August 15, 2012
Imaging Economics Article: HMI Growing Strong
by Marianne Matthews
The latest technology and a superb team of specialists keep HMI in demand.
Something clearly right is happening at Houston Medical Imaging (HMI), where approximately 1,000 referring physicians count on the group to perform nearly 40,000 imaging exams annually across various modalities with consistent yearly volume growth. Founded in 1998, HMI continues to flourish by serving the Houston community at its three facilities throughout Houston.
Several factors differentiate HMI and have earned the organization a reputation as a center of excellence. It starts with the right leadership. While there are multiple options for imaging services in the Houston area, HMI distinguishes itself by being one of the few practices that is predominantly radiologist-owned and operated. At HMI, the focus is on delivering the highest quality care to each and every patient.
"Our volumes have gone up every year and I believe a lot of it is patient-driven," said Randall Stenoien, MD, CEO of Houston Medical Imaging. "We strive to treat every patient as if they are a member of our family."
Subspecialty Expertise, State-of-the-Art Technology
The clinical team at HMI includes 14 board-certified radiologists, 2 in-house cardiologists and 15 radiologic technologists. Many of HMI's radiologists have subspecialty expertise including musculoskeletal, neuroradiology, oncologic radiology, and breast imaging. HMI is one of the few outpatient practices in Houston offering image-guided biopsy intervention (800 procedures performed in 2011). Not every practice can claim this depth of experience across a spectrum of imaging disciplines.
Providing the very latest in technology is another factor that sets HMI apart. HMI's services run the gamut from general radiology and fluoroscopy to ultrasound, digital mammography, MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, echocardiography, and more. "While sequential cutbacks in outpatient imaging reimbursement have challenged diagnostic imaging centers when it comes to capital expenditures, at HMI we have distinguished ourselves by continuing to acquire state-of-the-art technology," said Dr. Stenoien.
In fact, over the past 30 months, HMI has invested in digital mammography and digital radiography; a lower dose, 64-slice CT scanner; and an 18-channel high-field MRI machine. Moreover, the facility is accredited by the American College of Radiology in every modality.
In addition to its cutting-edge imaging equipment, HMI is proud of its "incomparable IT infrastructure," says Stenoien. The group's Picture Archive System (PACS) and Radiology Information System (RIS) have paid off in improved workflow and greater efficiencies. Referring physicians appreciate the fast turnaround on exams. HMI's average turnaround time for a report is less than 4 hours; a stat exam report is delivered in anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour. What's more, referring physicians have immediate access to reports and images using a Web interface in real time—on a PC, laptop, or iPad.
Friendly, Affordable Care The true test of any imaging facility is the patient experience. "As a group of physicians, our goal is simple: to take excellent care of our patients," said Dr. Stenoien. "Our radiologists and employees are very kind and caring."
At HMI, patients have come to expect the finest diagnostic imaging experience. With over 50 employees (many are bilingual) the team caters to the needs of its patients, delivering friendly, professional, high-quality care in a comfortable setting. Moreover, HMI has worked hard to keep care affordable for patients.
"Most other outpatient centers in our area can't compete with the sophisticated care we provide," said Dr. Stenoien. "And it can be twice as expensive to have a study done at a hospital versus with us. So in addition to providing advanced imaging technology, we save our patients money."
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