With people having longer lifespans and aging populations worldwide, the healthcare space is changing considerably, along with healthcare workflow tools. In particular, it's changing how radiology departments or clinics operate.
Notably, the increased demand for diagnostic imaging is forcing imaging staff to increase their daily caseloads. This has also increased the likelihood of burnout and backlogs in radiology departments and clinics.
To keep up with rising demands in radiology and to prevent backlogs and burnout among staff members, you need efficient systems.
Efficient radiologic systems help you maintain smooth operations in your facility and limit the number of staff needed to cater to your caseload. This helps bring down operational costs.
Since diagnostic reports are the final products coming from your radiologic department or clinic, maximizing radiological efficiency is of the utmost importance when delivering quality reports. That said, knowing what healthcare workflow tools you can adapt to improve your efficiency can be a game-changer.
Healthcare Workflow Tools Impacting Radiological Efficiency
1. Digital engagement tools to cut turnaround times
With missed patient appointments being a challenge for radiology practices and studies placing the annual costs of no-shows at $1 million in a typical medical facility, there’s a need for improved communication. Engaging patients digitally is one way to involve them in their care. Sending personalized text messages reminds patients of any upcoming appointments and makes them comfortable by sharing helpful information and links to safety protocols.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, digital engagement can help screen patients, enabling your radiology staff to identify patients who are willing to receive care. This helps minimize risks for your staff and patients.
With digital engagement tools, your radiology practice can also allow patients to check in digitally. This eliminates the need for long queues and crowded waiting rooms because patients can wait in the comfort of their cars or facilities near your clinic or hospital. Once your radiology clinic or department is ready to see a patient, they are notified instantly.
When working with Nova RIS, for example, your radiology department or clinic can leverage configurable appointment reminders. These ensure that patients are notified of scheduled appointments and informed of different imaging requirements before their arrival. This helps improve imaging workflows because imaging staff can conduct accurate diagnostic tests. Eventually, this improves treatment outcomes for your patients.
Adopting text-based communication can also transform how your imaging staff and patients prepare for different radiological tests. To illustrate, digital engagement tools that support text-based communication can help your team communicate what a patient shouldn’t eat or drink before a CT scan. Text-based communication can help your team screen patients for allergic reactions, which enables staff to decide on suitable premedication plans before the test. Similarly, text-based communication helps your team identify patients with metal implants before magnetic resonance exams. This enables staff to prepare appropriate protocols for high-quality images.
Not only do digital engagement tools improve patient-related satisfaction measures, but they also help boost staff satisfaction and productivity. For instance, a digital engagement tool like AlertView employs text messages to notify referring physicians that STAT or routine reports are ready. Regardless of where a referring physician is, they can easily study patient reports as soon as they are ready. This helps improve your radiologic efficiency because it saves imaging staff the time needed to call referring physicians once reports are complete.
Digital engagement tools help eliminate barriers that hinder patient participation in their welfare and improve staff engagement with patients. The effects are improved treatment outcomes and radiologic efficiency.
2. Novel image acquisition tools to boost efficiency
Easing image acquisition and transfer is one sure way of boosting your practice’s efficiency. Novel imaging tools have economical storage, support access of images from multiple modalities, enable the rapid retrieval of images, and support the simultaneous access of images from multiple locations. Together with supporting digital transfer and eliminating the need for cumbersome film jackets, these unique capabilities can streamline your radiologic workflow, improving your facility’s efficiency.
With increasing caseloads in radiology departments, transforming the reading and delivery of diagnostic images is more important than ever. Adopting novel image acquisition tools to boost efficiency by improving the accessibility, speed, and security of your images can secure significant wins for your practice.
For example, Ramapo Radiology Associates adopted CryptoChart to improve radiologic efficiency via the improved access and sharing of different diagnostic images. Leveraging this simple yet highly secure solution, the imaging facility was able to share images with referring physicians and patients instantly. With CryptoChart supporting a time-limited QR code produced by the Novarad Object Vault cloud system, the facility also saved time by not burning CDs and having faster opening and reading of patient images. With the efficiency-boosting features, Ramapo saved as much as ten minutes per study, significantly improving the quality of care at the facility.
Therefore, investing in a novel image acquisition tool can help boost your radiology facility’s efficiency, which helps improve your practice’s profitability.
3. Workflow automation solutions to boost your competitive edge
Given the increasing caseloads for radiology practitioners, producing high-quality images and achieving first-time-right scans can be elusive. Coupled with variations in training, practitioner experience, and imaging environments, outcomes are bound to vary.
However, this disparity shouldn't introduce undesirable effects on treatment outcomes within your facility. To standardize vital operations and boost your facility’s competitive edge, you should consider workflow automation tools. These will improve outcomes for vital radiologic processes and your facility’s efficiency. This can translate to improved bottom lines.
Working with a healthcare workflow tool like NovaPACS can help automate your workflow, reaping significant benefits for your imaging facility. While workloads can be relentless, this picture archiving and communication system automates vital processes like image manipulation, checkout, compliance, peer review, calibration warnings, etc. This helps your staff focus on life-saving clinical work. Eventually, the benefits of workflow automation will help your facility improve its efficiency and boost your competitive edge in the imaging space.
Here at Novarad, we believe that the key to a successful imaging center is to work smarter, not harder, to deliver the type of care and outcomes that patients desire.
To see how we can help improve your workflows, feel free to reach out to our workflow specialists today!