Case Studies

As imaging leaders work to help their practices move from volume-based care to value-based care, they often find themselves asking the same key questions. How can I improve workflow? How do I ensure everyone has the information they need? Laurie Bergeron is a product manager for workflow solutions at Change Healthcare who develops solutions that help health systems transition to value-based care. She sat down and answered several questions about this important topic.

Daniel R. Gale, MD, and M. Elon Gale, MD, both worked in academics before they began working at Lowell General Hospital (LGH), a nonprofit community hospital in Lowell, Mass. And while the brothers both enjoyed their new practice, there was one thing they missed from the days of working with trainees: reviewing and interpreting each exam with a fellow with post-graduate training.

Jeffrey B. Mendel, MD, former Chair of Radiology and Chief of Radiology Informatics at, respectively, Tufts-affiliated St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston and Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, shares an anecdote.

Hurricane Harvey, one of the most devastating storms in U.S. history, hit Texas in August 2017, leaving entire neighborhoods underwater and doing billions of dollars in damage. On Friday, August 25, the storm was heading straight for the coastal city of Corpus Christi, Texas, until weather patterns shifted at the last minute.

In healthcare, as in life, relationships evolve over time. Take, for instance, Atlantic Radiology Associates (ARA) in Savannah, Ga., a 12-radiologist group serving hospitals throughout Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. ARA first started working with vRad, the country’s largest teleradiology provider, back in 2007, with vRad handling preliminary weekend and overnight reads for one of the group’s busiest hospitals.

No world-class radiology residency program ever attained its excellence without securing and sustaining department-wide buy-in on the criticality of teaching the next generation of radiologists. Clinical care and research don’t need to be de-emphasized in any way, but every faculty member in the department must be committed to teaching while sincerely appreciating the value of the residency program in ensuring the present and future health of the profession.

Eight years ago, Women’s Imaging Associates in Birmingham, Ala., was a small, well-respected mammography practice serving six OB/GYN offices in its area. Today, having embraced a 100% telemedicine model, its three fulltime breast specialists read images for 22 client facilities scattered around the U.S.—not only OB offices but also outpatient imaging centers and hospitals large and small. 

Being a radiologist today can feel a bit like being on the Starship Enterprise: you have all these Star-Trek-like tools at your disposal – devices and applications with the ability to produce incredibly sophisticated digital images and insights that we couldn’t have imagined even twenty years ago. 

For small rural hospitals such as McCurtain Memorial Hospital in Idabel, Okla., an on-staff radiologist is a luxury. After losing its single in-house radiologist, the facility floated between several different teleradiology providers before finally landing on vRad—largely due to vRad’s strong breast health portfolio.

The radiology job market has had its fair share of ups and downs, as one can see by simply scanning the last 15 years of data from Merritt Hawkins, a popular physician search firm. In 2003, radiology was the No. 1 most requested search assignment at Merritt Hawkins. 

Once considered some of the most contractually stable and fiscally secure practitioners in all of U.S. medicine, radiologists are today concerned about their very future—and more than a few are right to be worried. From nosediving reimbursement to successive consolidation, from constantly expanding technologies to fitfully pinballing policymaking, the pressures have been varied and unrelenting for years now. What’s more, the pace of change is even now only accelerating. How best to rise to this moment with realistic hopes of emerging stronger than ever?

Prioritizing patient comfort and satisfaction may be a hot topic among policy makers in today’s healthcare environment, but it’s nothing new for the healthcare providers who spend most of their time working directly with them. Radiology technologists like me have always known the vital role of a positive patient experience in creating clinical value for patients. In my role supervising MRI technologists at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, I’m made aware every day of the importance of providing a calming, supportive environment for our young patients and their families.