Streamline Your Radiology Workflow. With Radiology Information Systems (RIS) and EHR

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1 Streamline Your Radiology Workflow With Radiology Information Systems (RIS) and EHR

2 2 Practicing medicine effectively requires transferring large amounts of information quickly, accurately, and securely. To this end, countless hospitals and medical clinics are implementing electronic health records (EHRs) that organize information around the patient. EHRs allow networked clinics to access each patient s information instantly. According to one analysis, health care providers reported between 72 and 97 percent improvement in the quality of care, decisions, and communications upon implementation of an EHR (1). Given such dramatic results, it seems that any provider who wishes to remain competitive and effective in an increasingly technological world must seriously consider switching to an EHR system.

3 3 CONTENTS Sep Specialized Systems for Radiology...5 Impact on Physicians Decision-Making & Communication...6 Benefits of an EHR System for Radiology...7 Functions of a Radiology Information System...8 Measurable Benefits and Stimulus Act Incentives...9 Maximize Your Radiology Revenue...9

4 4 SPECIALIZED SYSTEMS FOR RADIOLOGY Rather than simply adopting a one-size-fits-all solution, many settings utilize specialized systems that address their specific needs. For example, a radiology information system (RIS) excels at managing a radiology practice s specific management needs rather than a PM system that might be used by a non-radiology medical practice. When combined with a picture archiving and communication system (PAC), a RIS can also be used to efficiently display patient images. The following paragraphs expound the potential benefits of an EHR and RIS on workflow for a radiology center. ADS has created a radiology system that is highly flexible, stable and robust and they are greatly responsive to client needs. Robert Klein, Administrator University Diagnostic Medical Imaging, Bronx NY

5 5 IMPACT ON PHYSICIANS DECISION-MAKING & COMMUNICATION While these experiences refer to EHRs in general, many of these aspects apply equally to radiology. According to the analysis done by Chaudhry et al., physicians with fully functional EHRs reported the following findings (1) : 82% improvement in quality of clinical decisions 92% improvement in quality of communication with other health care providers 72% improvement in quality of communication with patients 97% more timely access to patient medical records 86% improvement in avoiding medication errors 85% improvement in delivery of preventive care that meets guidelines 82% improvement in delivery of chronic-illness care that meets guidelines In addition, some studies cited by Chaudhry et al. reported significant decreases in completion time for radiology procedures as well as a significant increase in adherence to protocols for ordering radiology studies.

6 6 BENEFITS OF AN EHR SYSTEM FOR RADIOLOGY In addition to the overall functional benefits brought to the radiology practice by using an EHR, radiologists can also benefit from the Stimulus Act s financial incentives for EHR Meaningful Use assuming the EHR is certified and can handle the needs of a radiology practice. Some of the following functional EHR features may not apply to radiology (such as e-rx) but they are shown for general reference. 1. Improved quality and convenience of patient care A functional EHR offers providers quick and complete access to patient records, enhanced decision support and medical information, real-time quality reporting, legible and complete documentation tools, interfacing with other EHRs and providers, and safer, more reliable prescribing. At the same time, patients enjoy reduced paperwork, reliable point-of-care information and reminders, electronic referrals and follow-up and electronic prescriptions sent directly to the pharmacy. With an EHR, patient perception of quality increases as well; according to a national survey of physicians, patients associate newer technology with higher quality. In fact, the patients care-related decisions changed when they saw the new technology, and they communicated more openly with their providers (2).

7 7 2. Increased patient participation in their care EHRs enable providers and patients to share access to health information which facilitates collaboration and informed decision-making. EHRs allow providers to give their patients complete, accurate information regarding their medical evaluations as well as follow-up information after a hospital stay or an office visit. In addition, EHRs help providers to manage appointments electronically and contact patients via ; this invites more open and proactive communications from both sides. Seeing a provider use an EHR also encourages patients to take a more active role in their care by using a personal health record. A PHR is patient-centered and patientmanaged software that, in some instances, can link to a provider s EHR through a secure portal. For many patients, viewing their own medical records and test result trends over time can motivate them to make the necessary lifestyle changes to improve their health. 3. Improved accuracy of diagnoses and health outcomes By providing a complete, instant picture of a patient s medical history, an EHR helps physicians to make more accurate diagnoses sooner, avoid medication conflicts, alert clinicians to life-threatening allergies or conditions, and reduce errors. Such functions are made possible by EHRs ability to manipulate and analyze information. In this way, EHRs also enable providers to better address the health needs of specific patient populations.

8 8 4. Improved coordination of patient care Comprehensive patient care involves a team of health care providers including primary care physicians, specialists, technicians, and nurses. Each provider has limited interactions with the patient and a different view of the patient, but without an EHR, no one person knows everything relevant about the patient. This can create confusion, duplication, and a lack of communication among providers. An EHR reduces the fragmentation of care by providing each clinician with complete, accurate information. As a result, each clinician is given a more holistic view of the patient s medical conditions and care. This creates smoother transitions between care settings and reduces unnecessary tests and medical errors.

9 9 5. Increased efficiency and cost savings EHRs link patient appointments to progress notes, coding, and claims; facilitate greater communication between clinicians, labs, and health plans; and manage charts and queries. As a result, EHR-enabled practices report increased accuracy in coding (3), improved care delivery (1), and increased patient flow, staff productivity, and revenue (4). In addition, EHRs reduce the time spent doing paperwork, streamline administrative tasks, automate information delivery, and reduce duplicate tests and procedures.

10 10 FUNCTIONS OF A RADIOLOGY INFORMATION SYSTEM Patient Management With a RIS, a patient s workflow can be tracked throughout the radiology facility. Reports and images can be added to EHRs and retrieved only by authorized staff. Patient Tracking A RIS can track a patient s radiology history from the point of admission until discharge. This history can also be linked to appointments in the past, present or future.

11 11 Scheduling The RIS can coordinate appointments for both in and outpatients with specific radiology providers. Results Reporting The RIS can create analytical reports by patient, patient group, or procedure. The radiologist can view all of the studies performed on the patient, enter the results of newly performed procedures, and send a report of his or her findings to the ordering physician electronically. Film Tracking A RIS can extract individual films plus any associated data from the PACS. Billing and EDI RIS can track financial records, automated claims submissions, and electronic payments.

12 12 MEASUREMENT BENEFITS AND STIMULUS ACT INCENTIVES FOR RADIOLOGY EHRs offer many benefits to both health care providers and patients. While some of these benefits are measurable, such as cost savings and reduced adverse events, others are intangible but lead to higher patient outcomes and satisfaction. Radiologists can also obtain their Stimulus Act incentives for using a certified EHR according to Meaningful Use criteria as they apply to radiology. Radiology centers can easily realize the advantages of implementing radiology EHR, and a fully functional RIS linked to a PACS and to the EHR. (1) Chaudhry B, et al. Systematic Review: Impact of Health Information Technology on Quality, Efficiency, and Costs of Medical Care. Annals of Internal Medicine. (2) DesRoches, C., et al, Electronic Health Records in Ambulatory Care - A National Survey of Physicians, New England Journal of Medicine; 359: (3) (4)

13 13 MAXIMIZE YOUR RADIOLOGY REVENUE For more on how you can experience measurable benefits from an EHR for radiology, watch our free demo to see how your practice can achieve Meaningful Use and streamline your radiology workflow. RIS OVERVIEW Watch our RIS overview to see how MedicsRIS can increase your efficiency while reducing costs. These short demos feature workflow, scheduling and more WATCH IT NOW!

Medweb Telemedicine 667 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 Phone: 415.541.9980 Fax: 415.541.9984 www.medweb.com

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