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.
Interview with Dr. Robyn Cairns, pediatric radiologist at British Columbia’s Children’s Hospital and vice chair of medical informatics for the Department of Radiology at University of British Columbia
With the rapid expansion of radiology comes a corresponding need for advances in radiology peer review. Dr. Robyn Cairns, pediatric radiologist at BC Children’s Hospital in British Columbia and vice chair of medical informatics for the Department of Radiology, University of British Columbia, puts it this way, “The busy pace of a radiology practice demands an efficient solution to integrate peer review into radiologist workflow.”
After a radiology technician in Georgia falsified more than 1,000 radiology results, it was found that 10 of the test results had actually been positive and two of the patients died. The technologist was fined and sentenced to six months in a detention center, while the healthcare facility where she worked faced multiple lawsuits.
No director of radiology wants to think that one of his or her employees could be capable of such a transgression, but falsified radiology records can lead to a healthcare organization’s loss of reputation, fines or penalties, and perhaps for affected patients, even loss of life.
What is Image Results Anyway?
“Image Results” is the name of a Meaningful Use 2 menu objective. So you could conceivably just opt out of doing it if you already have six of the other menu objectives well covered. But since most hospitals will find it to be a quick win and it is so valuable to quality patient care, it would be a shame not to address it. Also, it is probably going to be core in MU3, so why put it off?