THE EFFICIENCY IMPERATIVE
While researchers have written a great deal about the need for efficiency and productivity in healthcare, they have generally approached the issue from a purely linear, calculated standpoint. As a result, the efficiency conversation is usually dominated by a sense of value-in, value-out and a focus on how each element contributes to a very specific definition of worth. It’s worth noting that despite the attention given to efficiency much of the healthcare sector is still struggling with growing costs, greater pressure on providers, and anemic bottom lines.
But a select number of innovative institutions are charting a new path, showing that steps exist to help both individuals and institutions achieve their mission while navigating through the changing healthcare landscape. These steps are accessible to any institution, but the trick is that to successfully apply these methods, institutions will need to completely reframe their concepts like productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency. In fact, nothing short of a paradigm shift in how we view and define efficiency will be required to survive the seismic changes that characterize the contemporary healthcare sector.
AIR™ Recon DL at the Hospital for Special Surgery
The Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has a long history of GE collaboration in the co-development of innovative MR orthopedic solutions, such as imaging around metal implants, quantitative characterization of cartilage and nerve imaging, to name a few. Approximately 2 years ago, GE and HSS undertook a clinical evaluation study to examine a novel, deep-learning based MR reconstruction technique called
AIR™ Recon DL‡, a technique that uses GE's Edison AI Platform, trained on over 10,000 images.
During the course of this study and subsequent commercial product pilot evaluation, HSS evaluated AIR™ Recon DL and its impact on image quality, spatial resolution and acquisition scan time in peripheral nerve and musculoskeletal (MSK) imaging. The difference in enhanced image quality was “night and day,” said HSS. AIR™ Recon DL improved SNR and image sharpness when looking at musculoskeletal structures, such as ligaments, tendons, nerves and the trabecular detail of the bones. When using AIR™ Recon DL on a 512 x 512 matrix with one excitation (1 NEX), trabecular detail was not blurred, and the individual nerve fascicles were clearly demonstrated. Previously at a 512 x 512 matrix, SNR would be a significant challenge. AIR™ Recon DL also works seamlessly with AIR Touch™ workflow tools that automate the scan process to drive consistency and help facilitate shorter scan times.
With AIR™ Recon DL, HSS doctors found that they could confidently evaluate the internal architecture of the nerve — something they couldn’t routinely see before – leading to faster radiology reads and more confidence in their diagnoses established through an early adopter user survey. Ultimately that put HSS in a position to serve more patients while also producing better patient outcomes. With the accompanying new software release, HSS is now considering orthopedic protocols that are under 10 minutes or less.
‡ Not yet CE marked for 1.5T. Not available for sale in all regions.
Centricity™ Cardio Workflow Connects All Diagnostic Modalities at Nuremberg Hospital
Examples of a successful efficiency mosaic can be found at Germany’s Nuremberg hospital, an institution with 2,730 beds and 6,000 staff. Feeling pressure from payors to speed up its report times for cardiology diagnostic procedures, they instituted a solution that went well beyond the cardiology department. Rather than simply conducting a training for cardiologists or adopting a one-off piece of technology that would foster faster reporting, the hospital conducted a full workflow analysis and connected all diagnostic modalities to a single cardiology information system that could generate a report available to all relevant care providers.
The effort involved adopting the Centricity Cardio Workflow system, but it also involved extensive training and education for a wide variety of hospital employees, advanced project management, and the creation of a new type of administrative report. The results reveal the benefits of this type of approach: the team decreased the time spent by cardiologists to complete cath lab reports by 60%* and increased quality control compliance to 100 percent.ii