Conserus™ Workflow Engine Helps Ease Emergency Room Woes

2016-04-21
 

Conserus Enterprise Workflow Solutions Help Make Emergency Rooms More EfficientThe increase in patient traffic through the ED and an associated increase in fast-read requests from ED physicians is just one of the real-life clinical issues that McKesson is able to address through its latest release of Conserus Workflow Intelligence™. In a recent discussion at the 2016 HIMSS conference, Dr. Evan Kaminer, CEO of Hudson Valley Radiology Associates, discussed the benefits realized for this application.

One of the key pain points was the large percentage of cases designated as urgent. “Our greatest challenge was flagging the emergent and urgent cases. Like many hospitals, we are flooded with cases marked ‘stat.’ For example, every study done in the emergency room is marked ‘stat,’” Kaminer told Imaging Technology News. To compound the issue, most of the hospital’s admissions come through the ED, and patients are lined up in the hallway at times, Kaminer told AuntMinnie.com. “If [patients] are housed in the emergency department for too long, we will see it in our HCAHPS scores,” Kaminer says.

To address the ED bottleneck and ensure imaging studies for priority cases are read quickly, hospital executives decided to beta-test the Conserus Workflow Intelligence™ enterprise workflow solution. The system has been in place for more than a year, and the results are telling.

  • ER average turnaround time for CT, MRI, and ultrasound reads decreased 35%, from 20:13 minutes in a four-month period in 2014 to 13:03 minutes during the same period in 2015.
  • ICU average turnaround time decreased 50%, from 52:37 minutes in 2014 to 26:06 minutes in 2015.
  • Labor and delivery average turnaround time decreased 26%, from 23:39 to 17:33.
  • 94% of reads are handled within 20 minutes, compared to 79% before the Conserus Workflow Intelligence ™ implementation.

Setting priorities
The Conserus Workflow Intelligence™ enterprise workflow engine used the patient’s location, the type of scan performed, and the time of the procedure as factors to determine a study’s priority status. As a result, scans from ER and ICU patients received higher priority than other scans, and scan-read urgency status can be upgraded or downgraded.

After scanning the document, the system recognizes when “wet read” is written on an order, and automatically raises the case’s priority, says Kaminer. Technologists can manually increase priority — for example, in cases involving a patient waiting for final results before discharge or a CT scan for a possible brain bleed. The system also continually alerts radiologists whenever a case has not been read in a timely manner and automatically escalates the case, sending parallel alerts. This alert system helps make it easier for the site’s radiologists to adhere to service level agreements.

Conserus Workflow Intelligence gives radiologists a single worklist that uses up to 99 configurable priority levels to automate case prioritization. All current radiology tasks are contained in a single worklist, with urgent reads automatically escalated and color coded based on site-specific prioritization rules.

Kaminer says although it took the hospital and radiology group a while to hit their stride in using the tools, Conserus Workflow Intelligence ™ not only completely solved the prioritization issue, but unquestionably helped improve service to the hospital.

If you weren’t able to attend Dr. Kaminer’s session at HIMSS in person, you can view his presentation on LinkedIn® SlideShare. Or you can see Conserus Workflow Intelligence ™ and how it works with McKesson Radiology™ as well as other PACS systems at SIIM 2016 from June 29th to July 1st in Portland, Oregon. Contact us to book a meeting or demo in advance.

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