Sponsored Content | Case Study | Enterprise Imaging | May 30, 2019

Large Enterprise Health System Transforms Radiology Practice

The 11-hospital system makes significant gains through improved critical results communication

Figure 1

Figure 2

In this study, the client was a large enterprise health system serving 1.4 million patients across the United States with over 11 hospital locations, over 6,000 in bed capacity and over 50 satellite clinics. They processed over 1.5 million studies annually and used various picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) across the organization.

In 2016, the client reached out to the healthcare services industry for assistance to transform their radiology practice, focusing on key areas including critical results communication. Change Healthcare was selected as the solutions provider and helped the client achieve success throughout the transformation journey.

 

Challenges

The client was facing challenges in the following areas:

1. Ineffective communication of critical and unexpected results.

The referring physicians’ contact information was poorly documented, which caused radiologists to waste valuable time trying to locate them. The enterprise lacked a clearly defined escalation policy, causing delays in communicating critical results. Streamlining the physician communication process would guarantee proper results delivery in a timely manner.

 

2. Providing quality and undisrupted care to patients.

Radiologists were dealing with an increasing number of disruptions during shifts, which meant they read fewer cases or worked longer hours. Communication barriers impeded physicians’ ability to provide better care. Smoothing out these barriers would help improve timeliness and more nuanced interpretations.

 

3. Maintaining continuous improvement for their imaging operations.

The facility had an incomplete picture of their operations due to a lack of effective reporting. Establishing standard key performance indicators (KPI) and reporting measures and tracking workflow efficiency would give the client meaningful insight into their business.

 

Solution

The enterprise health system acquired Change Healthcare’s Provider Communication Service (PCS), a value-added solution that integrates people, process and technology to improve provider-to-provider communication of critical, unexpected and incidental findings by optimizing the overall workflow. PCS also includes the option of managing incidental findings and follow-up management for both the referring community and patients. The client’s solution involved the following components:

1. Establishing a 24/7 communication command center.

The infrastructure and amenities were developed, and a team of communication coordinators was built to manage the results delivery workflow process. The facility established 24/7 staff coverage based on scheduling and peak trends, supporting radiologists at more than 11 client sites. The PCS team connected with referring physicians on behalf of the radiologists, freeing them up to focus on delivering patient care.

 

2. Developing workflow automation.

Based on best practices, workflow rules were implemented on case urgency, response times and case types (e.g. stroke, critical results, significant abnormal). This helped to consistently meet The Joint Commission (TJC) National Patient Safety Goal No. 2 and American College of Radiology (ACR) critical results reporting guidelines by implementing enterprise-level escalation policies and system downtime protocols.

 

3. Implementing sustainable governance and change adoption.

A radiology steering committee was established with key stakeholders and radiology directors. On a continual basis, the committee reviewed performance measures, identified opportunities for improvement and prioritized recommended actions. Through this change management program, the client was able to successfully adopt Provider Communication Service throughout their diagnostic imaging operations across the organization.

 

Impact

As a result of using Change Healthcare’s Provider Communication Service, the client achieved significant clinical and business outcomes.

1. Improved turnaround times for results communication.

Through streamlining communication and information sharing between radiologists, referring physicians and patients, the client experienced considerable improvement in weekly critical results turnaround times (TAT).

Within three years of operating with PCS, their average TAT reduced by 68.7 percent from 1:33 hours to 25 minutes (see Chart 1).

The average turnaround times for the communication of critical and urgent/unexpected findings greatly exceeded service level agreement expectations (see Chart 2).

The adoption of PCS enabled more efficient and accurate patient diagnosis for the client, which means higher quality care for their patients.

 

2. Enhanced visualization of turnaround times.

Through enriched data analytics, the facility obtained a clearer picture of the current state of patient service levels and their clinical and operational implications, which ultimately improved the effectiveness of communication among physicians. The added visibility and clarity of data enabled it to:

•Improve patient safety by ensuring the referring physicians are notified in a timely manner of unexpected findings that totaled 10 percent of their overall volume.

•Optimize resource utilization by monitoring exam capacity, access time and TAT, and identifying outliers to better determine appropriate staff scheduling and coverage.

•Perform cost-benefit analysis and make better hiring decisions by monitoring patient event volumes.

 

Overall, PCS provided valuable business insight that helped the facility monitor its performance against benchmarks to maintain continuous improvement in the future.

Change Healthcare’s Provider Communication Service delivered satisfactory return on investment to the client by reducing unnecessary disruptions in the radiologist workflow and improving their productivity. The streamlined communication workflow improved report turnaround times, reduced risk for error and minimized physician burnout, thereby enhancing patient care and safety and generating business growth for the healthcare enterprise.

Related Content

he U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final order to reclassify medical image analyzers applied to mammography breast cancer, ultrasound breast lesions, radiograph lung nodules and radiograph dental caries detection, postamendments class III devices (regulated under product code MYN), into class II (special controls), subject to premarket notification

Image courtesy of iCAD

News | Computer-Aided Detection Software | January 22, 2020
January 22, 2020 — The U.S.
Medical imaging technology company Oxipit announced partnership with Swiss medical distribution company Healthcare Konnect to bring ChestEye AI imaging suite to healthcare institutions in Nigeria
News | Artificial Intelligence | January 22, 2020
January 22, 2020 — Medical imaging technology company Oxipit ann
Hitachi Healthcare Americas announced that it will create a new dedicated research and development facility within its North American headquarters facility in Twinsburg, Ohio
News | Radiology Business | January 21, 2020
January 21, 2020 — Hitachi Healthcare Americas announced that it will create a new dedicated research and development
Sponsored Content | Videos | Enterprise Imaging | January 20, 2020
GE Healthcare's iCenter is a cloud-based management software that provides 24/7 visibility to customers' visual and o
Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., Inc. (Konica Minolta) announced its status as a Google Cloud Premier Partner.
News | Archive Cloud Storage | January 14, 2020
January 14, 2020 — ...
This is artificial intelligence on Fujifilm's mobile digital radiography system to immediately detect pneumothorax (a collapsed lung) and show the location to the technologist and attending physician in a unit before the image is even uploaded to the PACS for a read. AI applications like this that have immediate impact on critical patient care saw a lot of interest at RSNA 2019.

This is work-in-progress artificial intelligence app on Fujifilm's mobile digital radiography system to immediately detect pneumothorax (a collapsed lung), The AI highlights the area of interest to show the location to the technologist and attending physician in a unit before the image is even uploaded to the PACS for a read by a radiologist. The technology also can flag the study for an immediate read in the PACS worklist for confirmation by a human. This technology is from a third-party and will be offered on Fujifilm's REiLI AI platform. Applications like this that have immediate impact on critical patient care saw a lot of interest at RSNA 2019. Photos by ITN Editor Dave Fornell.

Feature | Artificial Intelligence | December 27, 2019 | Siddharth Shah and Srikanth Kompalli, Frost & Sullivan
Radiology artificial intelligence (AI) was again the hottest topic at the 2019...
News | Remote Viewing Systems | December 27, 2019
December 27, 2019 — The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and Carequality have developed the Imaging Data