Steve Jobs once famously said that you have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. I am a strong believer in this mantra as it serves imaging providers very well when we think of our radiologists as our “internal customers.” How can we create a better work experience? Where can we remove annoyances, eliminate distractions, or improve efficiency?
Those questions recently led us to integrate our radiologist reading platform with Elsevier’s STATdx decision support content and 3M M*Modal Fluency Direct voice recognition. STATdx is a fantastic resource of clinical content. Any radiologist will tell you, even a minor interruption – like logging into another program – takes their focus off the images and interrupts the flow of reading.
We have solved this problem with a very innovative integration that eliminates those extra clicks and pop-up windows. Now our radiologists simply say “search STATdx” to launch the tool without touching the keyboard or logging in to another system. And any word or phrase selected in their reporting window (also done with voice recognition) automatically populates in the STATdx search bar. It automatically gives and tracks the radiologist continuing medical education (CME) credit for every article they read, helping them satisfy their professional requirements without taking valuable seconds of extra time.
The radiologist can do all of this while keeping one hand on their multi-button device and another on their computer’s mouse. They are never taken out of the moment; the diagnostic images in front of them remains their sole focus.
The most successful technologies are the ones that fade into the background and deliver value without causing any distractions or interruptions.
A key collaboration
We have a large technology team at vRad and prefer to develop most of our innovations in-house. However, this latest project represents a collaboration with our partners at Elsevier STATdx and 3M M*Modal who shared their thoughts with me after completing the integration:
“vRad’s integration of ‘STATdx with Fluency’ into their radiologist reading platform is one more addition to a long list of standardization and efficiency innovations that I’ve seen while working with them over the years. This is a true partnership between vRad, STATdx, and 3M M*Modal, keeping radiologists at the center.”
─ Shonna Evans, Commercial Director for Radiology and Pathology, STATdx
“The seamless integration of the 3MTM M*Modal Fluency Direct speech recognition system with Elsevier’s STATdx, Continuing Medical Education (CME) and vRad’s reading platform has speech-enabled radiologists’ workflows for easy access to comprehensive decision support. This is unprecedented in terms of improving the efficiency, quality and ease-of-use of everyday radiology reporting workflows. Congratulations to you and the vRad tech team.”
─ Russ Cardwell, 3M Health Information Systems, Vice President Sales, Imaging Solutions
Radiologists love it
We went live with the integration in fall of 2022, and the feedback has been amazing. Radiologists started using it right away without missing a beat, and they’re thrilled about the automated CME credit. CME is required for all radiologists, but tracking credits can be a hassle, especially when you’re hard at work in the reading room. Now it’s one less thing they need to worry about in the moment.
The decision vRad made in 2005 to build our radiology technologies in house has allowed us to continually improve the day-to-day experience of our radiologists. From an automated dialer for critical findings to an AI safety net for improved clinical quality, to a nearly total elimination of administrative tasks, we’ve implemented hundreds of features towards our goal of creating the best environment for radiologists to work. Integrating STATdx, Fluency Direct, and the vRad imaging platform—and giving radiologists CME credit to boot—is just another example of what happens when you put your radiologists first.
As you’re evaluating the best practice to join when starting your career, I hope you consider vRad. If you’d like to speak to me or one of our medical directors, please request to be contacted here. We’d be happy to answer your questions.
This blog was originally published Radiology Business, Dec 12, 2022