Medicalis Corporation announced the launch of its Coordinated Imaging Care Solution (CICS)™, an integrated technology platform that provides clinical decision support, e-ordering, and extensive quality tracking that enables comparative effectiveness in medical imaging. The solution provides the broadest set of quality indicators specifically related to medical imaging available. Among the more than 30 quality measures, the company can monitor patient-specific accumulative radiation exposure; and track adherence to patient safety standards including compliance with clinical guidelines. The system will also be one of the first to measure how often diagnostic imaging leads to a critical result, such as the diagnosis of a disease; and understand the trend of diagnosis for different referring specialties.
"Medical imaging is the most effective means to chart the course for patient healing and positive clinical outcomes," said John J. Donahue, vice chairman of the board of directors of Medicalis.
"Comparative effectiveness research in this space is a quantum step toward assuring the optimal and appropriate use of imaging technology."
The Institute of Medicine says comparative effectiveness research will assist consumers, clinicians, purchasers, and policy makers to make informed decisions that will improve health care at both the individual and population levels. The IOM Committee on Comparative Effectiveness Research Prioritization released a report last year identifying 100 topics for research driven by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Diagnostic imaging is the focus of 11 of 100 priority research projects identified in the report. The Medicalis platform provides measurable support to address all of them.
"The healthcare system in the United States is driving toward measurable data to assess and help ensure appropriate use of imaging to improve patient care," said Ramin Khorasani, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School; Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Imaging, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. "Collaborative efforts between providers and payers on effective medical management solutions will be needed to optimize healthcare delivery, improve quality and reduce waste."
The Coordinated Imaging Care Solution (CICS)™ works by connecting all the stakeholders in imaging care through an integrated platform. The platform connects seamlessly to HL7 and EHR systems to enable tracking and reporting of medical imaging services so that the radiologist and the referring physician are looking at the same information including the patient’s medical history. This helps reduce the time and cost associated with redundant exams, and avoids excessive radiation exposure for patients – two of the critical quality measures enabled by the CICS™ platform.
The specific metrics measured by the program are based on a number of data sources including health plan claims, provider capabilities surveys, consultations, portal interactions, and imaging results analysis. All measures are transparent to providers and measures can be cross-referenced and compared for any number of analyses. Examples of the quality metrics to be tracked include:
Patient safety – This metric tracks patient-specific accumulative radiation exposure.
Standard of care adherence – This metric measures compliance with evidence-based guidelines.
Operational performance – This is an aggregate of metrics looking at how well a radiologist is managing claims and cost, as well as that providers’ average time to resolve a request from a referring physician.
Imaging yield – An aggregate of metrics that measure the frequency that findings are present for a set of clinical conditions (diagnosis).
Critical results – An aggregate of metrics that measure the communication of critical results to referring physicians.
Patient satisfaction – An aggregate of feedback metrics that are gathered directly from patients who have had service at one of the provider’s imaging locations. This includes ease of scheduling an appointment, time spent in the waiting room, courtesy of staff, explanation of procedures, time spent with patient, and an overall experience rating.
Location capability – This is a Zagat-type ranking that allows referring physicians to direct patients to an imaging facility based on accessibility, parking, diagnostic services offered, equipment, certification, and accreditation.