RVUs in Radiology: 3 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

If you have spent any time in the healthcare field you may have heard about RVU in a variety of contexts, including when used for medical billing or to figure out the optimal workload for medical jobs. When broken down, RVU can help you understand how certain services are measured to get the most value for work in the medical industry. 

What is RVU?

RVU stands for relative value unit, which is the measure of value that is used in the United States to calculate a reimbursement formula for a physician’s services. RVU’s are used in part of the resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS). The RBRVS measures the resources used to provide each service by ranking it on a common scale. 

It all started in the 1980s when Harvard was assigned a project to create a scale to services in medicine that measured the work required and the cost of the service. This was developed so that everyone could know exactly what reimbursements were expected when billing a particular service in the medical industry. 

Included in this scale are physicians’ work and productivity, expenses of the practice, and professional liability insurance.  An RVU value is appointed to every service provided. The more complex, intense and time-consuming, the more RVUs it is given. RVUs help create a standard for benchmark success. This scale is unique to the medical service industry and is the foundation that governs financial analysis in the medical fields like Medicare. 

How productivity and RVU go hand-in-hand

Radiology practices using RVU measure productivity in an array of indicators like the number of procedures, the number of charges billed, and payments received.  Radiology RVU lists help save time by not having to calculate certain metrics to measure productivity on your own. 

This may seem simple, but in reality, certain indicators can be difficult to measure because there is no account for the time and complexity of certain procedures. There are debates surrounding whether RVU is the best solution to measure productivity, but due to the long history and volume of facilities that use this method, RVU is the best scale and is the current standard in the medical field, despite some imperfections. 

Luckily, there are ways that can improve productivity whether you measure in RVU’s or not. This includes digital workflow management, digital imaging, and proper integration. Here are three ways to improve productivity or RVU in radiology.

1. Digital Workflow management

Having a RIS (Radiology Information System) is the most practical means of increasing efficiency in RVU in radiology. Since RIS has a cloud-based structure that stores specifically imaging and billing in one place, it allows easy access and monitoring.

In addition to convenient monitoring, Novarad’s Nova RIS has an Admin Reports function that alerts users of incomplete exams and missing insurance codes. It’s a revolutionary system for electronic management that monitors a department’s efficiency, quality, and profitability. It gives departments the ability to track patient information, procedures, exam status, revenues, and payouts. Saving you time to focus on your responsibilities and duties rather than organizing and calculating workflow and priorities on your own. 

2. Digital Imaging 

The digital realm has completely changed all aspects of work fields, including radiology. Transitioning from printing x-ray film to digital images is an essential step to increase proficiency and reduces costs. When you have a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) on a cloud-based system, it saves time for the patient on waiting for an old x-ray film to be developed, reduces waste by replacing physical files, and eliminates the issue of having the images at only one place at a time. When you have a PACS system, multiple people who have the necessary permissions can view the same image at the same time, increasing efficiency and improving RVUs in radiology departments or indeed any medical facility. 

The key to an exceptional PACS is the ability to customize the interface and have successful user-friendly capabilities. Novarad’s NovaPACS accomplishes just that in addition to the usual capacities of a PACS system. 

3. Proper integration

Whether you decide to upgrade workflow through just digital imaging or digital workflow management, the best effect on productivity would be to integrate those two systems together to optimize for best results regarding RVUs in radiology. There are many universal, all-in-one systems that can cover every radiology need and thus full integration. However, at the bare minimum, making sure that your PACS and RIS are integrated will prevent many common roadblocks to productivity.

If you are interested in learning about how you can improve your productivity in a way that is tailored to your practice specifically, you can view FAQs and read more about PACS systems or RIS systems, or contact Novarad to receive a demo or quote today.

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