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The top 7 ways radiologists can avoid medical malpractice claims

Originally published by Michael Walter on Radiology Business

Medical malpractice claims are a significant source of anxiety for all radiologists. Unfortunately, decisions made in the heat of the moment, with the absolute best intentions, can still land a specialist in court.

In my role as chief medical officer for vRad, I’m intimately involved with our radiology malpractice claims and have observed commonalities among them. To quantify these observations, I recently analyzed all 220 claims made against vRad radiologists between June 2017 and October 2020—applying a detailed classification taxonomy including the alleged type of miss, study type, if the standard of care was met, if communication failures contributed, settlement, and so on.

What emerged from that data was a clear set of guidelines to help radiologists avoid the costliest and most likely cases to go to trial.

vRad Announces Largest Ever Radiologist Compensation Increase for 2022

I am extremely pleased to announce that beginning in 2022, vRad radiologists will see a compensation increase of up to 25%.

This will be the largest pay hike in the history of our practice and it will benefit all vRad radiologists. As part of a long-term reinvestment strategy in our radiologists, it is the fourth increase since 2019 and it reflects our values in compensating radiologists for the time, effort, and expertise required to advance vRad as a premier practice.

10 Steps to a Stress-Free Mammography Inspection

Whoever said the only things certain in life are death and taxes never faced an MQSA inspection. Federally mandated in the early ’90s and delegated to the states ever since, the process can seem like a frenetic exercise in reprimand avoidance. However, with a little rethinking and some focused preparation, you can turn the stressful day into an enjoyable experience.

In fact, watch out. You might even come to see your pre-inspection checklisting as a rewarding labor of love. After all, the beneficiaries of your dutiful i-dotting and t-crossing are deserving mammography patients.

It is with them in mind that I offer some principles and pointers I’ve come back to time and again over the 30-plus years I’ve worked in mammography technology, operations and administration. This includes the last seven years helping vRad’s telemammography clients prepare for their inspections.

Rad Results: The mobile app that connects radiologists with the patient care team

Originally published by Michael Walter on Radiology Business

In radiology, it is vital for radiologists to connect with the entire patient care team in a seamless and timely manner.

Imaging providers have done this over the years through such tools as land lines, pagers, fax machines and integrating with the electronic medical record (EMR). Some radiology practices even have their own secure client portal for this very purpose.

But times are changing. Communication among healthcare providers is more complicated now than ever. Radiologists are working on a broader array of technology platforms from diverse locations, including from home. Care teams are getting larger with an increasing need for near real-time communication. The old ways of delivering radiology results are imperfect for this new era of modern medicine. One dropped connection or wrong number can cause wasteful delays and even harmful outcomes.

Radiology programs leave locums behind, embrace a better staffing solution

Originally published by Michael Walter on Radiology Business

Imaging providers are continuously filling holes in their radiologist coverage schedule. Maybe the only neuroradiologist is out sick, for example, or two-thirds of the staff all want to attend the same conference.

This is typically when groups turn to locum tenens, but the high cost, time-consuming logistics, and unpredictable performance can be a thorn in the side for imaging leaders wanting to deliver high-quality patient care in a streamlined and efficient manner.

Physician Retention: Keeping Your Best and Brightest Radiologists

More than 41% of radiologists separated from at least one practice over a recent four-year period, according to the Journal of the American College of Radiology, underscoring the specialty’s increasingly mobile nature.

Medical facilities bear the brunt of the costs associated with this transiency. Competition for a finite pool of qualified physicians is contributing to salary increases, with the average annual salary for radiologists exceeding $400,000 for the first time in 2019, up 3.6% over the previous year.

But salary growth is only a part of the burden for administrators. When a radiologist leaves, there’s the expense of recruiting and hiring a replacement; until the vacancy is filled, remaining staff must shoulder the stress of additional workload, including managing and training an interim locum tenens or a new hire. Any time a physician departs, there’s potential disruption for patients under their care.

Radiologist Staffing Trends 2021

One hard lesson learned during the pandemic is that healthcare providers must be agile­—ready to respond quickly and decisively when inevitable crises strike. When it comes to managing radiology staff in particular, some unique challenges and opportunities surfaced in the wake of COVID-19.

7 interview questions for effective radiologist recruiting and hiring

Hire the right radiologists, and your practice will position itself for long term success. But, before extending an offer, how do you ensure that an individual candidate will thrive within your organization?

Why teleradiology may be a better option than locum tenens for temporary radiologist staffing

Today, 96% of healthcare facilities use temporary physicians to fill short term staffing needs. When it comes to radiology, many are discovering that teleradiology providers are a better alternative to traditional locum tenens.