Hospitals to reap rewards from in-house radiology

Despite being considered a driving force of escalating healthcare costs, imaging can also be a major source of revenue for hospitals.

Hospital executives looking to add value to patient care and the bottom line should consider having a single, cohesive, on-site radiology department, according to an article in the September 2011 issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

According to the authors, a hospital-based radiology group could add value by ensuring patient safety, pursuing high-quality images, delivering quality interpretations of the images, providing valuable services to patients and referring physicians, containing costs while maximizing revenue, and helping to grow the hospital's business.

"If the hospital allows its radiology department to become fragmented by the intrusion of other specialists or teleradiology companies in remote locations, most of these added values would be lost, and chaos could ensue," author Vijay M. Rao wrote in the article.

What's more, because imaging plays such a fundamental role in patient diagnosis and treatment, failure to have an on-site team of radiologists would drastically slow down operation of the whole hospital.

As the use of imaging continues to come under scrutiny for unnecessarily increasing costs and risking patients, hospitals may turn to on-site radiology teams to ensure quality services.

For more information:
- read the American College of Radiology press release
- here's the study