Imaging Transformation

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Theadore_JasonMasone_ChristopherBy Jason Theadore, MHA, CRA, RT(R), FAHRA and Christopher Masone

The world around us is changing. Healthcare is changing at a rapid rate, possibly the fastest rate in our lifetime. As healthcare leaders, we must understand what is changing and how we can individually make a positive impact to the industry. Our session, Imaging Transformation, at the AHRA Spring Conference in Chicago will focus on the disruption in healthcare, industry trends, and strategies to respond to both the disruptions and trends in the industry.

Select market forces, or occurrences, are causing a transformational shift in the way healthcare is delivered. Demands from consumers and healthcare regulators are forcing us to evaluate an optimized cost structure, evaluate revenue transformation, and transition from volume to value to volume. What strategies does your department have to respond to this disruptor?

Declining reimbursement, consumerism, access, and clinical decision making are topics that will be discussed as healthcare disruptors. We will spend time understanding the trends around the disruption and strategies to deploy to successfully control the disruption.

The drive for access is often around a retail outpatient strategy. It is important to understand this shift and the challenges in the payment model that will make this appropriate shift more difficult to achieve. Our consumers are demanding access, yet many hospital systems do not know how to appropriately respond to this demand. As technology advances, consumers will have higher expectations of care and service delivery. As imaging professionals, how can we leverage our expertise and service area to drive this change? Patients will want services at the time and place of their choosing that is both convenient and easy to use based on their expectations – not on the expectation of the healthcare system or imaging department.

We have seen healthcare organizations have so much data that it paralyzes decision making. We have also seen healthcare organizations not have enough proper data for decision making. We will all need to rethink how we utilize data to guide our future organizational strategy. “Big Data” is available in the United States. Did you know that there are over 30 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook every month? Do you have plans to use “Big Data” to improve clinical decision making?

We will share the current utilization rates for CT, MRI, and mammography in the United States. Understanding these core utilization statistics will help start the discussion in your imaging department. How do we all take this information and appropriately respond to both the disruptors and trends in the industry?

As we bring our session to a close, we will discuss the importance of relationships. We are not only in the medical imaging business; we are also in the hospitality, technology, accounting, and sales businesses, just to name a few. We need to build relationships in our community, in our business, or within a large system. These types of environments seem to be complex but have existed for many years. The world around us is changing. How can you best survive and grow as a leader during this rapid change?

Jason Theadore, MHA, CRA, RT(R), FAHRA is the vice president, ambulatory services and business development at Mercy Health in Toledo, OH. He can be reached at 

Christopher Masone is the senior manager at Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP in Hudson, OH. He can be reached at

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