Standardized diagnostic care
Today, radiologists and other physicians at UVM Health Network use advanced imaging technology to collaborate in real time: they can share images, discuss patient abnormalities, possible diagnoses and the recommended treatment pathways. Everything is standardized to reduce variability and to reduce the likelihood of errors, enabling a confident diagnosis.
“The providers work with the radiologist in a shared management system to determine what the next best steps are for our patients, and in so doing, they are then able to measure outcomes and to look at the data to evaluate it, to determine what needs to be changed, to makes those changes, and then to follow through and make that a continuous process of learning,” says Dr.Destigter.
The next step for UVM Health Network is to strengthen its diagnostic capability by bringing together diagnostic images from across the network. By extending its electronic health record (EHR) to the whole network -- via a vendor neutral archive where images can be shared seamlessly -- they will be able to share not just radiology images, but images from pathology, surgery or dermatology. All images will look and feel the same for the radiologist who interprets them.
“In an ideal world, how we practice medicine, the little details, will be anonymous to all of the stakeholders in the healthcare system,” Dr.Destigter adds. “It shouldn’t matter where diagnostic images are in the system.”
Beyond just technology
New technology underpins the move to a new model of health care delivery in Vermont and UVM Health Network has worked with Philips for many years to enable this transition, most recently announcing a 10-year long-term strategic partnership. This partnership includes Philips solutions like imaging systems, ultrasound, patient monitoring, clinical informatics, and range of clinical and business consulting services, which supports clinical care and its goal to improve population health in Vermont. But it goes beyond just technology, to the overarching goal of delivering quality care more efficiently while contributing to predictability in costs.
“The more that we can take the friction out of the healthcare system, the more likely we are going to be able to meet the triple aim: reduce costs, improve the patient experience, improve access, drive quality and get really good outcomes,” says Dr.Destigter.
Being able to collaborate on new diagnostic innovations – effectively circling back to Philips with feedback during the development process – has led to better technology, but also a lasting partnership built on trust, collaboration, resilience and learning.
“Ï think Philips understands that the implementation of imaging systems is not just about technology. It’s about the relationship and the processes you build around the technology and what the technology can do. And they understand that there is a patient on the other side of that machine, which is pretty rare,” adds Dr.Destigter. “We’re able to offer the patients we care for in our community the best possible care, the best cutting edge care. And they don’t have to travel to get that – it is right here in Vermont.