Report transmission upon report release?
Dr. Roland Scheck and his colleagues from the Radiology Oberland in Southern Germany offer this excellent service to their referrers and patients. Via the portal4med REFERRER PORTAL of the RIS provider medavis from Karlsruhe, Dr. Scheck and 14 other radiologists exchange reports and images independent of the site in high quality with their referring colleagues. In the hospital Agatharied and the Atrium Health Care Center Holzkirchen every year about 100,000 patients are evaluated for the colleagues in the connected hospital or the doctors with their own imaging center in the region.
Automatic Upload of Reports and Images
“We have been working with the RADIOLOGY INFORMATION SYSTEM (RIS) of the company medavis since 1998 and have digitalized the internal processes from the orders to the reminders without gaps,” describes Dr. Roland Scheck, one of the four holders and responsible for the IT daily business in the Radiology Oberland. “With the portal4med referrer portal we offer the referring colleagues the possibility to directly access reports and images of their patients.” Dr. Scheck has been using the new medavis REFERRER PORTAL since December 2015 and is extremely satisfied with the new solution. Each referrer with portal access can access the reports and images relevant for him. The assignment of a patient to a referrer is done by Dr. Scheck via RIS. Via single and group login he has control that the referring party (one physician or a team) have access to the respective patient. “The referrer details are already kept in RIS, the administration is very easy. I generate the password for the colleagues of the complete joint imaging center and make it available,” Dr. Scheck explains. The workflow for him and his own team has not changed much due to the data exchange via portal. When a report is released and the referrer is not registered in the portal, the report is sent by fax or a CD is burned and sent as before. For the referrers registered in the portal, the documents are automatically uploaded and are immediately available online – without time loss and media disruption.
Referrers are enthusiastic about the integrated Image Viewer
On demand, the referrer receives an e-mail as soon as new reports and images arrive in the portal. It’s his decision how the patient details are listed: sorted by date, the current cases first or for joint imaging centers by responsible physician. He can determine both the order of the columns and the displayed patients individually. The doctor can quickly and easily find the respective patient record via the search that works very similar to a search engine. The referrers were especially enthusiastic about the integrated image viewer that can be used to view images directly in the portal. “The display is of course not on PACS level, but the possibilities are impressive,” Dr. Scheck explains. “The referring colleague can drag complete series in the viewer in seconds and view them. Images of all methods, MRI, CT, ultrasound, etc. can be displayed without restrictions in excellent quality. The brightness of images and series can be changed with one click. By scrolling, the referrer can navigate through a CT examination. Zoom in and out and display different images next to each other – everything is possible,” Dr. Scheck summarizes this bonus as representative for his referrers. Additionally, an event protocol registers who had access to which data at what time to guarantee an optimal tracing.
IT Connectivity thought through
The evaluation speed at the two sites of the radiology Oberland is about one hour, the maximum is two hours. This was attained by the consequent digitalization and intensive use of RIS functions. “You simply see that the system was originally developed by a radiologist. The understanding for the needs of an imaging center still remains today,” Dr. Scheck justifies the high trust in the provider medavis and the longstanding cooperation. In addition to evaluation, appointment scheduling and billing – in close digital coordination between registration and radiographer – are also controlled through RIS. As the communication takes place completely digitally, the connection to the outside was a logical next step for Dr. Scheck: “Many colleagues, e.g. orthopedists stop offering conventional x-ray, as it is not financially feasible anymore. For them and also others, mostly specialists with a high IT affinity, connection beyond practice borders is the best alternative,” the expert gives his opinion. “The aspirations of IT connectivity in Germany amount to networking the service providers and exchanging data. A lot is happening in this field, but currently, the exchange is restricted to reports, lab values and medication plans and the images were forgotten. That’s why the medavis portal4med is such a good possibility to close this gap,” the radiologist concludes. Analogous to the basic concept of the social media to “share information”, portal4med creates the conditions for a better and quicker communication of the physicians. “You could call it networking between physicians with the goal to exchange information or get second opinions for better patient treatment,” Dr. Scheck describes. “The patient of course must give his consent beforehand. In the system you can also configure how long you want to share the patient data with a colleague.” Dr. Scheck is convinced that patients benefit from the connected medicine. “Imagine you tear your meniscus during a skiing vacation but have already been operated on the cruciate ligament. As an administrator, I can give the colleague on-site guest access to the images. He only needs a web-enabled device and can then view the images.” By an optimal communication beyond the borders of the radiology, the modern IT medicine creates the basis for a quicker and better therapy of the patients.