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We spent some time catching up with Dr. Rob Falk to learn what’s driving 3DR Laboratories, an Accumen Company, ahead in to 2020.
“We founded 3DR Laboratories back in 2005 when, in my own private practice, I saw the profound impact 3D imaging can provide and the challenges that a time-intensive 3D process can create for the lab. It was a problem of demand, scale, time and expertise within that particular combination of challenges that we saw as a great opportunity.”
Demand and Scale
The demand for 3D imaging will grow as the technology improves, cost goes down and physicians see the impact on their own patients. While that’s happening, having an on-demand resource available is critical.
As an example, let’s play with a specific scenario: a physician needs a 3D image to plan for a pre-surgical effort on an uncommon surgery taking place in an emergent situation within 12 hours and your most skilled 3D Lab Tech is out of state at a conference. The millimeters in the measurement matter to the .0001. The skillset of a 3DR Lab Tech is not the same as a standard technologist. Technology experience is very different than 3D expertise.
The vision, and what we’ve realized in building our organization, is that turning to 3DR Laboratories means working with a technologist that (1) has critical expertise in this particular scan type, (2) will be QA’d by multiple other experts in the process of delivering your result and (3) will deliver your result before your in-house lab tech checks messages between conference sessions.
There are two elements of time at play in delivering an imaging result: time to staff and time to process.
Imaging doesn’t wait for the best staffing alignment within your lab. With 3DR Laboratories as a partner, it doesn’t have to. One of the ways we become an extremely valuable partner is in the after-hours, weekends and holidays when demand may be greater than your staffing capabilities.
The other element is time to process. We work with hospital systems to establish a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that meets their exact needs. For some procedures, the turnaround time for a read is less than 30 minutes. For others, less than 24 hours. Our team is seen as the best hospital resource outside of the hospital. Our commitment to quality is paramount in all we do. If we do not satisfy the SLA, we waive all associated procedure costs.
One of the challenges in the imaging lab is the pace the technology is evolving and the availability to continuing education for techs. By and large, after a radiologist completes their programming, all of their learning from that day forward is in their own hands. At 3DR Laboratories, we recognize the need for specialized training, so we engage all technical hires in a 3-month boot-camp beginning on their first day of employment.
In that 3-month period, 3DR Laboratories technologists are learning the next generation of technology available, becoming fluent in our workflow for efficient processing with unparalleled accuracy, and investing their knowledge in the disease processes. Knowing the why behind what they’re looking for is critical to patient success and being a valued part of any physician’s team.
In addition to this on-boarding protocol, we regularly hold lunch-n-learn trainings for our entire team, as well as ad hoc specialized trainings, 3DR Laboratories prides itself on being, and remaining, the experts in our field.
Over the last 15 years 3DR Laboratories has grown to serve a nationwide audience of hospital radiology departments stand-alone imaging centers and radiology practices processing over half a million cases each year.