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MyMichigan Health working to cut delays in imaging test results

To help streamline imaging process, health provider says it has added three radiologists to read test results, with priority on oncology patients' CT, MRI and PET tests
'Timely access to results has a direct impact on patient care,' says Dr. Lydia Watson, president and CEO of MyMichigan Health / File photo

MIDLAND, Mich. – A nationwide shortage of radiologists reported earlier this year by the American College of Radiology is hitting close to home as MyMichigan Health patients continue to see delays in their imaging results.

The Midland-based health system continues to work on solutions to help decrease wait times and mitigate the delay as quickly as possible.

“We share in the concerns of our patients. They now and forever will be deserving of excellence in the health care they receive by us and the delays they have and are experiencing are simply unacceptable,” said Lydia Watson, M.D., president and CEO, MyMichigan Health.

“Our leadership teams have been working around the clock to provide solutions and alternatives that will allow us to turn these wait times around and give our patients what they came to us for – results. We will not stop working on the issue until it is resolved.”

To help streamline the imaging process, MyMichigan has added three radiologists to read for MyMichigan, with a priority on oncology patients' CT, MRI and PET tests.

A fourth radiologist will be added soon. An additional provider has been assigned to read bone density tests.

In addition, MyMichigan has established a process to send next appointment dates to its imaging partner, Advanced Radiology Services (ARS), to ensure reads are completed prior to the patient's next appointment.

To also assist in these efforts, ARS is currently rightsizing their organization for the future to increase its capacity. Moreover, they will be adding nine new providers by November, and have mandated more shifts to their radiologists to assist in catching up on the imaging results backlog.

“We know our patients are frustrated. They should be,” said Dr. Watson.

“While these solutions are necessary, we know it’s also critical to improve efficiency across the board and this, too, remains a top priority. Bottomline, timely access to results has a direct impact on patient care. The delays are inadmissible and have caused added stress to our patients and their families. We are committed to improving our imaging services and will continue to keep our patients informed of the progress of their test results.”