There were a lot of trends coming out of RSNA13 – from the pressing need to balance value with volume (a theme further reinforced by Healthcare Informatics), to emerging mobile workflows, and the ongoing debate over whether radiologists truly need to pursue Meaningful Use.  Still, this year’s focus for the show – the “Power of Partnership”– was the one theme that permeated throughout each and every conversation and experience I had over the last week at RSNA.

In order for radiologists to transition to Imaging 3.0, and for the entire healthcare industry to evolve to a value-based care model, there needs to be genuine partnership across the extended care team – and that team includes the patient.  There also needs to be partnership across the industry – from radiologists to referring physicians, vendors, payers and the government.  We’re one ecosystem and our individual livelihood depends upon our ability to support and gently drive each other forward toward value-based care.

This theme of partnership was reiterated at our customer event that I attended Monday evening at RSNA.  I had the opportunity to chat with Riverside Radiology and Interventional Associates, Inc. and when I asked them point blank why their partnership with Nuance has been successful, they noted that their contact with the company is always there for them, always picks up the phone or returns the call in short order, and always asks about his family.  Put simply, by partner they also seemed to insinuate friend.  And to me, that’s the most important thing we can do as partners of any sort – be the right-hand man or woman for these folks who are on the front line of patient care.

I also had the opportunity to actually see this type of partnership in action on the last day or RSNA – at least the beginnings of it.  Take a look at the image included below.  One of our team members, Jason Campbell, is featured speaking to a potential new partner for Nuance.  And what do you see?  You see the empty floor, the rolled up carpet, the ending of what has been a successful RSNA13.  What I also see is something we, and I include myself in that, need to strive for in the coming year as the healthcare industry is faced with seismic shifts – to be there for our partners in the many forms they embody and to consistently go above and beyond the call of duty to support them accordingly in the shift from volume to value.

As we revel in holiday season, it’s a good time to reflect on the year past and the year ahead.  It’s also the perfect time to thank those (including all forms of partners, even competitors!) who have helped us push the needle forward when it comes to improving quality of care, while also attempting to drive down costs.  As I also look back on RSNA13, I am reminded of the value of partnership – a sentiment best reflected in this quote from Winston Churchill: “If we are together, nothing is impossible. If we are divided, all will fail.”


Photo: Nuance’s Jason Campbell demos a product long after the conference ended.

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About Rodney Hawkins

This was a contributed post by Rodney Hawkins. To see more content like this, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.