cutting costs for radiology department

The Smartest Ways to Cut Costs for a Better Bottom Line

Radiology departments and imaging facilities often find themselves under pressure to cut costs and having to face payment reductions. That leads one to wonder about how healthcare providers should navigate these financial constraints without compromising the level of care they provide to their patients.  

One strategy to go about this involves taking advantage of innovative technology and tools to drive productivity for your staff.  

Let’s dive into the three approaches that can help you maximize your dollars while still delivering a first-rate patient experience.
 

Reduce patient no-shows

Patient no-shows has been a long-standing problem for radiology practices. A no-show refers to when a patient fails to attend a scheduled appointment without notifying the healthcare provider beforehand. Unfortunately, the healthcare system loses out on millions of dollars due to this persistent problem. 

To be more precise, 67,000 no-shows can cost the healthcare system about $7 million according to a study’s findings. These costs may be even higher in some settings like radiology departments because of their resources such as X-Ray and MRI machines. With the high costs of the machines, healthcare organizations may see huge financial constraints when those machines are underutilized.  

So why do patients skip out on their appointments? It boils down to a number of patient, environmental, financial, and scheduling-related reasons such as: 

  • Fear and anxiety (a radiology department setting can trigger these feelings in some patients) 
  • Improved health condition (patients skip appointments when they feel better) 
  • The time of the scheduled appointment (patients may forget their appointments) 
  • Poor weather conditions 
  • Language barriers 

 

appointment remainder system radiologyOne of the most effective ways to reduce patient-no shows is through appointment reminders via text messages. With RamSoft’s automated front desk solution, you can text appointment reminders and confirmation requests to your patients. Once their appointments have been scheduled, patients receive a link to fill out their intake forms ahead of time. By the time your patients walk through the door, they’ll be all set for their imaging procedure.  

 

Make data-driven decisions

Without a clear view of your organization’s financial and operational performance, do you really know how you’re doing as a business? In mere seconds, you can uncover this type of data and other important insight with a cloud-based radiology business intelligence tool 

However, healthcare hasn’t used business data in the same level of frequency and depth compared to other industries. Rather than investing in technology such as data visualization and reporting systems or apps, it’s more common for healthcare providers to invest in clinical information systems instead.  

The power of business intelligence shouldn’t be underestimated though. A growing amount of research revealed that users make better decisions (or at least feel more confident in the decisions they make) when they see data in tables or graphics that are easy to interpret and understand. With data presented in a clear and consistent manner, users can make informed decisions faster than before. 

Essence™ BI is the answer for radiology practices in need of an application that displays practice data at a glance. The visual dashboard provides a clear overview of your practice’s performance, key performance indicators (KPI), and financial performance.  

If you’re trying to understand where you should reduce costs and what your most profitable and underutilized services are, business intelligence will provide you that clarity.
 

Ditch the CDs

Even with all the technological advancements made within the field of radiology, it’s still common for patients to carry burned CDs with them as they move from one hospital to another. Not only is this burdensome for both patients and care providers, but there are also a few problems and risks related to this method of sharing images: 

  • Patients may lose their CDs 
  • CDs can get damaged and become unreadable

 

On top of that, each CD burner manufacturer has their own approach to storing the images, reports, and image viewer on the CD. In situations where CDs are damaged, the radiologist may not be able to view or retrieve all the images.  

QR Code for healthcare - banner gif

Without a doubt, there’s plenty of room for improvement in how image exchange happens between health systems. One of the easiest ways to share images is with QR SNAP™ – patients simply just need to show a QR code to their healthcare provider to share their images and reports. 

QR SNAP™ was designed for the specific needs of radiology facilities, mentioned Eduardo Mendoza Sanchez, RIS/PACS Implementation Manager at RamSoft. “QR SNAP™ streamlines the delivery of results for patients and referring physicians, effectively removing the expenses related to printing film images and burning CDs, which in turn translates into increased cost savings for providers.” Using QR SNAP™ results in decreased wait times and a faster diagnosis process, said Mendoza Sanchez. 

 

Improve your bottom line

These cost-cutting approaches can help radiology departments and imaging facilities maximize their budgets without negatively affecting the patient experience. Luckily, it’s never too late to try new strategies or implement software to enhance your radiology workflow.  

Interested to know how else RamSoft’s medical imaging solutions can save you time and money? 

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