Healthcare Professionals Discuss IBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review

Health DataIBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review is the first cognitive solution from Watson Health’s medical imaging business. To understand customer perceptions of Watson Imaging Clinical Review, we asked a select few members of the Watson Health Medical Imaging Collaborative to put it under the microscope. Over a total of 22 hours, we met with 38 professionals from 6 institutions: 5 clinicians, 6 radiologists, 15 administrators and 12 IT leaders for 30-40 minutes each. Here’s what they had to say.


Achieving Clinical Documentation Improvement

Overall, our customers struggle with the data “availability vs. accessibility” issue. Large amounts of patient data exists, but typically reside in siloes that prevent the data from being shared between systems. These barriers can negatively impact the work of both administrators and clinicians.

Today, many institutions aim to provide proper clinical documentation by manually correcting data imperfections retrospectively.  They see great potential in Watson Imaging Clinical Review as a retrospective administrative tool to detect potential patient record discrepancies, enabling effective data sanitization, which may allow them to:

  1. Advance timely and accurate care to keep patients on track with treatments and follow-ups
  2. Improve quality reporting metrics on national benchmarks
  3. Drive efficient billing practices and reduce re-billing scenarios


The Administrators’ Perspective

Administrators who oversee clinical, financial, and organizational outcomes are the intended users and buyers of Watson Imaging Clinical Review. This group, which includes roles such as Chief Medical Officer, Chief of Radiology, Clinical Director, Cardiovascular Service Line Director, and Director of Imaging Services, find data inaccuracies problematic for both care quality and reimbursement reasons, especially given the shift from per-click to value-based reimbursement.

When it comes to billing, one CMO commented that, “It’s always good to have a better source of what the patient is walking around with.” For him, and those in similar positions, Clinical Review can be the “safety net” that ensures appropriate billing. His reaction was apt considering it is estimated that doctors in the U.S. leave approximately $125B on the table each year due to poor billing practices.


The Clinicians’ Perspective

Clinicians or treating physicians such as Cardiologists, Emergency Medicine Physicians, and Vascular Surgeons value the role clinical documentation plays in tracking patients through their health system.

The clinicians we spoke with believe there is a lot to be learned by reconciling the problem list with the final report. One cardiologist pointed out, “With our EMR spend, there ought to be an expectation of accuracy.” This cardiologist noted how a reliable problem list can support accurate and timely care in the ER as it eliminates the need to spend valuable time and resources reassessing the patient.

Another radiologist added that, “we live in codes” – diagnostic codes that can prove daunting and overwhelming. Mistakes can – and do – happen, and the ability of Clinical Review to serve as a checkpoint empowers clinicians to focus on what matters most… patient care.


The Cognitive Journey Begins

Overall, the feedback from Watson Health Medical Imaging Collaborative participants was positive and encouraging. Clinical Review is recognized as an administrative tool for clinical documentation improvement supporting timely care, accurate quality reporting, and efficient billing processes.

Today IBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review supports aortic stenosis and we expect to expand its cognitive text analytics capabilities to include other conditions.

We hope you’ll join us in our cognitive journey as we grow our scope to impact more disease conditions affecting a larger set of people.

Anticipated future capabilities are aspirational only and represent a vision of a possible future technology, which is not available for any commercial or non-commercial use. The development, release, and timing of any future features or functionality described for our products are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at IBM’s sole discretion.

If you are a healthcare provider organization and would like more information on IBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review, please click here

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