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Population Health Demands Clearer Standards for Radiology

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, July 18, 2013

Radiology leaders advocate standards-based medical imaging programs to reduce errors and improve efficiencies. The aim is to reward radiologists "not for more procedures, but for the right ones."

"[Radiology is] the greatest profession in medicine. When a patient comes to you, if you are not sure of the answer, you simply just order more tests," says Everett Neal, And "by the way, you get paid for that," he laughs.

Neal, the VP of Hospital Partnerships of Radisphere, is relating what he terms a "cynical" view that some people have about radiologists.

Joking or not, he touches on a truism that has often been pinned on radiology: It's too costly, there are too many procedures, and it's a microcosm of the woes of healthcare itself.

Yet many healthcare leaders are trying to change that; Neal among them. So is Allen Weiss, MD, president and CEO, NCH Healthcare System in Naples, FL, which is coordinating radiology care with a focus on efficiency and standardization.

The approach is team-based, and technology-driven, with the intent of improving procedures, while reducing errors and overutilization, Weiss says. Weiss and Neal spoke last month at a HealthLeaders Media webcast, New Radiology Standards to Reduce Costs, Increase Quality and Improve Outcomes.

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