Pointing Out Added Value to Protect Radiologist Turf

September 1, 2011

Radiologist groups shouldn’t be shy about making clear their value to hospitals, according to an article published online today in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Radiologist groups shouldn’t be shy about making clear their value to hospitals, according to an article published online today in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. It’s available in free full text.

The authors lay down six areas in which radiologists add value to a hospital. Not communicating these value-adds carries the now familiar risk of being outsourced, offshored, or having the traditional domain of radiologists usurped by other specialists, they said.

“These problematic situations may well have arisen because the hospital administrators have not recognized the value added by their on-site radiology groups or have not been sufficiently educated by these radiology groups to that effect,” said lead author Vijay M. Rao, MD, FACR.

The authors identified six key value-added services: patient safety, quality of the images, quality of the interpretations, service to patients and referring physicians, cost containment and helping build the hospital’s business. Hospital leaders should balance the impacts in-house radiologist bring to these areas when deciding the fate of in-house radiology services, Rao said.

“If the hospital allows its radiology department to become fragmented by the intrusion of other specialists or teleradiology companies in remote locations, most of these added values would be lost, and chaos would ensue,” Rao said.