The Radiologist role – It’s changing… but how much?

Jacques Gilbert

There is a steady march away from the practice of volume-based imag­ing to that of value-based imaging.  This paradigm is creating new care models that bring with them new payment incentives and a redefinition of ‘outcomes’ measures associated with the very practice of Radiology.  With this shift, is a need for new connected, interoperable and efficient technology solutions to support these new care models.   Collaboration tools – that allow proactive and fluid collaboration with peers and care providers – are the kinds of solutions that can help enhance better outcomes for the patient.  For Radiologists, collaboration tools are one of the key enablers in helping enhance value-based imaging.

Studies underscore what Radiologists have said all along: They can do a job better if they have a fuller understanding of a patient’s clinical history1.  How better to get that, than to be in a more collaborative review with their referring physician and the broader care team?

The paradigm shift to outcomes and collaboration

Today, with specialized departmental workflows, Radiologists read exams and selectively interact with the patient in situations where special procedures such as biopsies, conscious sedation or other interventional procedures are required.

In order to effectively collaborate, Radiologists need the kind of technology solutions that that enable multidisciplinary care teams, such as tumor review boards, to confer with other specialists and referring physicians on complex cases, – solutions that fold Radiologist imaging services into the continuous patient care pathway – helping Radiologists become more consultative, and more of a care partner with other specialists, helping to inform the patient diagnosis and treatment plan.

Increased visibility for the Radiologist can be fostered through improved intradepartmental and cross-spe­cialty collaborations that highlight the value that Radiologists bring to the care continuum.

What’s Next?

Without a doubt, there is an increasing need for Radiologists to be more collaborative in the steady march away from the practice of volume-based imag­ing to that of value-based imaging. In anticipa­tion of these newer care models, Radiologists will need to redefine the measures of ‘outcomes’ associated with their practice, while anticipating the collaborative challenges ahead.  Developing innovative information technology investments and strategies to support the new era of collaborative care that value-based imaging brings, Radiologists will have more opportunity to be consultative, collaborative and more of the ‘care partner’ in this new paradigm of patient centered care.

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