Y&M Radiology grows with patient-first approach

By Ira Zunin

Medical facilities cannot rely solely on state-of-the-art technology. They must build relationships to establish a sustainable brand. Some years ago I was invited to interview for medical director of Holistica Hawaii. Housed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the facility featured a new ultrafast CT that offered heart scans and total body scans. The owner asked me for a proposal that included a comprehensive wellness program. In the course of the interview, it became clear that his interest was simply using his machine to sell scans and that in his mind the wellness program was simply a marketing strategy. My instinct was not to take the position. When the economy weakened, the wellness program was quickly pulled, and ultimately Holistica Hawaii closed down.

In contrast, committed to a “patient-first” attitude giving prompt, thorough and compassionate care to everyone, in 1987 Dr. Ghim L. Yeoh and Dr. Edwin T. Muranaka formed Yeoh & Muranaka Radiology Inc. This free-standing radiology practice is established as one of the best in Honolulu.

Y&M Radiology has expanded to three main offices and one satellite Women’s Center while maintaining a pledge to treat every patient as a family member or friend. Y&M Radiology became the first outpatient office in Honolulu to be granted a certificate of need for CT services in 1989 and first MRI certificate of need in 2001. In 1998, Y&M Radiology became the first and only radiology practice in Honolulu to become accredited in general ultrasound by the American College of Radiology. Today, Y&M Radiology offers among the widest range of dedicated outpatient imaging services for the patients in their community.

For nearly 20 years I have worked with Dr. Jeff Yeoh and Dr. Edwin Muranaka, two of the company’s key principals, because they have remained true to their heartfelt mission. This week I had an opportunity to ask them some questions:

Question: What has made Y&M Radiology so successful these many years?

Answer: Y&M Radiology’s philosophy is, we can do it better. We are constantly looking at ourselves to find ways to improve what we do, which in turn supports our partner physicians in improving their service to patients.

Q: How are you adapting to evolving changes in the health care environment?

A: Our ability to upgrade our technology and maintain our drive to improve our service to patients and physicians sparked a growth within Y&M Radiology. We first reviewed and streamlined our procedures yet found that it would not be enough. Our expanded staff has allowed us to provide specialized support for our physicians, improve scheduling and registration of our patients and faster turnaround of study results. All of this enables us to honor the commitment we made to our community to have a “patient-first” attitude and provide prompt, thorough and compassionate care to every patient.

Q: What are the greatest challenges Y&M Radiology faces today?

A: The most important challenge we face at the moment is the obligation to share patient information for efficient continuity of care. Technology has changed the way we manage and share patient information. With the click of a button, history, medical images and diagnostic reports are instantly transferrable to a treatment facility anywhere in the world. Customized treatment and consultations can be carried out no matter where a patient is in relation to their trusted physician. However, with this comes the responsibility of reliable, ready access. To provide this level of care to the patient, we must stay on top of technology and standards. Working with our partner physicians and facilities, we must implement appropriate hardware and software in our practices that allow this information sharing. With the rapid advances that technology makes every day, along with the government standards that follow, we are always looking for the next upgrade.

Q: How is Y&M Radiology meeting current challenges in health care?

A: In recent years Y&M Radiology has been facing challenges as a health care professional, ranging from restrictions in medical insurance to government policies and initiatives. With all of the external forces pushing and pulling at us, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle and begin to lose our focus. However, having strong core values perpetuated by each of our radiologists keeps us from straying too far. From the first patient that walked through our doors back in 1987, excellent relationships in patient care is Y&M Radiology’s core value.

Ira Zunin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., is medical director of Manakai o Malama Integrative Healthcare Group and Rehabilitation Center and CEO of Global Advisory Services Inc. Please submit your questions to info@manakaiomalama.com.