Chief Business Leader, Precision Diagnosis, Philips, The Netherlands
According to the World Medical Association, nearly half of the world’s physicians experience symptoms of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. A survey that Philips conducted among radiology staff last year confirms that they are experiencing significantly high levels of stress and burnout. In the face of COVID-19, the need for greater efficiency and responsiveness has become even more urgent. Before the pandemic, diagnostic services were already burdened with high demand, short staffing, and inefficient workflows.
As healthcare facilities in some countries begin to resume elective exams and procedures for patients with cancer, heart disease, and other conditions, while continuing to support critical care for COVID-19 patients, there will inevitably be more strain placed on radiology departments.
Effectively juggling these responsibilities will require healthcare professionals to embrace new models of care delivery, founded on precise diagnostics and robust telehealth networks, and with workflows that adapt dynamically to rapidly changing circumstances.
Getting diagnostic examinations first-time-right
Getting diagnosis right has always been the cornerstone of healthcare: it informs every decision along the patient’s journey, often marking the difference between successful and unsuccessful treatments.
An important consideration during this global crisis is for medical equipment to be quick and easy to use, even for less experienced users, to get consistent results under highly stressful circumstances. Having standardized presets and protocols will promote consistent image quality for early diagnosis or reliable disease tracking over a set time.
Even under the best circumstances, unwarranted variation can still get in the way of first-time-right imaging. Smart diagnostic systems can assist in providing diagnostic imaging support to avoid unnecessary repeat scans that consume time and budget, resulting in delayed diagnosis and treatment. In the Philips survey, respondents indicated that almost a quarter of their work could be automated, empowering them to do their job with less stress, more efficiency, and leaving more time to interact with the patient.
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