As the largest and most technologically advanced outpatient imaging facility in the Portland metro area, EPIC Imaging Centers serves 120,000 patients a year with full-service MRI, PET/CT scanning, x-ray, ultrasound, mammography and other advanced imaging services. Always on the cutting edge, the company recently became home to the first stand-up MRI system in Oregon, providing thousands of patients with a more flexible option for achieving the most effective images to treat pain and other conditions.
With its existing practice management system, the company had essentially pieced together a package of third-party applications to try and automate its workflow. In addition to its main patient database and billing system, its document management and scanning software andmammography reporting and tracking system were both separate applications. Integration of the three, while possible, was not ideal.
"We began actively looking specifically for systems that could consolidate our processes," said John Griffith, CIO and director of operations at EPIC. "Not only did we hope to eliminate the maintenance and integration requirements of having multiple third-party solutions, but also the multiple licensing fees."
To help better manage its growing patient load and ensure the utmost in efficient, but superbly accurate, imaging and diagnostic services, EPIC Imaging recently installed MedInformatix RIS, a comprehensive radiology information system. The MedInformatix RIS provides end-to-end practice management services—from patient scheduling and registration through technologist and radiologist workflows to billing, EDI, custom reporting and collections—designed specifically to enhance efficiency at imaging centers just like EPIC. Ideal for multi-location providers, MedInformatix RIS provides a single, centralized database and workflow system that integrates patient and procedural history records from all four EPIC locations.
"On average, the MedInformatix RIS shaves about 20 percent of the time off scheduling procedures, another 20 percent off at the patient registration area and another 10 percent in moving the patient through the procedure appointment," Griffith said. "They complete and sign forms electronically, which reduces paper waste, and this information is then stored and transferred as needed throughout the procedural workflow to eliminate duplication and wasted time."
Scheduling is much more efficient, and soon EPIC will rollout the MedInformatix Patient Portal to provide seamless access for patients to complete their registration online prior to arriving for their appointment.
Griffith says it’s also improved historical tracking for patient visits. Where the previous system was episodic—a new account was created for each visit, often resulting in duplication of patient records and no way to link the history together unless manual intervention was used—the MedInformatix RIS stores records by single account. This enables better and more accurate record keeping and the ability to generate historical reports for all procedures conducted for a patient at any EPIC facility.
In addition to streamlining in-office workflow, the MedInformatix RIS system integrates smoothly with the HealthLevel 7 protocol for the electronic transmission of radiology, lab and other diagnostic testing results.
"As more and more hospitals and doctors adopt electronic health records, this system allows us to keep pace with this technology and provide the timely electronic delivery they want and need," Griffith said. "Before, we had to use a courier to hand-deliver same-day reports. The RIS has allowed us to eliminate that expense and achieve even greater interoperability with industry standard systems."
The Executive dashboard provides for very effective display of practice management data and gives the user the capability to drill down to a very detailed level. Combining that with the ability to easily export data to Excel makes data mining simple without the need to learn complex reporting packages.
Griffith says the staff has also found the new MedInformatix system, with its Windows-based graphical user interface, to be more intuitive and easier to use, reducing training time and stress for new employees.