View the infographics featured below.
- CT Utilization in ED is Highly Variable
As the second in a series of graphical stories that highlight imaging’s role in overutilization, this infographic focuses on the impact of variation in behavior across ordering clinicians. It illustrates massive variation in CT utilization rates across 58 hospital emergency departments across the country over the past two years. A view into one sample hospital’s ED shows the highest utilizers order CTs at 4X the rate of the lowest utilizers.
- The ED is a Big Contributor to Overutilization
Imaging performed in the Emergency Department plays a big role in our country’s massive overutilization problem. Our latest infographic, which illustrates a key finding in our diagnostic research across multiple health systems across the country, is the first in a series of graphical stories that highlight imaging’s role in overutilization. The graphic reveals that 8% of patients who receive hi-tech imaging in the ED are sent home before their test results are returned to the ordering physician. The graphic further illustrates the percentage of unnecessary imaging performed by modality: 5% of all CTs, 15% of Ultrasounds and 16% of MRIs.
- Better Radiology in the ED Can Reduce Patient LOS by 10%
The Emergency Department is typically the heaviest user of radiology within a hospital, with 45% of all scans ordered there. Our diagnostic research performed across multiple for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals revealed a nearly 200% variance in patient LOS in the ED. It also revealed that radiology reports take dramatically longer during the busiest hours in the ED. When the volume of patients who require imaging is at its highest – between 4pm-12 am — the number of radiologists on duty is at its lowest. The infographic illustrates how radiology improvement efforts focused on standardizing radiology turnaround time and implementing a CT utilization management program can help the ED realize a 10% reduction in patient LOS.
- Health System Finding: Radiology Subspecialists Not Effectively Used
Specialization is one of the most important and least followed performance standards in radiology today. In fact, the Radiology Quality Institute recommends that 100% of MR, PET, Pediatric and Women’s imaging should be read by radiologists with fellowship training, CAQ and/or proven expertise. However, the findings captured within this infographic, based on research done at a major for-profit health system division, reveal that a significant percentage of mammograms and pediatric scans are read by the wrong subspecialist. Equally important, it reveals that a very low percentage of a mammographer’s or pediatric subspecialist’s work is spent within his/her specialty. This infographic underscores the importance of having the right subspecialty coverage in radiology.
- Rethinking Radiology: A New Delivery Model is Required
Radiology is one of the most important and strategic clinical functions at hospitals and health systems, but it is highly sub-optimized today. There is a tremendous opportunity for health systems to use technology to leverage scale and significantly improve performance and results against a common set of quality standards. A “standards-based radiology delivery model” is essential to high quality, low cost patient care. This infographic explores why radiology is integral to hospital economics and patient care, why the current delivery model is flawed, and how standards-based models improve the quality and cost of radiology across the system.