Q&A with Diversified Radiology: Solving Technology and Business Challenges to Improve Patient Care

Diversified Radiology (@DivRadiology) is a medical practice located in Denver, Colorado offering 24/7/365 specializations in Diagnostic, Body Imaging, Nuclear Medicine, Telemammography, Neuro, Nuclear, Interventional, Musculoskeletal and Pediatric. Diversified is also the only group in Colorado that offers this level of specialization during overnight hours.

Diversified is also a proud member of Strategic Radiology. Strategic Radiology is a consortium that consists of large radiology practices that contribute to the organization’s communal approach by sharing data and best practices, interchanging clinical expertise, and consolidating certain practice expenses.

The following Q&A with Software Engineer, David Vazquez, details the business and technology challenges they solved, and the value an integration engine has provided to their growing organization.

Key Takeaways: Significant business and technology barriers needed to be broken down to achieve the Strategic Radiology vision. The team at Diversified Radiology of Colorado, as a driving force in the establishment of Strategic Radiology, showed a true commitment to the mantra of “always improving” in helping to establish the consortium and preparing for the future of radiology.

Q: Can you talk about how the concept of Strategic Radiology came about?

At Diversified Radiology, we already offered tele-radiology 24/7/365, but during talks at RSNA and other events, our CEO Kip McMillan, who has a lot of knowledge and experience in both programming and accounting asked the question, “If I have a computer right in front of me, why can’t I send images to the best radiologist in the nation?” That’s the primary purpose Diversified Radiology got involved in tele-radiology and Strategic Radiology was formed to provide.

We believe a patient has every right to say, “If I’m in a hospital getting a diagnostic image, I want the best radiologist in the nation to read that scan.” That’s what Strategic Radiology does and what today’s technology is allowing us to do.

As we expand and grow, and more partners join Strategic Radiology, they are able to connect with us and offer the same tele-radiology 24/7 business to their customers. It also increase the range of specialties in our partner network.

Q: Were there any significant hurdles you had to handle in starting up?

There were a number of hurdles, from licensing, credentialing to workflow, but the most important factor for Diversified was being able to minimize the time it took to setup an interface when a partner joined Strategic Radiology. From an IT perspective that is a very important business challenge we needed to solve.

Q: What technology issues did you encounter and how did you address them?

At that time, the process of licensing and credentialing our radiologists across the nation was taking less time than the IT portion. The interface implementation was taking longer than what was wanted. Diversified had to weigh the factors and try to make a business decision to make this process better.

So our CEO started looking around and talking to other prominent radiology groups within Strategic Radiology to see how they create and manage their interfaces. Between recommendations from those big radiology groups and also putting into consideration purchase price, maintenance, deployment, integration expenses and ongoing operating costs of an engine, Diversified Radiology made the decision to purchase Corepoint Integration Engine. Long story short, since Corepoint, there’s no more waiting for interfaces to get done. Everything has a faster turnaround time.

Q: Can you summarize the benefits Diversified Radiology realized following your Corepoint Integration Engine implementation?

When we purchased Corepoint, we we’re able to minimize time associated with project management and eliminate the need to deal with vendors and vendor connections. With Corepoint, we finally have control of our own interfaces. If something changes down the road, a RISRadiology Information System (RIS) is the main application in an imaging center or radiology department. RIS is used by to store, manipulate and distribute patient radiological data and imagery. RIS are used for patient scheduling, tracking, and imag... More system in the hospital for example, we’re able to make changes on the fly. So there’s minimal downtime and we’re completely minimizing the turnaround time.

Q: Have you had one of your associated hospitals undergo a major system migration, for example, to Meditech, Epic or Paragon? Is that something you’ve experienced?

Several times. Sometimes they will change systems or do upgrades to their RIS systems without telling us until the next day when reports start failing and they’ll say, “Oh, yeah. Can you change that on this side?” But it’s so fast having control here, so we can make changes as needed, even on the fly if necessary.

As you start learning and getting experience with each system, it gets easier and easier. Now, for example, I know what Meditech orders look like. I know what Epic looks like. I think it’s good for our customers because we’re able implement new interfaces or make changes so fast and they’re not waiting wondering why their reports aren’t filing.

Q: Can you describe learning and working with Corepoint Integration Engine?

When Corepoint was initially purchased I had very minimal knowledge of HL7, so I had a big learning curve ahead of me. With the training and the software’s flexibility I was on my way to developing my first interface, with some assistance from Corepoint Professional Services.

If I can say anything about Corepoint, it’s just an exceptional product. The support is amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever dealt with a better vendor than Corepoint. You guys are amazing. I can speak for my IT Director (Patrick Driscoll) and CEO. It’s an amazing product with an amazing support staff.

The really cool thing is learning more about how the engine can improve our workflows and the overall business. We’re taking advantage of features that make things so much easier. I’m always thinking, what we can do now, what can we do better, how can we make that process even better?

Q: What would you say the future holds for Diversified Radiology?

Diversified Radiology will continue to add hospitals and radiology groups to its teleradiology network. We’ve been attracting a number of leads, in large part because we can be extremely flexible in providing our IT intelligence in getting them connected – quickly and painlessly.

Knowing our CEO, I’m certain we’d be open to other medical specialties that could benefit from our expertise. There really isn’t anything in our approach that limits our service to Radiology. It’s just as applicable to integrating medical records.

We’ve also seen some real progress on the adoption of Vender Neutral Archives within our industry. Everyone in Healthcare recognizes the importance of seamless interoperability. By using Corepoint, we’ve become a significant player in creating VNAVendor Neutral Archive (VNA) – A software solution that acts as a middleware application between one or many clinical workflow applications, formerly known as PACS, and various storage platforms and IT strategies. VNA will support: one or many clin... More for Healthcare. The benefits of being part of the early development is truly immeasurable.

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