Within 10 years, it’s estimated that 50 percent of healthcare payments made will be value-based. As more health systems transition to value-based care models, leaders are seeking ACO support, tools and information. Radiologists are determining how to best prove their value in an ACO model as well.
Radiology leaders and team members may not realize that their medical imaging software is a tool that can provide valuable insight and ACO support, from tracking follow-up care to looking at complications data. Here are functions that Qualitative Intelligence & Communication System (QICS™) workflows can perform to offer ACO support.
Undertake Follow-Up Tracking
Radiologists can utilize QICS workflows to help them clarify radiologists’ value in an accountable care model. The follow-up tracking workflow allows radiologists to track both short-term and long-term tasks. For example, if a CT scan is performed for a patient with a possible blood clot and artery atherosclerosis is diagnosed, follow-up treatment such as an angioplasty may be needed. Follow-up tracking allows radiologists to delegate tasks to support staff as needed and can alert them about any missed steps or delays.
“With QICS the radiologist can select the study they want to follow-up with, directly in PACS, and the system will monitor if follow-up study is scheduled or send an alert if it has not been scheduled in an appropriate timeframe,” says Nicole Wichlei, director of the McKesson QICS product line. “Using this type of electronic ‘tickler’ file, radiologists can easily monitor their recommendations for follow-up and quickly communicate any findings or misses to help establish a closer rapport with referring physicians and alleviate some of their burden.”
ACO transitions will require various members of a health team to work together to manage patient care. Follow-up tracking workflows that alert team members to missed steps help enhance teamwork between radiologists and referring physicians.
Medical imaging solutions that track complications are valuable for a number of reasons. The QICS Complication Tracking workflow collects data and runs data analyses to detect potential patterns in the patient population. This allows staff to develop strategies and take action to help prevent complications from recurring, for example, if patients who undergo percutaneous abscess drainage see an increased rate of sepsis. The end result could lower hospital readmission rates and help improve quality of care for patients.
Facilitate Radiologist Consultations
Solutions that foster radiologist consultations are another ACO support tool. QICS Real-time Consultation workflow is one such example – it facilitates efficient, trackable collaboration between radiologists. Interruptions are problematic when radiologists are in the midst of their workflow. A solution that helps radiologists indicate times when they’re available encourages their efficiency but allows for real-time consultative work, for example, if a radiologist wants a second opinion about a patient who was in a car crash and may have a carotid artery dissection. This encourages cooperation among the staff and allows the healthcare team to benefit from radiologists’ expertise, which is crucial under accountable care models.
As more healthcare organizations transition to value-based care, it’s important that radiologists and managers know what tools can offer ACO support. What healthcare organization executives may not realize is that their medical imaging software can be of additional value when it tracks follow-up tasks and complications and facilitates radiologist consultations.
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