Digirad recently had the opportunity to speak with Micah Eimer, MD, FACC, a cardiologist in Glenview, IL. Here’s what he has to say about the nuclear cardiology services from Digirad.
Tell us a little bit about what you do and what led you to Digirad.
I had been in private practice for seven years when I was contacted about starting a new cardiology division in the suburbs. We were starting with a blank slate, and one of the major components was nuclear cardiology testing. Because the division was new, and it was unclear what the volume would be, we were hesitant to invest heavily in equipment and staff. The Diagnostic Services offering from Digirad was a great fit that allowed us to get up and running without purchasing the equipment or hiring a dedicated staff.
What type of services does the Digirad team provide?
We use the nuclear cardiology services and are frequently performing myocardial perfusion studies. The team from Digirad comes to our facility one day a week and typically performs 5-7 studies per day. They arrive with the camera, staff and handle all the imaging.
Did you have any questions or reservations before signing up?
Honestly, yes. Sitting up is not historically how nuclear studies are done, and the footprint of the Digirad camera is very small. So I did have some initial concerns but the image quality has been superb.
How has the service worked out?
The services from Digirad have worked out beautifully. We can request the exact amount of equipment and staff that we need. The team does an expert job of getting their work done. At the end of the day they leave, and you don’t even know they were there.
What about the Digirad staff? How do they work with your patients and your full-time staff?
The staff from Digirad has been wonderful. It’s more or less the same people every week, and they handle the patients very well. Patients uniformly tell us they had a good experience. They are very autonomous and do not require a lot from our staff.
What type of financial projection or models did you use to make the “buy vs. rent” decision?
It was a pretty easy decision. Because the department was essentially a start-up, we knew the volume would be low. So purchasing new equipment was not an ideal option. Plus, we had to factor-in the time commitment to run the lab. It’s more than the expense of the camera that must be taken into account. Things like certification, the inspections, spills, the hot lab, etc. all have to be considered. One of the reasons you leave private practice is to not worry about this stuff anymore. With Digirad, it’s a much more pleasant and personally satisfying.