NightHawk Radiology Services LLC (NightHawk Radiology Services) has laid out plans to upgrade its IT infrastructure to double the capacity to six million scans per year and increase its daytime radiology services, diagnosticimaging.com reported. It is considering the primary interpretation of medical imaging performed during daylight hours.
According to NightHawk Radiology Services CFO David Sankaran, the company’s two new software releases, for image management and for workflow, will increase its imaging capacity from three million to six million studies annually next year.
NightHawk Radiology Services CEO David Engert emphasized that the company supports efficiency over speed. Productivity is modified by timing the transmission of unread studies to remotely based radiologists just as they file their last competed scan. Studies are routed to sub specialists, who are supposed to make an interpretation accurately and quickly. The new software will remove manual steps still required to move studies from the 1600 US hospitals that use the company’s services to its radiologists in Australia, Switzerland, and the US.
Engert has reported that the US market for primary imaging interpretations is 20 times higher than that for late-night preliminary interpretations. Just 1% of the daytime work is outsourced to teleradiology.
Engert has announced these plans at Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference. He said that the company does not plan to move radiology groups, but to persuade them that the “model that you trusted us with at night … is just as cost-effective and—probably just as convenient—at other times of the day.”
Engert recommend that radiologist groups may intend to enter into contract with the company to cover its daytime sub specialty needs or to allow the group to keep off recruiting new radiologists when older ones retire.
“That used to be the last bastion of what radiologists would never want to give up,” Engert said. “But market dynamics encourage them to be more cost-effective and resilient and to provide better and broader services to their customers. Hence, it is a big market opportunity for us.”
The infrastructure modifications, which are in progress at the company, are being developed to target customer retention issues.
“We are told that as much as 60% to 70% of radiology is not practiced with the patient in the room, so most radiology is done in the back room of the hospital on a short wire so to speak,” Engert said. “Our business lengthens that wire and connects radiologists across the globe, so they can fill in one another’s unproductive times.”