Introducing Myself and Our Mission
By Scott Seidelmann, CEO, Candescent Health
“Never, never, never give up.” It’s my favorite quote by Winston Churchill, one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. Making any changes in healthcare, let alone transforming it, requires tough work, patience and resilience. But improving the health and financial outcomes of our country’s healthcare system is goal worthy of a Churchill-like resolve!
For more than 15 years, I’ve headed companies whose mission is to develop and adopt new technologies that work to transform healthcare processes and outcomes. For me, the radiology industry is prime for this transformation that can drive meaningful, wide-sweeping healthcare value. It’s one of the most important and strategic clinical functions in healthcare. It touches nearly every patient in every disease category. It helps to power the healthcare engine and is pivotal for diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring therapy.
In 1998, I co-founded the company RISLogic, which developed and supported Radiology Information Systems (RIS) software solutions for healthcare entities. After the company was acquired by Merge Healthcare in 2003, I worked in both the financial services and the telecommunications industries focusing on how new technology can transform their service delivery models. I knew I wanted to apply that same concept to radiology by creating a fundamentally new care delivery model that could deliver the same standard of care delivered at major academic medical centers to patients at every small, rural hospital in the US.
In 2005, I co-founded Radisphere, which grew to be one of the ten largest radiology practices in the U.S. We proved that you could not only deliver incredible care to even the smallest and most rural community hospitals, but that you could build a group of radiologists that were highly productive, happy to work be at work and most importantly, could embrace a culture of continuous improvement.
To the last point, I spoke to a large group of radiologists last week and asked them, “how many of you are focused on error rates in your practice?” While around 25 percent of the audience raised their hands, 100 percent of the Radisphere radiologists in the audience raised theirs!
Now, one could argue that this is because Radisphere quality is terrible, but it’s not. Based on a double blind review of over 50k studies per year, Radisphere makes clinically significant mistakes on just over 1 percent of its studies. So why did they raise their hands? It was because the Radisphere culture is based on complete transparency into quality. Every radiologist participates in a double blind review process; more than 70 percent of the radiologists are involved in the adjudication process and everyone gets continuous feedback on errors. As a result, the practice gets better, with Radisphere’s radiologists achieving an 83 percent reduction in errors over the last 2 years! That is how radiology and all of medicine should be practiced. Last year, we decided that we could take that knowledge and partner it with the technology that we developed to enable other providers to deliver the same or even better results.
In January 2015, we sold Radisphere to Sheridan Healthcare; an organization that will continue to grow the practice and invest in its mission to deliver high quality care to remote locations. I retained the intellectual property of the software and created Candescent Health. Candescent has commercialized the Radisphere experience, technology, business processes and data into a software-enabled service that helps radiology practices understand and improve their quality of care, improve career satisfaction and increase efficiency and healthcare value.
I am humbled and honored by the work that radiologists perform each and every day. My father is a radiologist and my wife is well on her way as she finishes her cardiac imaging fellowship as a cardiologist. I know firsthand how much value the specialty brings to the healthcare industry. In the same vain, I also see the pressure on radiologists today and understand the pressures of tomorrow as we move towards a value-based reimbursement model. But where there are challenges, there also lies great opportunity.
The radiology industry has a significant clinical and economic role to play as we enter the next stage of healthcare delivery in the U.S. And we at Candescent Health are 100 percent committed to enabling radiologists to lead this next phase of healthcare transformation. The path will be long and difficult, but Candescent is telling all radiologists: “never, never, never give up!”