Q: How is vRad able to provide RPC Indices?
A: As the nation’s leading radiology practice, we have the industry’s broadest and most representative clinical database. We are interacting every day with 2,100 hospitals, health systems and radiology group facilities in all 50 states across the U.S., reading 6.5 million+ studies annually. And we are adding 400,000 studies every month. The size of our database means we have a projectable, statistically significant sample size with a margin of error of +/- 0.11 at the 95% confidence interval. Our patent-pending vCoder – our data normalization tool – also means that we solved the “last mile” challenge – getting disparate data from 2,100 facilities to “speak the same language” so that metrics could be established and objective comparisons made.
Q: What do “Findings” mean? How are they determined for RPC Indices?
A: The vRad Analytics platform utilizes NLP (Natural Language Processor) to process each report and determine if findings are present.
Findings are determined to be present if sufficient text is found to support an ICD code, if there is a documented abnormal indication, or if there are other incidental findings noted. A normal, or no findings present, is determined by the lack of ICD code generating text or the presence of “negative” or “normal” phrasing within the impression section of the report. Recognition logic follows an order of precedence – Findings present is detected first, normal second and indeterminate third.
Q: Do I have to be a vRad customer in order to get access to RPC Indices?
A: No. RPC Indices are being published with free and unrestricted access to radiology groups, hospitals, health systems and researchers. The online living library of RPC Indices will be continuously updated at analytics.vrad.com.
Q: Why are you giving RPC Indices away for free?
A: vRad is making the RPC Indices available for free because it’s the right thing to do.
Many are talking about metrics and measurements; yet, there have been no objective indices to use to compare against national and peer group trends. Until now, analytics for practice comparisons have been at best subjective, and in most cases unavailable because of the real challenge of comparing disparate data between healthcare facilities.
As the nation’s leading radiology practice, vRad had to act and adapt because existing systems in the marketplace could not provide the insight we needed to make better decisions for our patients and our practice of radiology. The RPC Indices use a normalized, aggregated and anonymized data set so that radiology groups and hospitals can objectively compare their own use of imaging performance – even to relevant peer groups.
RPC Indices are one of the core tools we’re using to improve utilization, decrease costs and positively impact the quality of our patient care. We believe it is our obligation as an industry leader to provide the tools that work for us in order to help those also dissatisfied with the status quo. That is how radiology will survive and thrive in the new healthcare environment.
Q: How do I get ongoing access to all RPC Indices?
A: It’s easy. Once you fill out the E-mail form that “unlocks” the insight at analytics.vrad.com, you’ll be automatically notified when new RPC Indices become available. The living online library will be continuously updated – and will remain free and open access to radiology groups, hospitals and researchers. Click here to fill out the form if you haven’t already done so.
Q: How can current vRad teleradiology customers review their unique RPC Indices compared to the national average or their relevant peer groups?
A: Click here to contact a vRad expert advisor. They will be happy to schedule a live demo to walk you through your sample Analytics report containing your unique RPC Indices and comparisons.
Q: How are RPC Indices compliant with healthcare data privacy and security regulations?
A: RPC Indices and all of our product solutions adhere to data privacy regulations, including the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. The aggregated information within our database goes through a rigorous anonymization process and does not include any protected health information or hospital identifiers. We are stewards of our patients’ and our partners’ personal information. As a radiology group and healthcare partner, we respect, understand and abide by our industry’s confidentiality and data privacy and security requirements.
Q: Are the RPC Indices radiology’s new de facto standards of care?
A: No; RPC℠ Indices are metrics not standards. This information represents vRad’s insight on the use of CT imaging in EDs nationwide. Given the scale and scope of the vRad database, however, this insight is projectable and statistically significant across radiology groups, hospitals and health systems.
RPC Indices are real-world, quantitative metrics that can be used to have a productive and insightful conversation on your use of radiology as compared to national and relevant peer groups; they were not created to dictate how to treat or when to treat a patient. They are to provide insight and context to your use of radiology – to enhance, not hinder your ability to practice good medicine.
We are first and foremost a radiology practice. We know what it takes to run a practice and how to maximize relations with our partners. We believe it is easier to start conversations about challenging issues – overutilization, pay for performance, changing behavior and quality — when you begin from a place of data rather than opinion. It is easier to collaborate when you have hard evidence rather than hard opinions.
Q: What is the vCoder?
A: Trying to normalize data between hospitals or even within the same group is a manual, tedious and seemingly impossible exercise due to local variability in description and nomenclature. One hospital’s “Foot X-Ray” is another hospital’s “Ankle X-Ray.” As such, there is no way to draw meaningful comparisons across facilities (hospitals or radiology practices).
In order to analyze and compare data from multiple hospitals and other healthcare facilities, data must first be normalized and standardized; they all need to speak the same language in order to aggregate and define metrics – and to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison. It’s the core of making the RPC Indices a reality.
vRad’s patent pending vCoder is the industry’s first data normalization tool used on inputs for any radiology group or hospital/health system. The vCoder effectively “standardizes” imaging studies on 23 unique attributes and is vital to developing the data granularity and flexibility required for index creation and metrics comparisons.
Q: Why do existing systems (RIS/EMR/Billing System/Other) lack methods of developing actionable insight from their data? How are vRad Analytics and RPC Indices different?
A: The simple answer is that they weren’t designed to provide the information and insight demanded by the changing healthcare environment. For example, a RIS provides basic data you need (e.g. modality type, volumes, date and time and referring MD) to schedule your radiologists and to manage a practice. RIS outputs data to see if your radiologists are busy; vRad’s solutions let you See Inside Your Data to determine if your radiologists are busy with the most productive studies driving towards the right quality outcomes.
Existing transactional and scheduling data is also not meaningful for quality measurement because it is disparate and not normalized – that is, it is not an “apples-to-apples” comparison. One hospital’s “foot X-Ray” is another hospital’s “Ankle X-Ray”. Insight from benchmarking requires speaking the same language. And trying to normalize data between hospitals, or even within the same group is a manual, tedious and oftentimes seemingly impossible exercise due to local variability in description and nomenclature. As such, there is no way to draw meaningful comparisons across multiple facilities.
vRad developed patent pending software to normalize data within our own database, with more than 30 million+ studies and 400,000 studies added per month. By normalizing that data, we believe it provides a statistically significant cross-sample of US hospitals, health systems and radiology practices for objective comparisons. So, while your RIS – and other existing systems – only provide standard data (i.e. volume by modality) within the confines of your practice or hospital/health system, vRad Analytics and RPC Indices provide insight with information measured and benchmarked against national – or relevant peer groups.
Q: Do I have to be a vRad client to get access to RG2 Analytics across my radiology practice/department?
A: vRad Analytics is a benefit to those clients to whom we provide full night-time teleradiology reading support. HL7 connectivity is also required and these connectivity charges may vary by implementation. Please click here to contact a vRad Analytics expert advisor for additional information.
Q: How do I set up a demonstration for vRad Analytics?
A: It’s easy. Click here to contact and schedule a live demo with one of our Analytics expert advisors.
Q: Does vRad Analytics implementation require any changes to our current systems and operations?
A: No. All data normalization happens outside of your operating environment using vRad’s patent-pending vCoder technology. Your internal processes and data categorizations remain the same; the vCoder normalizes your information within vRad’s systems for benchmarking and then maps it back to your original format. vRad Analytics rely on existing tools for secure HL7 data communication