Sponsored by Banner Health
Moving quickly and safely to achieve the core mission of health care
So much has changed in health care and the way in which care is delivered these last several months, but one thing that remains the same is our commitment to protecting the patients we serve, day in and day out. At Banner Health, we believe in our mission – health care made easier, life made better – and that belief holds true not just in the physical spaces where we deliver care, but also in the everyday touchpoints we have with patients.
For example, when patients require medical imaging or radiology procedures such as ultrasounds, the process often requires technicians to enter specific data directly into the imaging device at the time the study occurs. In some cases, the way measured values are represented may not be consistent with reporting standards and must be normalized. That is, measurements may have been taken in centimeters, but the reporting templates require millimeters. The manual process of translating these figures from the imaging device and into the radiology reporting solution is not only time consuming, it can also introduce errors into the reports. Even one error can have drastic consequences for the patient, so accuracy is paramount.
Now, consider that for an organization like Banner Imaging, where we complete approximately 600,000 outpatient imaging studies annually. We knew we had a significant opportunity to improve imaging workflows in ways that would let us move health care forward quickly and safely.
Banner Health’s partnership with Nuance Healthcare, which has spanned 15 years, has enabled us to achieve the core mission in health care: providing the best care possible to patients. Specifically, at Banner Imaging, we have included Advanced Data Integration with ModLink in conjunction with our PowerScribe solution to automatically and seamlessly transmit normalized data from imaging devices directly into the appropriate fields in radiology report templates. While it’s true that voice recognition solutions can make this data import process seamless, we know that the most accurate way to get those values into the report is to do so directly from the modality.
This auto-import capability means radiologists can focus on reading the exam, rather than interpreting figures, as well as on the clinical narrative, ensuring that all findings are clearly documented. It also saves time; our radiologists report that they can complete their interpretations about 15% faster than before, allowing us to quickly turnaround results to clinicians and patients.
“Modlink has been one of the most positively impactful pieces of medical IT we have ever deployed in our practice. We use Modlink with customized digital worksheets, which displays the sonographer’s findings in an easy to digest format. These digital worksheets have replaced the paper worksheets used in our practice for the previous 15+ years. While these detailed paper worksheets were initially an improvement in the communication between the sonographer and radiologist, they weren’t perfect. Illegible hand-written numbers and comments from technologists were common, causing confusion for the radiologists and sometimes inaccurate reports which required addenda or calls to referring clinicians for clarification. With the implementation of digital worksheets, the problem of illegibility was solved,” said Dr. Brian Frohna.
And when there’s an actionable finding, Banner Imaging radiologists can take advantage of another PowerScribe integration – PowerConnect Actionable Findings, which captures those findings and automatically closes the loop with the referring clinician. This new workflow, which we will roll out in the coming weeks, will further help us enhance patient safety, reducing the risk of actionable findings falling through the cracks, ultimately advancing patient care. No longer will our radiologists rely on a range of unreliable methods to reach physicians (phone messages, waiting on hold, etc.). Instead, PowerConnect will create a seamless method of communication to ordering providers through automated and standardized processes, allowing the radiologist to rest assured that the patient is well cared for. This points to our initiative to continue improving the quality of care through our imaging process.
As we continue to the lead the way in creating a “Safe Place For Care,” we at Banner Imaging know that there are so many ways to accomplish this goal. From enhanced screening and disinfection to protecting our physical spaces; to boosting our telehealth presence to protecting more patients’ wellbeing; and even to incorporating advanced technologies that make imaging workflows faster, more accurate, and safer, we’re committed to making sure our patients safely get the best possible healthcare they need.
Ali Kronz, MHA, is the IT director for Banner Imaging. For more information, visit www.bannerhealth.com.