Imaging Ratios: Unless You Have X-Ray Vision, Use Imaging Tools

You don’t want to guess what’s going on inside when it comes to patient health. That’s why you use radiology and ultrasonography to diagnose problems and make the best decisions possible for your patients. But how well does your practice use these imaging tools?

The Big Picture

Top-performing practices use key performance indicators (KPIs) called quality-of-care ratios to measure and improve both quality of patient care and financial health.

See how radiology and ultrasonography can improve your practice with the imaging quality-of-care ratio.

What the Imaging Ratio Looks Like

When AAHA’s VMG groups calculate the imaging quality-of-care ratio, they include X-rays and ultrasounds.

Once you know your imaging quality-of-care ratio, you can start to improve it.

Invest in the Right Equipment

You typically get what you pay for, so invest in equipment that meets your needs, and then get the proper training. Some business experts say to be wary of equipment purchases that you won’t be able to pay off within a year. That’s not a scientific formula, but it’s sound advice to keep in mind.

Before you purchase equipment, make sure you know how to explain and emphasize its diagnostic value to your clients. That starts with teaching your staff why imaging is important, so they can educate the client, too.

From there, prioritize the type of imaging, and develop protocols to be consistent:

  • Look at usage and price points. Come up with an idea of how many images (like abdominals, guided cystos, and scans) you would need to run each month to justify your investment.
  • Price appropriately. Be sure to include the cost of images in estimates.
  • In-house or out? Weigh the pros and cons of doing these evaluations in-house versus sending clients to a specialist.

Whether you decide to do it yourself or send it out, imaging is a vital part of practicing best medicine. While business decisions need to have a business basis, remember what should really drive medicine—patients.

The good news is, if you do your job as owners, the business follows. The imaging quality of-care-ratio can help lead the way.

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