Amsterdam-based Royal Philips, a major manufacturer of imaging equipment, is launching a radiology practice-management consulting business.
Radiology Solutions will offer customers consulting and analytics software geared toward helping radiology providers improve performance and lower costs, Philips announced this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. The company will also offer managed services to radiology departments.
As hospitals move toward value-based models, they've taken steps to limit exorbitant radiology costs. Many have implemented best practices like centralizing imaging procedures and scheduling in an effort to increase volume while maintaining quality.
Philips' announcement is indicative of a trend among manufacturers to expand their consulting capabilities. In October, the company announced that it had acquired Orlando, Fla.-based Blue Jay Consulting, which provides emergency department consulting. A month later, General Electric Co. announced that it acquired El Segundo, Calif.-based the Camden Group from DaVita HealthCare Partners.
As manufacturers step further into the consulting business, they're shifting some of their focus from selling quantity to selling quality. A consultant could advise a patient against buying additional equipment, instead opting to educate staff on efficient use.
Philips Radiology Solutions will have clinical experts and Lean Six Sigma experts to teach quality improvement. The consulting business, which was created in collaboration with hospitals including UW Medicine in Madison, Wis., leans on data to improve radiology department efficiencies.
"As a whole field, (healthcare) has been very transactional," said Sham Sokka, head of the new business. "We as an industry have to take those kinds of risks ... it challenges the industry to do more."