radiography (DR) portables, flat panel detectors and DR rooms (MD Buyline Q3 2018) which includes the highest rating in the portable category for Service Response Time and Service Repair Quality.

Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in all of New Jersey. In fact, the 781-bed teaching and research hospital—which first opened its doors in Hackensack back in 1888—was ranked No. 1 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-2018 Best Hospital rankings for the entire state.

For-profit and not-for-profit healthcare facilities may value the health of their cath lab employees differently. Without a clear indication of the bottom-line impact, some hospitals may be forgoing protective equipment and sacrificing the long-term health of their workers. Should the C-suite prioritize worker health when allocating investment dollars? 

Last spring RBJ put out a call for entrants to compete in its inaugural Imaging Innovation Awards. We opened the contest to all private radiology practices and hospital radiology departments that had recently completed a project combining creative thinking with coordinated teamwork to develop a notably original breakthrough in some particular aspect of medical imaging.

The Southeast Regional Stroke Center at Erlanger, based out of the University of Tennessee’s Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, receives referrals from more than 40 hospitals and treats more than 2,500 strokes each year. Patients are rushed to their internationally-recognized center, more commonly referred to as the Erlanger Stroke Network, both day and night, some arriving by ambulance and others by helicopter.

It’s just complicated. That’s the view many radiology practice leaders have of managing their information technology. But bringing together the right systems, software, infrastructure, and team can conquer that—even for large, complex practices like Central Illinois Radiological Associates (CIRA). Interpreting more than one million studies per year, and serving more than 26 hospitals, cancer centers, and clinics across multiple hospital systems utilizing multiple IT solutions, the secret sauce is a single worklist that helps unify study management across all sites.

I love being a neuroradiologist and helping patients. I’ve always loved it. But there are downsides to the work as well. The stress levels might be high, you can feel isolated or restricted and your work list may control everything you do—it’s no wonder burnout is so high in our profession these days.

As far back as my undergraduate years, I knew I wanted to work in a field that combined medicine with computer science. I actually had a professor who told me that was a silly combination. He said there’d never be a real-world need for it. How wrong he was—and how fortunate I am to now work for a radiology practice whose hallmark is its enthusiastic embrace of IT and imaging informatics.

Imad Nijim, chief information officer of MEDNAX Radiology Solutions and Virtual Radiologic (vRad), has been in medical imaging and informatics for more than 18 years. He’s seen a lot during that time, but nothing quite as groundbreaking or exciting as the artificial intelligence (AI) currently being developed by researchers all over the world. Nijim spoke with Radiology Business about MEDNAX Radiology Solutions’ plans for AI, what he sees in the industry today, and the company’s big plans for RSNA 2018.