Radiology Workflow that Consolidates, Prioritizes, Automates and Assigns Tasks: A Q&A with Laurie Bergeron9:00 am
Missed service level agreements and turnaround times, manual interventions, work interruptions and silos of information – these are a few of the typical challenges that radiology departments face. Frustrated referring clinicians, wasted time and inefficiency are the undesired results.
That’s where workflow solutions can be of assistance. They help counter challenges like these through automated alerts, escalations, consolidated tasks and enhanced communications. Laurie Bergeron is a product analyst at McKesson, and she shares her insight about the latest workflow solution, McKesson Enterprise Image Workflow Intelligence™, in this Q&A.
Q: What can radiology managers expect their team to experience when using McKesson Enterprise Image Workflow Intelligence?
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Imaging Technology News and is republished here with permission.
Lancaster General Health is a 550-bed system in Central Pennsylvania performing nearly 500,000 exams per year in its major acute-care hospital, rehabilitation hospital, stroke and trauma center, women’s center and 12 outpatient facilities. The 26 diagnostic radiologists and three radiation oncologists at Lancaster Radiology Associates, Ltd., handle all the radiology services for the health system, providing round-the-clock coverage. Leigh S. Shuman, M.D., a practicing radiologist at Lancaster Radiology Associates and the PACS medical director for the health system, and John Jones, radiology PACS administrator, recently spoke to us about the importance of communication and workflow.
For professional backup, aviators have autopilot, writers have spellcheck. Some physicians receive alerts if an action has been overlooked or an important finding must be communicated quickly, such as a radiologist’s alert to contact the ED about a patient’s blood clot. These notifications can be very valuable, but too many can backfire and cause alert fatigue. Here are three reasons radiology management should seek balance when it comes to automated alerts.
1. Alerts Can Help Speed Up Radiologist Communication.
As radiology departments become more complex, and the focus shifts to quality and efficiency, imaging workflows and data collection methods become significantly more complicated and sophisticated. That includes how radiologists facilitate patient care in the imaging environment; communicate and collaborate with other care providers; document and track radiology/physician interactions; and how radiology systems integrate and share data with other systems, such as electronic health records (EHRs). Imaging workflow management, now more than ever, needs to be automated, and data needs to be readily available in the imaging application tool set.
Sometimes, progress is as simple as viewing things from a different angle. For instance, when we consider radiology tests or procedures, we think of technologists and radiologists. What’s the best equipment for them, how can we make them more efficient, and how can we decrease the time they spend waiting for images?
But take that view and turn it 180 degrees to the patient, and everything changes. Success is no longer about departmental workflow; it’s about lowering the patient’s anxiety and frustration level to help improve radiology patient care.
Customer Spotlight: Van Buren County Hospital finds greater workflow efficiency, flexibility and support in McKesson’s solutions for radiology11:41 am
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Claudette Lew on Health IT Executive Forum and is republished here with permission.
Van Buren County Hospital serves as an anchor for nearly 8,000 residents, attending to all of their healthcare needs. To keep up with medical advancements as well as increasing federal healthcare regulations, healthcare facilities of all sizes are increasing investments in health IT to achieve more efficient operations, more coordinated care, better communication and ultimately, better patient health outcomes.
Indeed, we’ve found that creativity is the best way to generate customer value, and I am proud to announce that Frost & Sullivan reinforced that idea in its recent whitepaper describing its choice for McKesson as company of the year. In the whitepaper, “Amplifying the Value of Medical Imaging Services to the Enterprise through Efficient Workflow Solutions,” Frost & Sullivan makes the point that this notion is circular: creativity brings about customer value excellence, and customer value excellence reinforces the spirit of creativity.
The more intricate the system, the more important it is to be able to identify patterns. Take radiology coding—already complex, it’s about to get more so with the ICD-10 changeover. But when you can sort through data to see the underlying patterns, it’s significantly easier to promote efficiency that may lead to accurate reimbursement.
The first step is moving communication between coders and radiologists away from manual systems like email and fax. With an automated system, such as a QICS, coders query physicians about tests or procedures by placing a notation in the system that immediately appears on the correct physician’s work list.
Leaders of healthcare organizations are continually being challenged to do more with less while proving that improved efficiency and better patient health stem from their decisions. At McKesson, we work closely with healthcare executives and hear about the challenges they face. This allows us to create enterprise medical imaging solutions that can help them address their healthcare systems’ needs.
Whether healthcare systems have outdated PACS that operate in silos, need strategies to maximize their EHR investment or are trying to improve staff efficiency, most decision makers face overlapping issues. The most common considerations when choosing a new enterprise medical imaging system include return on investment (ROI), performance, patient care and balancing quality and cost.
This post will be of particular interest if you are an imaging professional at a US hospital or imaging center that performs CT scans on Medicare or Medicaid patients – even more so if you manage the equipment budget.
Having addressed all the new state regulations and Joint Commission recommendations on CT radiation exposure tracking and minimization, you may think that you are on top of things. But there is another impending item by the name of NEMA-XR-29-2013 that you may need to factor into your plans.
Depending on an institution’s exact situation, NEMA-XR-29-2013 could either be a pebble or a boulder, financially speaking.