The Total Value Equation: A Suggested Framework for Understanding Value Creation in Diagnostic Radiology

Authors: Richard E. Heller III


As a result of macroeconomic forces necessitating fundamental changes in health care delivery systems, value has become a popular term in the medical industry. Much has been written recently about the idea of value as it relates to health care services in general and the practice of radiology in particular. Of course, cost, value, and cost-effectiveness are not new topics of conversation in radiology. Not only is value one of the most frequently used and complex words in management, entire classes in business school are taught around the concept of understanding and maximizing value. But what is value, and when speaking of value creation strategies, what is it exactly that is meant? For the leader of a radiology department, either private or academic, value creation is a core function. This article provides a deeper examination of what value is, what drives value creation, and how practices and departments can evaluate their own value creation efficiencies. An equation, referred to as the Total Value Equation, is presented as a framework to assess value creation activities and strategies.