Posted on May 30, 2019
As it becomes increasingly difficult to recruit and retain radiologists, imaging centers are faced with the challenge of managing workload in an increasingly demanding climate. While teleradiology services can help imaging facilities streamline overflow, there is a lot of concern over quality, and who is providing the read on their cases. But for facilities to grow their business, affordable radiology coverage is crucial.
We spoke with Dr. Alyssa Watanabe, former President of the American Society of Spine Radiology and leading expert in breast imaging AI, to discuss how DocPanel’s on-demand business model is helping imaging facilities meet their staffing needs and improve image interpretation quality.
When an imaging center works with DocPanel, they get access to subspeciality coverage across all modalities and specialties. Whether a facility needs day-to-day coverage, help to catch up on backlog, or supprot with advanced imaging reads - DocPanel provides individualized coverage to meet the unique needs of each center.
“DocPanel and I helped a client offering breast imaging services add automated breast ultrasounds to meet the unique needs of their California based patients. By offering turn-key solutions, including the appropriate processing software and accredited breast imaging readers, the practice was able to provide a differentiated offering without limitations,” says Dr. Watanabe.
Bridging the gap in coverage also improves the work experience for radiologists, which leads to overall improvements in productivity.
“At one imaging center, it’s hard to have an expert neuroradiologist, an expert breast imager, and an expert body imager - while also satisfying all of their needs,” says Dr. Watanabe. “If you have an expert who is only reading in their specialty 10% of the time - their expertise is wasted. It’s not that rewarding for them. Docpanel allows radiologists to read more cases that fall under their expertise.”
DocPanel is the only radiology marketplace that offers complete coverage with no contract minimum. The unique, on-demand approach allows imaging centers and hospitals to expand their services and grow their business with little to no risk.
“As far as commitment goes - it doesn’t have to be a full-time thing. There’s no minimum number of cases you have to get read through DocPanel - meaning you can tailor their services to match the exact needs of your business,” says Dr. Watanabe.
DocPanel also offers imaging centers and hospitals an alternative to locum tenens. Once you’re working with DocPanel, there’s no need to go through the process of hiring part-time rads. Facilities can simply access their panel of radiologists when they need them.
“We helped a large imaging center in Beverly Hills with vacation coverage when their lead mammographer was on vacation providing screening and diagnostic mammogram, breast ultrasound, and breast MRI interpreations. This led to uninterrupted service for the client over spring break and Christmas. With a team of Johns Hopkins trained radiologists, we were able to step in and provide the coverage needed.” says Dr. Watanabe.
Having the reassurance that Docpanel will always be there for you gives imaging centers the peace of mind to build out their operations, explains Dr. Watanabe. And, if business slows down from time to time, the facility doesn’t have to worry about contract minimum obligations.
"We are a multi-site radiology group practice. DocPanel filled our needs for MSK and helped launch a Prostate Imaging program. We access their subspecialists as needed." says Phong Vuong M.D., partner at Shin Imaging Center in California. “It provides us with the security of knowing we have a specialist providing reads, without having to worry about typical costs with launching new services.”
Subspecialist interpretation plays a key role in patient care, diagnosis, and treatment. Especially with the advances in imaging equipment and technique, more and more cases are becoming complex. With DocPanel, all cases are assigned to the right subspecialist that the case needs.
“I really love the fact that DocPanel is boutique and focused on doing high-quality subspecialty reads. It’s not just a volume place, and it’s not just about turn around time,” says Dr. Watanabe.
Especially for advanced imaging cases, DocPanel’s extensive network of subspecialists guarantees the best patient care. If a patient comes in with an advanced MS case but the clinic or hospital does not have an in-house neuro subspecialist - they can still treat the patient knowing that, through DocPanel, they have access to the nation's top neuroradiologists.
Daniel Beyda, M.D., says "DocPanel has provided us with a deep panel of specialists from chest, abdominal, MSK and Neuro. I focus on my interest areas, and let DocPanel provide timely subspecialty reports for our practice."
“One of the main challenges in radiology right now is meeting the influx of clients despite a shortage of radiologists. Even when there’s room in the budget - staffing is not easy,” says Dr. Watanabe.
DocPanel can have you up and running within 24 hours. No other radiology service can get a facility up and running with full coverage in that amount of time. Decreasing administrative work, says Dr. Watanabe, drastically improves workflow efficiency.
The DocPanel portal also provides radiologists and imaging centers with a more collaborative workspace, where both parties are encouraged to communicate. This helps improve reporting workflow drastically.
Dr. Alyssa Watanabe is a radiologist in Southern California. She is a past President of the American Society of Spine Radiology, Clinical Associate Professor of Radiology at USC Keck School of Medicine, and Chief Medical Officer of CureMetrix, an AI software company focused on medical imaging. Her specialty interests include neuroradiology and breast imaging.