Innovation for its own sake is not enough. If we are to meet the current demand in healthcare, technology providers and the industry must work together
I spend much of my time listening to imaging leaders around the world describe their challenges, and it can be a humbling experience. Imaging departments have arguably the most challenging jobs in healthcare. Nearly every department relies on them, patients and clinicians expect their services at speed, and there’s increasing pressure from administrators and executives to deliver better, faster, cheaper, for more patients.
Not long ago, technology suppliers like Philips could largely avoid acknowledging these “imaging management” challenges. As long as our equipment demonstrated compelling advances in image quality, we felt we were providing the value our customers needed. But these days, technology innovation for its own sake is not enough. Purely transactional business practices are no longer sufficient, appropriate, or satisfying to either party. As one hospital leader in Sweden commented, neither health systems nor industry can move fast enough individually to meet the current demand in healthcare. If we are to succeed, we must work together.
Providing value “beyond the box”
When we asked our customers how we could provide value “beyond the box,” there were two requests that stood out: connect data and technology in seamless workflows that empower those behind the image; and, reach out to your global imaging community to share their stories and best practices so we can learn from them.
As one chief of radiology put it:
Philips has customers all over the world doing the same things we’re doing. I bet some are doing things better than us, and we’d love to hear their best practices and connect with them.
Reflecting on the first request, I’m proud to say that every innovation effort in imaging is now assessed through the lens of how it empowers the people in the imaging ecosystem to do their job more easily, with more confidence, delivering more value to patients, with less systemic stress. We understand value as you understand it – based on the goals of the Quadruple Aim – improved patient experience, better health outcomes, improved staff experience, and lower cost of care.
Sharing peer-to-peer experiences on global healthcare best practices
We’ve responded to the second ask, too, with the launch of Philips Imaging Connections, a series of peer-to-peer interactions designed to share insights, best practices, and food for thought from across our global community. It’s aimed at enriching and connecting all imaging professionals from radiology technologists to radiology administrators, radiologists, and executives on a diverse range of topics.
Our first podcast of the series is, appropriately, a view of imaging from the patient perspective. In Sick Girl Speaks: a Bed’s-eye View of Imaging, Tiffany Christensen, VP of Experience Innovation at The Beryl Institute, shares her story as a cystic fibrosis patient and double lung transplant recipient who has undergone hundreds of imaging procedures. Tiffany offers guidance on how to deliver compassionate and sustainable patient-centered imaging care, informed by her own experiences. What struck me was Tiffany’s gentle reminder to consider the lived experience of the patient: "One of the things that's interesting about imaging is that sometimes it's one of the first times that you have a chance to be alone in a healthcare setting where you have to be very still. And sometimes when I do that an emotion starts coming up – things that I would have never anticipated... So I feel a little sorry sometimes for my imaging professionals because they might be hit with me having a crying attack, and it's not related very much at all to what's going on in that moment. It just happens to be that I'm very vulnerable laying there on that table in that moment being quiet and still."
One MRI staff leader that we shared the podcast with was particularly moved by her words and told us:
Tiffany’s story…should be heard throughout the MRI community. During our next MR meeting I will have all the technologists listen to it; I think that we all become so busy that we forget to humanize things, this will be a good eye opener.
This is great to hear because, more than anything, our new podcast series is about connecting imaging leaders – them to you, and you to them – in meaningful ways. So tell me: how can we bring value to you from across our global imaging community? What topics would you like to hear about and share? How can we help connect imaging? I hope you’ll listen to our podcasts, share and discuss them with your peers, and let me know what you think.
Kees Wesdorp joined Philips in 2017 to lead Philips’ largest business group, Diagnostic Imaging (DI). DI includes Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography (CT), Advanced Molecular Imaging (AMI) and Diagnostic X-Ray (DXR).