Customer Story

Robust Data and Analytics Environment Provides Radiology Organization with a Diagnosis for Growth

About the Medical Services Provider

This premier physician-owned radiology organization has a vision to make radiology better, improve lives, and deliver best-in-class patient care. They serve a network of member partners—radiology groups, imaging centers, etc.—by providing them with modern technology, data and analytics solutions, and a platform to share ideas and best practices that help improve processes and patient outcomes.

When members join this partner program, they get access to innovative technology, equipment, and insights that would likely not be accessible or affordable for an independent practice or imaging center.

The organization is invested in the success of their partners and knows that data and analytics is the path to providing superior service and expanding their member network.

Goal

The radiology organization has been experiencing rapid, nationwide expansion and currently boasts more than 4,500 members, operates in more than 180 outpatient imaging centers across 15 states, and performs approximately 8 million radiology reads per year.

With this growth comes large volumes of data. Their goal is to improve the way they work with their data and tap into the wealth of information so that they can:

  • make strategic decisions to support continued growth goals; and
  • improve their data and analytics service offering for their partners.

Problem

The radiology organization was analyzing data manually using spreadsheets, Access databases, billing system extracts, and HL7 files that enable data transfer between medical applications. Some reports had been developed in Tableau; however, they were not widely adopted by the organization and few users had licenses. While they were ultimately able to get the insights they desired, their manual reporting and analytics process were not scalable and were holding them back from achieving their growth goals.

They wanted to automate the manual processes it took to provide insights to their partners, including:

  • Turnaround Time Metrics: Being able to see how quickly other practitioners/practices review images and scans—and why—is one of the most critical metrics for a radiologist and a valuable insight for partners. This information is used to identify outliers, improve processes, adjust staffing needs, and make other informed decisions on how to improve turnaround time.
  • Relative Value Unit (RVU) Metrics: An RVU is a measure of value used in the Medicare reimbursement formula for physician services. It takes into consideration the physician’s work, the expenses of the physician’s practice, as well as the physician’s liability insurance to determine how “valuable” the images are (i.e., MRI is more valuable than Xray). Partners compare RVUs in the industry to adjust where necessary and improve their productivity.

Automating these processes would get valuable insights into the hands of partners faster providing them with critical information that will allow them to improve patient care, and it would also save time, money, and resources for the organization to be able to invest in expanding their reach and growing the network.

Solution

We worked with the organization to build a robust data analytics environment from the ground up. We started with first building a data warehouse in Azure SQL Managed Instance. We used SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and Azure Data Factory for data loading and transformation—configuring the Azure services, subscriptions, roles, resource groups, security, and networking and the requisite pipelines required to populate a Tableau dashboard with uses cases around turnaround time and RVUs.

The solution we created is future-proof, allowing them to quickly, and efficiently onboard any new partners that join the organization by incorporating them into the existing systems and HL7 files to ingest and transform directly into the data warehouse.

Finally, to ensure security, a third-party audited the Azure environment and performed penetration testing—keeping in line with the organization’s vision to improve lives and deliver best-in-class patient care.

Results

With a new data architecture and data analytics environment, it is possible for the organization to provide their existing members quick access to much needed insights and focus on growing the partner network.

The new data pipeline automates manual steps of data transformation to securely ingest and transfer patient data for analysis. And the reporting and analytics are capable of providing trusted visibility into results, allowing the organization and their partners to:

  • View individual productivity metrics and compare against other practices. This helps identify performance outliers and provides insights into how to adjust where necessary.
  • Onboard new partners quickly and efficiently. With a cloud data warehouse and custom-built pipeline for health care purposes, new partners can rest assured their data is secure.
  • Improve member retention. With access to critical data and insights, members can realize the value of their partnership.
  • Recruit new partners. The organization can demonstrate that the insights that come from their data and analytics services improves member organization productivity and patient outcomes.

This premier physician-owned radiology organization has a vision to make radiology better, improve lives, and deliver best-in-class patient care.

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