Radiologists Struggle to Find MU Benefits for Them

Dec. 9, 2011
A recent survey of 216 radiologists revealed nearly 40 percent of respondents are concerned about either the lack of clarity in meaningful use (MU)

A recent survey of 216 radiologists revealed nearly 40 percent of respondents are concerned about either the lack of clarity in meaningful use (MU) guidelines or decreased efficiency as a result of adopting current MU guidelines. The study, Radiologists’ Take on Meaningful Use: a KLAS-RSNA Report, features feedback from a cross section of radiologists--from across the nation as well as from private practice, hospital-based practice, and academic centers.

In the first report of its kind, KLAS and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) teamed up to uncover radiologists’ major concerns regarding MU and what types of guidelines they felt would be beneficial to the practice of radiology. Results of the study indicated some interesting findings.

For example, 60 percent of surveyed radiologists either plan to or are considering qualifying for MU, and 25 percent say they are very involved in making decisions regarding MU. However, only 6 percent considered themselves to be educated regarding MU.

Some radiologists are concerned that the current guidelines do not take radiology into consideration, and so as a part of the survey, participants indicated what they felt would be beneficial to radiology. Overall, radiologists felt that clinical decision support (CDS) was important, especially for referring physicians, and saw this as a means to ensure that the correct imaging test is ordered. CDS is also seen as a way to reduce the amount of unnecessary and costly imaging.

On the other hand, radiologists felt that radiation dose tracking and patient engagement were the least beneficial criteria. In follow up interviews, radiologists indicated that while they feel patients have a right to their images and reports, there was no apparent medical benefit or necessity for them to have electronic access.

In addition to the questions formulated by RSNA, KLAS asked questions regarding vendor preparedness to help providers as they work to qualify for MU. Looking at RIS and PACS vendors KLAS found that, on average, 25 percent of respondents felt their vendor was not prepared to help them meet MU requirements. The bottom line is radiologists need to be proactive in talking to their vendors about MU plans. More information about vendor preparedness can be found in the expanded results of the study.

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