Pamela Fletcher is administrative director at the Glendale MRI Institute, a boutique imaging center in Glendale, CA with one part-time radiologist and 16 additional staff members. With the help of locums radiologists and teleradiology, the practice sees close to 35 patients each day. The practice has partnered with Healthpac Computer Systems in Savannah, GA for its radiology information system, and recently implemented ReferralMD referral management software.
What was the impetus for implementing referral management software?
We needed a marketing tool to keep referrers “sticky” to us and to o make it easier for referring docs to communicate with us. Plus, we also wanted to make ourselves know to providers who weren’t aware of us and thus weren’t referring to us.
How do you hope its utilization will benefit your organization and its patients?
See number one! Also, it was a huge and pleasant surprise to discover how much time it saved our scheduling staff to have the faxed referrals go directly into the new software.
What sort of healthcare technology adoption/implementation challenges are unique to outpatient MRI facilities?
The biggest challenge is to convince our referrers to embrace new ways of communicating with us.
Interoperability continues to be a challenge. Has Glendale MRI connected to local HIEs or joined other interoperability-friendly groups to make data sharing easier?
We have a software service that delivers reports to the desktop of our referring providers. They can configure their EMR to retrieve the reports and put them directly into the patient files.
Healthcare cost transparency has also become a hot topic. Have you noticed an uptick in patients asking for upfront pricing? How is Glendale MRI positioning itself to handle these inquiries?
Oh yes! This is a strategy we implemented several years ago when the big imaging chains and hospitals started taking over our HMO contracts. We are too small to compete, so we put together competitive cash pricing and started marketing it through social media, pay-per-click, and brand awareness campaigns. This has been very successful. We also offer interest-free financing, which has been very popular.