Radiology and cardiology departments are in the midst of a cultural shift as health systems transition to value-based care. Specifically, radiology leaders are calling for radiologists to actively move out of their reading rooms and take on tasks that prove their value. For example, screening exams for appropriateness and becoming part of multidisciplinary teams demonstrate worth. But how can radiologists and cardiologists take on extra tasks when they’re already strapped for time?
Here are five problems that diagnostic imaging workflow solutions help solve, supporting clinicians’ ability to work more efficiently.
Problem 1: Complexity of integrated care
Solution: Workflow solutions facilitate communication
Healthcare team members must communicate with each other, but drafting emails and playing phone tag are inefficient. Workflow solutions facilitate integrated healthcare by automating communications. For example, some systems include critical alert functions that send referring physicians notifications by instant message, SMS or email when significant findings occur, such as a solitary lung nodule. Automated alerts keep referring physicians up-to-date about test results. Knowing results quickly allows them to intervene and recommend treatment or additional testing for their patients.
Problem 2: Time-consuming tasks
Solution: Workflow solutions help improve efficiency
Certain tasks for radiologists are particularly time consuming. Calculating radiation dose, which requires incorporating a patient’s age, weight, exam code and modality type, takes significant time. Technology that supports improved workflow can automate this calculation, seamlessly store dose metrics and alert staff of potential exposure. Workflow solutions are able to track and automate a variety of exam workflows and pinpoint areas for improvement, streamlining radiologists’ tasks.
Problem 3: Varying clinical goals
Solution: Workflow solutions help reduce manual tasks
An independent radiology facility might have different business goals than a hospital’s diagnostic imaging department. Business goals typically require administrators to manually monitor studies and spend valuable time on manual tasks, such as assigning studies per subspecialists’ areas of expertise. Imaging workflow solutions help administrators rid themselves of manual monitoring. For example, Conserus Workflow Intelligence™ allows administrators to customize workflows for defined business goals and parameters, including SLA study age and subspecialty.
Problem 4: Reporting challenges
Solution: Workflow solutions highlight coding discrepancies
Incorrect coding may result in denied claims, incorrect payment and wasted time. Certain imaging workflow solutions include a coding discrepancy function. The workflow launches a panel to alert employees when coding issues are detected. The solution sends alerts and adds discrepancies to radiologists’ worklists so issues may be resolved. Patterns of error are also highlighted.
A physician quality review workflow can also give radiologists a summary report that highlights the proper documentation needed for CMS reimbursement, helping to ease reporting challenges.
Problem 5: Patients forgoing follow-up care
Solution: Workflow solutions flag uncompleted care
As physicians take on larger caseloads, it’s difficult to track whether patients undergo all of the follow-up care that’s recommended. Certain workflow solutions now include configurable reminders that flag serious cases if follow-up care has not been completed. These systems can further capture exam information, find patterns and relay pertinent information so users can pinpoint ways to prevent future complications.
Imaging departments are experiencing cultural shifts and changes due to value-based care reimbursement. Workflow solutions can be valuable tools to help solve some of the top problems that radiology departments face.
Learn more how the Conserus™ suite of enterprise medical imaging solutions can help solve your diagnostic imaging workflow issues.