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New consulting concept from Siemens for more efficient processes in radiology

The Siemens sector Healthcare has developed the consulting model “Act on Radiology” to help improve workflows in radiology departments.

Based on models for industry processes, an expert team from Siemens evaluates the maturity level of clinical processes in a hospital radiology department or radiology practice.

For example, the experts evaluate the efficiency of workflows from admissions to a completed patient report. With the help of a database containing international guidelines and the reference values from the world’s leading hospitals, the Siemens consultants then develop suitable measures for improvement.

With “Act on Radiology”, Siemens is using a new, specially developed consulting approach for healthcare that the company has already deployed in more than 20 European hospitals for process improvements in the clinical areas of stroke, cardiac insufficiency, and acute coronary syndrome.

The model is based on the analyses of processes from the world’s leading hospitals, and combines them with medical guidelines and current scientific results. This knowledge is used to define the best possible procedures for individual process steps.

In radiology, the approach can show, for example, how technical resources and personnel can be utilized more efficiently. Moreover, the quality of clinical results is analyzed in order to develop recommendations on how the referring physicians can receive fast and precise results.

“Act on Radiology” is backed by an interdisciplinary expert team from Siemens: physicians specializing in radiology, strategy and workflow consultants, as well as economists, IT experts, engineers and medical technicians. In only eight days, two of the Siemens consultants analyze the processes in a hospital radiology department or in a radiology practice.

On a 1 to 5 scale, they determine the maturity level of complex clinical processes, using more than 500 individual criteria: Are the imaging systems used to such capacity that the department works efficiently? How long does it generally take until reports are available? After the status-quo-evaluation and a detailed results report, the consultants develop measures for the customer to optimize workflows in a measurable, sustainable way. For example, it is profitable for many departments to introduce a review system, in the form of controlled random samples, in order to continuously secure the quality of findings.

Siemens has successfully applied “Act on Radiology” at the first customer sites, including the University Hospital Göttingen, Germany. “The recommended solutions from the consulting project provided us with concrete measures tailored to our department,” said Professor Joachim Lotz, MD, Medical Director of the Diagnostic Radiology Department at the University Hospital Göttingen. “It is amazing what Siemens could discover in only four days, even without having available key data from the hospital.” Siemens is planning to complete its “Act on” consulting approach with other relevant care areas, and is currently developing a model for process improvement in oncology.

The products mentioned here are not commercially available in all countries. Due to regulatory reasons the future availability in any country cannot be guaranteed. Further details are available from the local Siemens organizations.

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world’s largest healthcare solution providers and a leading manufacturer and service provider in the fields of medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, hospital information technology and hearing instruments. It offers solutions covering the entire supply chain under one roof - from prevention and early detection to diagnosis and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows oriented toward the most important clinical pictures, Siemens also strives to make healthcare faster, better and, at the same time, less expensive. Siemens Healthcare currently has some 48,000 employees worldwide and is present throughout the world. During fiscal 2010 (up to September 30) the Sector posted sales worth 12.4 billion euros and profits of around 750 million euros.

Sonja Fischer | Siemens Healthcare
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