Timely Radiology Results Improve Efficiency and Care Quality
Time is precious. When radiology results can be delivered quickly and easily, it eliminates the need to call around to find the ordering physician, giving you additional time to review more scans/exams. Since your time is expensive, this is something every hospital needs to evaluate. Critical test results management solutions (CTRMs) fit into existing workflows and truly support staff by making their lives easier. Secure, traceable results that are delivered to a smartphone or other specified device mean mobile physicians can access this important information no matter where they are.
Securely Deliver Results to the Preferred Device
Radiology results need to be delivered quickly to physicians so they can begin the required treatment—or enable the patient to go home sooner if results are normal. Technology that enables test results to be transferred securely and rapidly from radiology to the right physicians and other providers on their preferred communications device can reduce the frustrating phone tag that can delay treatment.
The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goal #2 (NPSG.02.03.01) requires hospitals to “get important test results to the right staff person on time.” Having an audit trail is critical here, as is the ability to send encrypted results information from the CTRM system straight to a smartphone, tablet, or other device. A system that can escalate an unacknowledged alert to the next-available or on-call provider is key, particularly when results are critical. Having a system able to analyze and report on how results are handled and shared can help prepare you for Joint Commission evaluation.
Reduce Manual Processes
Many institutions still use manual procedures to communicate and log test result process steps. Automating this process can significantly reduce costs and save valuable time while improving patient care and reducing litigation costs. Technology is available that can securely and rapidly transfer information to the right caregivers when time is critical to patient care. It enables hospitals to send messages from radiology by means of encrypted smartphone communications, two-way paging, email, secure text, images, annotations, and voice to a variety of endpoints such as workstations, laptops, tablets, smartphones, pagers, and other wireless devices.
Provide Audit Functions and Connect to the EHR
When it comes to communicating test results among key staff members, the closed-loop aspect of the messages is essential. Having an audit trail with all message contents, date/time stamps, delivery confirmations, and acknowledgments goes a long way to prevent mistakes and help retrace steps if needed. In addition to this audit trail, updating the hospital's electronic health record (EHR) system with the information that the result has been both delivered and acknowledged by the physician is of notable value.
Reduce Length of Patient Stays
As hospitals move from fee-for-service models to payment for quality outcomes, reducing the lengths of patient stays is even more critical than ever. A CTRM system that can quickly alert ordering physicians about a normal finding means the patient may be released sooner, whether from the ED or after admittance to the hospital. Improving bed turnover rates is an important initiative, and faster communications among staff help meet this goal.
A CTRM System Can Help Radiology With:
- Promoting accountability with a robust audit trail of messages
- Securing PHI by sending results through the Spok Mobile® secure texting solution
- Meeting Joint Commission requirements with message confirmations
- Achieving flexibility in communications by enabling results to be sent to a variety of communication devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and more
- Giving options for multiple acuity levels of alerts based on hospital preferences
- Providing full information needed to communicate the result, including not only text, but also voice clips and images
- Enabling incidental findings to be noted and communicated, which means a patient gets the benefit of understanding what results they should discuss with their primary care physician