Intelligent technology adds ‘second brain’ to aid radiologists

By Lincoln L. Berland, MD, FACR

Radiology is increasingly being measured in terms of direct impact on the patient care cycle. One of the most exciting things I’ve seen in the advancement of technologies is the adding of intelligence into systems to help doctors incorporate guidelines, improve accuracy, and enhance the practice of medicine.

As the industry looks for ways to tap into the power of the vast amounts of data at clinicians’ fingertips, they’re increasingly looking for intelligent systems to help them make smart decisions. Still, information is bombarding radiologists from many sources – from the patient, the primary physician, the lab, among others. In order to make sense of the vast depths of information that surround them, radiologists need a layer of intelligence to guide them in real-time to ensure the reports they’re creating are efficiently delivered to clinicians and that they contain actionable information to provide quality, cost-effective patient care.

In today’s ever-evolving health care landscape, the actionable radiologyreport is an essential tool that can help reinforce how radiologists directly impact patient care. Today, the radiologists’ role in the process of ensuring quality care is often under emphasized. Still, clinicians of various specialties are often dependent upon the radiologists’ recommendations to act or not to act on certain findings. As such, an important solution that radiologists are integrating into their workflow is a “second brain” of sorts through clinical language understanding (CLU) where technology gathers information and pulls out data from the electronic medical record or radiology report to make us more efficient and provide faster and better reports. CLU helps radiologists integrate clinical guidelines and recommendations into their workflow, and provides decision support for radiologists so they can create actionable reports that aid patient care and ensure appropriate reimbursement as a result of accurate documentation from the get-go.

At the end of the day, radiologists are being asked to find new ways to do more with fewer resources and to do so without sacrificing the quality of work at hand; work that impacts the health and well-being of people. It’s not an easy endeavor but it’s one radiologists are embracing by seeking out smart technologies that ensure radiologists continue to positively impact patient care while also balancing the business-side of health care.

Professional biography: Practicing radiologist, Lincoln L. Berland, MD, FACR, from the University of Alabama, recently shared his thoughts on the transition to value-based healthcare and its impact on radiology as practitioners head to Texas for the Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) Annual Meeting week.

For more information on clinical language understanding: SIIM13: Actionable Radiology Reports a Reality


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