What a year. Despite the ups and downs of the pandemic, healthcare providers continue to navigate an unprecedented situation with bravery, tenacity and compassion that more than meets the challenge.
Is it any wonder then that some of our most popular content of 2021 would be focused on innovation and new frontiers of patient care? Despite all the struggles, those in the imaging and healthcare fields are looking ahead to how they’re going to change lives in 2022 and beyond.
As you’ll see, Cassling’s top articles of 2021 act as a signpost for what the healthcare world will be abuzz about in 2022. Take a look and see for yourself how imaging professionals are advancing themselves and the ways they care for patients.
Innovative Solutions Help Hospitals Combat Dire Staffing Shortages
Staffing shortages were one of the biggest dangers facing healthcare facilities throughout the year, and these concerns show no sign of slowing down. Cassling’s own Healthcare Research Manager, Caitlin Moling, took an in-depth look at these shortages, highlighting three chief areas of concern:
- Where are the medical staffing shortages most acute?
- What consequences do these shortages bring?
- What are hospitals doing to meet these challenges?
Although it’s been a year since this article came out, the issues and solutions she shares are even more important now. Burnout continues as our nation’s hospital systems are strained by the fallout of COVID and the Omicron strain.
See where we currently stand, as well as how hospitals are using state-of-the-art technology to retain staff and offer a full suite of imaging services, in the full article.
Siemens Healthineers Releases the World’s First Photon-Counting CT
Exciting new advancements are changing the face of computed tomography (CT). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave 510(k) clearance to the world’s first photon-counting computed tomography system, the NAEOTOM Alpha.
Historically, CT systems converted X-rays into visible light prior to creation of the final image. But by counting and converting photons into completely digital electric signals, without first interpreting it as visible light, the middle step is removed. This improves image sharpness and contrast and adds completely new information that will be relevant from a clinical perspective.
Trends in Ultrasound 2022: Shear Wave Elastography
Jennifer Ott, Cassling Ultrasound Product Sales Executive, looked at a technology that’s minimizing the need for expensive and invasive biopsies when assessing liver disease.
Shear wave elastography takes the spotlight in this article. With elastography, you can actually visualize and measure tissue elasticity and stiffness before you conduct a biopsy. This provides additional diagnostic information to aid in a clinical diagnosis, and it can even establish whether or not a biopsy is necessary.
With chronic liver disease a serious problem in the United States, technology like this will be increasingly important. Find out more about how it works and the difference it could make for patients.
AUC Program Takes Effect January 2022: We Answer Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
This time last year, we really thought 2022 would be the year for Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) to go into effect. But partially due to COVID, the AUC program has been delayed another year, with implementation now required starting in 2023.
Prior to the delay, we examined what the AUC rules mean for imaging providers in this in-depth article. Designed to ensure that only pertinent tests are ordered, AUC is intended to keep care quality high and contain costs for both hospitals and consumers.
The AUC is meant to guide the CDSM (Clinical Decision Support Mechanism). In simplest terms, under Medicare, imaging providers won’t be able to bill for outpatient advanced imaging unless a CDSM tool has been used.
The effort to become fully compliant is significant; some early adopters reported it took the better part of year to achieve 100% utilization. Our suggestion is to get started now.
3 Considerations from Imaging Leaders: How to Select a Service Provider
Because staffing is strained and patient volume is so high, it’s more important than ever to guarantee maximum uptime of your imaging equipment. Key to that is your equipment service and preventive maintenance. A qualified service provider can be the difference between a reliable imaging system and one that cuts days of productivity and testing out of your calendar.
We reached out to some of our own customers to find out what they’re looking for in a service provider. They shared their thoughts and explained what matters most to them. That includes things like response time, knowledge and (somewhat hard to measure) relatability. It’s clear that hospital executives value having a team they can trust, one who has their best interests in mind and may sometimes drop everything just to make sure a system is up and running to serve the community.
Learn more about what matters for imaging service in this article.
Applications Being Accepted for 2022-23 Bob Cassling Memorial Scholarships
If you haven’t had a chance to apply for the Bob Cassling Memorial Scholarship, there’s still time. You can fill out the General Application on the ASRT’s website by January 14 and be applicable for this and other awards. Established in honor of our founder, Bob Cassling, this annual scholarship provides $4,000 to two candidates in rural areas who are pursuing a degree or additional certification.
Bob was a big supporter of continuing education and serving the community, two things which our organization firmly believes in. We encourage anyone in the imaging community who meets the criteria to fill out the general scholarship application. We want to do whatever we can to support those who support their communities, and this is one way we hope to achieve that.
To learn more, check out the full article.
Motivation Innovation: How to Inspire Peak Performance from Your Team
One of our most popular authors and speakers is Dr. Mike Freel, whose stewardship of the Cassling Leadership Institute has earned rave reviews from current healthcare executives while inspiring up-and-coming leaders to further their development.
Dr. Freel’s most popular article from this year was all about inspiring peak performance in the team you lead. A big believer in the power of emotional intelligence, Dr. Freel explains how to take the time to find out what actually motivates an employee rather than just assuming what he or she might want.
Key to that is making sure you’re creating an environment that enables your team to achieve their own goals within the structure of your organization. If you can do that, you can have a team that reaches benchmarks that would have previously seemed unreachable.
Read the full article to see how motivation plays a key role in leading your team.
What Will 2022 Bring?
As you can see, a key theme in these stories is how advancements will continue to change the face of imaging in 2022.
Subscribe to our blog to be among the first to see stories like this and stay up to date on the latest imaging news and trends, and contact Cassling if you’re ready to advance technology and service at your own facility.