New tools are needed to reduce DI wait lists and burnout

 In News

By Ian Maynard, CEO and Co-Founder, RealTime Medical Inc.

Canadian healthcare organizations and stakeholders are sounding the alarm about Canada’s growing backlog of radiology exams. The goal is to avoid the kind of chronic and critical backlog situations that have been faced by countries such as the United Kingdom, where some patient exams went unread for months or were never read, forcing the UK to open up radiology interpretation to non-UK licensed radiologists in an attempt to deal with their crisis.

As it is, Canadians waiting too long for exams face poorer outcomes; for example, a delayed diagnosis of cancer means that patients will start therapy later. As we know, with cancer, the earlier the treatment begins, the better the outcomes.

While COVID-19 made DI wait lists longer, we faced this problem even before the pandemic struck. A familiar adage states that you can’t do the same things and expect different results.

We should really be asking: can Canada learn from the experience of others and proactively avoid the pitfalls of using the same tools while hoping for different results?

It turns out that there are a number of tools and solutions available today to help us avoid a critical crush of exams tomorrow. These tools also enable radiologists to become more productive while enjoying more satisfying lives in the process, with more personal and family time.

These solutions include a combination of the following attributes to create the efficiency gains we so desperately need.

Radiology productivity platforms such as RealTime Medical AICloudWorks have demonstrated an ability to increase radiology throughput by 15 percent to 47 percent. They give radiology operations a head start on their productivity, even prior to the application of image-based AI solutions such as assisted-detection algorithms.

For its part, RealTime Medical AICloudWorks eliminates the time radiologists lose on an ongoing basis by improving the following processes:
• automating and prioritizing cases in their worklists, enabling them to focus on diagnosing the case in front of them
• digitally communicating critical results
• digitally searching different data sources for the latest findings applicable to the case at hand.
• digitally searching different sources for guidelines applicable to the case at hand.

As well, the platform enables volume-driven responsiveness with capabilities such as:
• on-demand, workload balancing, collaboration, and cooperation on caseload as desired.
• patient anonymization, sub-speciality collaboration on any case.
• a single, vendor-neutral interface layer for all third-party AI. Enabling users to adopt an agile, best-of-breed solution approach to solutions now and in the future.

One user of the platform, Dennis Janzen, chief radiologist at Surrey Memorial Hospital, said: “We’ve seen a 15 to 20 percent improvement in efficiency and productivity. The RealTime platform
has been of great benefit to my practice.”

A resource-strapped healthcare system would obviously benefit from the elimination of service delivery barriers for licensed physicians in any discipline. In radiology, making it easier for
provincially licensed radiologists to read from anywhere only makes sense.

Ian Maynard, P.Eng, M.Sc., M.B.A., is CEO and Co-Founder, RealTime Medical Inc. He can be reached at:

A reprinted version can be found here.

Issued by Canadian Healthcare Technology, April 2023

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