SOURCE: Virtual Radiologic

Virtual Radiologic

October 14, 2014 09:30 ET

vRad Continues Empowering Radiology With Access to "Big Data" Analytics and Insights

Latest "Look in the Mirror" RPC Indices Facilitates CT Imaging Performance Comparisons With Hospitals Just Like Yours

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwired - Oct 14, 2014) - vRad (Virtual Radiologic), the nation's largest telemedicine company and radiology practice with more than 500 physicians, today released its latest RPC(SM) (Radiology Patient Care) Indices, "Look in the Mirror," which are available for free and unrestricted use at www.vrad.com.

For the first time, hospitals, health systems and radiology departments can use normalized data to compare their own usage of CT imaging in the Emergency Department (ED) to similar organizations across the U.S. The interactive infographic permits users to self-select their hospital-type peer group for more relevant performance comparisons based on their own geographic region, health system classification, bed size and urban/rural location. Peer group metrics include top CT procedures (overall and by body region) and top reasons for CT study.

"Using analytics to better measure, benchmark and prove overall healthcare value is a complex undertaking," said Philip Hampton, Vice President, Lovelace Health System, New Mexico. "You must know what to measure, how to measure it, and what benchmark goals to choose. For example, when tackling issues like imaging appropriateness, you can't compare your data to a critical access hospital with 25 beds in Vermont if you are a Level 1 trauma center in Los Angeles. Radiology analytics demand context if you are going to make better decisions for better alignment with hospital partners around quality, service levels and performance. Until now, statistically valid samples of normalized data have been unavailable for these necessary peer group comparisons."

Hospitals and health systems are experiencing ongoing cost-control pressure that is forcing significant changes in the healthcare delivery system, such as pay-for-performance or "fee-for-value" models. "CMOs at local, regional and national IDNs should be making diagnostic imaging performance a priority because it is central to their delivery of high quality, cost efficient healthcare across their facilities," said Benjamin W. Strong, MD, ABIM, ABR, vRad's Chief Medical Officer. "Having normalized, findings-based data -- like the RPC Indices -- allows them to have fact-based discussions with physicians and administrators using objective insight on how imaging volumes and findings statistics compare to facilities just like theirs."

According to Dr. Strong, relevant analytics and benchmarks can also be used to measure and monitor radiology's ongoing performance and its effect on critical cost parameters for hospital CMOs such as "treat to street" in EDs or length of stay for inpatients. "An 'apples-to-apples' comparison is required to establish the right starting point on which to build assumptions, define goals and develop and document success metrics."

Dr. Strong concludes, "There are many complex moving parts when it comes to improving the value and performance of healthcare. But one thing is clear: Radiology must be the one transforming data into analytics -- and effectively shining the spotlight on our use of imaging. If we don't do it, someone else will do it for us."

vRad's RPC Indices are a "living library" of statistically significant metrics that provide hospitals, radiology groups and health systems with objective comparisons of their use of imaging to national averages and relevant peer groups. They are derived from its clinical database of more than 27 million imaging studies from over 2,000 facilities in all 50 states; vRad's database is a national projection of the U.S. market. Its patent-pending data normalization tool, vCoder(SM), also solves the "last-mile" challenge -- getting disparate data from 2,000+ facilities to "speak the same language" so that comparative metrics can be established and objective comparisons made.

"vRad is committed to elevating radiology as a strategic partner vs. a cost center to be managed," said Jim Burke, vRad's CEO. "The breadth of our data set and ongoing investments in data normalization gives us the ability and the responsibility to share analytics tools, like the RPC Indices, to inform the dialogue around measuring radiology's value and performance -- using insights from facts vs. intuition or opinions."

Please visit www.vrad.com for the up-to-date online library of interactive RPC Indices.

Click to tweet: @vRad Continues Empowering #Radiology with Access to "Big Data" Analytics and Insights #HIT

About vRad
vRad (Virtual Radiologic) is a global telemedicine company and the nation's largest radiology practice with over 500 physicians. vRad's physicians and operational platform serve 2,000+ hospitals, reading over 7 million patient radiology reports annually. vRad is also a leader in healthcare informatics: its RPC(SM) (Radiology Patient Care) Indices are the first findings-based national and peer group benchmarking metrics for the use of radiology imaging. Our analytics platform includes over 27 million imaging studies, growing at 600,000 per month. vRad's clinical expertise and evidence-based insight help clients make better decisions for the health of their patients and their practices. For more information about the Company, including vRad's 2014 Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award, please visit www.vrad.com. For real-time updates, follow us on Twitter (@vRad), or "like" us on Facebook.

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