In speaking with our practices, I understood that they want to retain control at the local level yet create a world-class asset to aggregate data at the national level. The clinically integrated platform will create the backbone of that work.
In a unanimous vote, the Strategic Radiology (SR) Board of Managers approved a business plan to implement three sweeping national initiatives that will greatly enhance collaborative activity and services for members, 22 privately owned and independent radiology practices. “We have a clear direction, we know where our compass is pointing, and we know what to do,” said Arl Van Moore Jr, MD, FACR, CEO and chair of SR.
First, the coalition will build a neutral, cloud-based, clinically integrated platform (CIP) to which all practices will connect for the purpose of clinical image exchange, national blinded peer review, and data aggregation, an initiative that will be led by James Whitfill, MD, SR’s interim CIO and incoming president of the Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine.
Second, an already robust quality program that includes the nation’s sole radiology-specific Patient Safety Organization will be expanded to move more deeply into clinical quality improvement, establishing a quality dashboard to benchmark clinical and operational metrics, and launching national, blinded, and potentially real-time peer review. Lisa Mead, SR PSO and quality director, will lead the expansion with direction and guidance from a physician Clinical Quality Advisory Board.
Third, following a national survey that identified significant cost savings opportunities, SR will roll out a national effort to improve revenue cycle management (RCM) working with individual practices through data analytics, the proliferation of best practices, and RCM consulting services. Similar national programs to improve compliance and credentialing also will be initiated.
Collaboration and Data Aggregation
Dr. Whitfill’s objective in architecting the CIP solution is to create a flexible architecture that would meet current and future needs of individual members, and scale as the coalition and the use cases grow. “In speaking with our practices, I understood that they want to retain control at the local level yet create a world-class asset to aggregate data at the national level,” Dr. Whitfill said. “The CIP will create the backbone of that work. I can’t even predict all of the ways that our members are going to collaborate in different use scenarios on this platform.”
Mead is looking forward to working with the SR Clinical Quality Advisory Board to ramp up national quality initiatives on behalf of SR member practices. “Our ability to aggregate clinical data across the nation and eliminate variation around our targeted benchmarks offers an unprecedented opportunity to improve patient care and provide evidence of the quality of Strategic Radiology practices,” said Mead.
Randy Roat, SR chief operations officer is optimistic about the ability to harvest significant savings in working with the national RCM teams, and believes the compliance team will provide practices with much-needed protections. “Regulatory changes have added a new layer of risk to medical practices, and increased attention to compliance will both raise awareness and increase our accountability within Strategic Radiology to one another,” said Roat.
No one has done more to move Strategic Radiology toward its next evolutionary step than Dr. Moore. “As we move ahead, we recognize that our strength is in our diversity,” Moore said. “We have a complex gene pool that includes the best of private practice radiology— big practices with the capability to host a hospital system’s PACS, co-manage their radiology departments, and feed detailed business intelligence back to their hospitals.
“We have smaller practices with great relationships in their communities, each with a unique ability to serve their patients with dedication, compassion, and innovative health care. Their commitment to our profession brings a unique vibrancy to who we are as we innovate and work together in our changing medical environment. The common ingredients of all Strategic Radiology practices are great leadership, great operations, and great radiologists who enjoy coming to work every day.”
Hub is the monthly newsletter published for the membership of Strategic Radiology practices. It includes coalition and practice news as well as news and commentary of interest to radiology professionals.
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