The Benefits of Radiology Workflow Orchestration Solutions: Part One

2017-10-10
 

There’s a massive shakeup happening in the healthcare industry, and imaging departments are at the epicenter. The push toward bundled payments, value-based reimbursement, and enterprise imaging creates challenges that traditional radiology solutions aren’t equipped to address.

In a recent AHRA webinar, Change Healthcare’s Itai Galili addressed the current state of radiology workflow, how imaging departments need to adapt, and how workflow orchestration solutions can help. Read on for part one of our key takeaways.

The Top Workflow Challenges: Efficiency & Access

According to a recent survey of CHIME members, the top three reasons health systems invest in imaging IT solutions are:

  1. To improve the quality of care and patient outcomes
  2. To optimize EMR use
  3. To reduce costs

All three of these concerns are issues of efficiency and access. Clinicians need to work quickly and accurately to provide value at scale and improve both patient experience and quality of care.

Workflow orchestration solutions help boost productivity and promote universal access to information, addressing all three of these top challenges and many more.

Three Key Benefits of Imaging Workflow Orchestration Solutions

1. Fully Leverage Your EMR

Just implementing an EMR can be a serious investment for a health system, costing tens of millions of dollars or more. Once it’s been implemented, the challenge remains to get everyone on board with using it productively. Fifty-eight percent of physicians say their EMR is hard to use. Over half of radiology departments lack PACS-EMR integration. And 90% of physicians say an easier way to get patient data would improve patient care.

Workflow orchestration solutions can bring the EMR data to the point of care to give radiologists full context of the patient’s medical history. When this data is a part of a radiologist’s standard workflow, it’s more likely to be effectively used to contribute to more accurate diagnosis and better recommendations.

2. Improve Communication to Improve Patient Care

Inter-departmental communication is a key challenge for modern hospitals who want to provide better patient care. It’s not a small problem: 70% of healthcare lawsuits involve communication failures, and failure in communication is the root cause of over half of sentinel events reported to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Technology can help bridge the gaps between departments. Change Healthcare recently worked with a major health system that averaged 1.5 million procedure studies a year, but had long turnaround times due to lack of communication between the imaging department and the referring physicians. They implemented a workflow orchestration solution that not only facilitated communication, but could measure the results for continued improvement. Just increasing the level of communication led to a 40% improvement in turnaround times, in just four months.

3. Balance Imaging Workloads

Imaging departments are focused on balancing capacity and demand. When capacity is drastically higher than demand, it’s a waste of resources. On the other hand, high demand and insufficient capacity can lead to higher turnaround times and increased discrepancies.

To properly adjust capacity to meet demand, it’s vital to benchmark demand over time. Workflow orchestration software can track demand hourly, making it easy to see when extra help is needed and when the department can take on extra volume.

Make the Most of Your Tech and Talent Investments

Orchestrated workflow solutions can help health systems unlock the full potential of their existing technological investments. Beyond that, intelligent workflows enhance communication and collaboration, helping your team work together with increased efficiency to produce better patient outcomes.

To learn more about how Change Healthcare can help your organization with orchestrated workflow solutions, contact us today.

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