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MyMichigan Health working to cut waits for imaging results

A radiologists reviews a brain scan that was taken at the National Institute of Health’s headquarters in Maryland.
Courtesy Photo
National Institute of Health
A radiologists reviews a brain scan that was taken at the National Institute of Health’s headquarters in Maryland.

When it comes to medical exams, time is a valuable commodity.

So, when X-ray results started getting delayed across the state, medical practitioners knew something had to be done.

“It’s an issue, I think, that goes well beyond our health system,” said Jeffrey Provenzano, the vice president of professional services for MyMichigan Health, the Midland-based owner of the Alpena hospital.

MyMichigan Health is a major medical provider affiliated with the University of Michigan, with medical centers across the state.

Provenzano said the problem started in fall 2023, when one of the company’s imaging partners saw lots of turnover. The issue trickled down, and Provenzano said some patients were starting to see longer waits than anticipated.

“It’s become more of an acute issue in the past four to six months,” he said. “(Results) have been getting a little bit further behind as time has gone out.”

To combat that growing issue, MyMichigan Health sent out a press release to inform patients of the delay. In the release, the health system discussed ways it would reduce wait times and mitigate delays.

The company is adding radiologists and providers and will also send patients’ appointment dates to the health system’s imaging partner, Advanced Radiology Services, to attempt to ensure results are ready by each patient’s next appointment.

Provenzano said MyMichigan has been working with Advanced Radiology for about two years. He said that partner, as well as the four added radiologists MyMichigan brought on, will speed up imaging results by processing them remotely.

He said patients can go to the provider of their choice to have their X-ray done. The scans will then be sent to radiologists at Advanced Radiology, who will review it, write a report, and send it back to the provider so the patients will get results much quicker.

“It’s really a master queue, or a list of all the images that need to be read,” he said. “It’s first in and first out, and they’re supporting the entire health system … I can’t say exactly how much it’s cut down in any one area, but it’s helped.”

Provenzano said that solution will cut down wait times for patients needing scans for oncology appointments, CT scans, MRI scans, and more.

The press release also said Advanced Radiology is working to expand its organization, and will add nine new providers by November.

“Bottom line, timely access to results has a direct impact on patient care,” MyMichigan CEO Lydia Watson said in the release. “We are committed to improving our imaging services and will continue to keep our patients informed of the progress of their test results.”

Editor's note: MyMichigan Health is a sponsor of WCMU. We report on them as we do with any other organization.

Courtney Boyd is a newsroom intern for WCMU based at The Alpena News
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