KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Using the MedInformatix Radiology Information System (RIS), Imaging for Women has furthered its reputation for delivering diagnostic imaging services with exceptional urgency and has become one of the few practices in the region to satisfy the first phase of the U.S. federal government's Stage 1 Meaningful Use (MU) effort.
A provision of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Meaningful Use program encourages adoption of electronic health records to improve health care quality and patient safety. Radiologists who demonstrated use of certified technology to collect and report patient data beginning in 2012 are eligible to receive up to $44,000 in incentive bonuses over five years. Imaging for Women uses MedInformatix RIS with EHR Version 7.5, one of the first MU-certified software platforms, and recently began a full year of collecting patient and clinical data after successfully attesting in October.
With only one radiologist on staff, Imaging for Women sees mammography patients every five minutes and completes more than 200 procedures daily. The MedInformatix RIS has proved an ally in achieving those benchmarks largely because of its customizable features that allow workflows to be modified as needed. Unlike other practices, Imaging for Women has completed additional work imposed by the MU process without slowing down the physician's pace, stated Phyllis Fulk, practice administrator.
In addition to orchestrating radiologist and technologist workflows, the RIS integrates seamlessly with the practice's Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) to deliver patient images that can be retrieved with the press of a button, eliminating the need for the radiologist or technologist to comb through stacks of films. In addition, the integrated platform also facilitates a full range of administrative functions, including advanced radiology scheduling, billing, collections and custom reporting.
Imaging for Women decided to pursue MU attestation after the MedInformatix team demonstrated how the system would collect data to satisfy core and elective MU measures. In some instances, the RIS already captured statistics needed for MU – such as the number of patients receiving clinical summaries before leaving the office – to fulfill another federal government standard, the Mammogram Quality Standards Act (MQSA). In other instances, the practice incorporated new RIS tools for the MU process, including the following:
- An electronic Intake Questionnaire that patients complete in privacy while preparing for an exam can be reviewed simultaneously with images by the radiologist or technologist.
- A Patient Portal that is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows patients to view physician reports, scheduled appointments and medications prescribed, eliminating the need for patients to phone in requests and reducing staff legwork.
- A Meaningful Use Dashboard allows the practice to gauge progress on MU measures at a glance and delivers condensed summaries that otherwise would require preparation of 20-page reports.
"MedInformatix stays on top of changes in health care," said Fulk, president of the Northland Medical Managers Association. "As providers, we want to know that we will be in compliance with the various government programs. MedInformatix adapts the software to meet our needs in this very challenging time in medicine."
Through the system's integration with revenue management clearinghouse partner, ZirMed, the practice also avoids the red tape associated with determining insurance eligibility before visits, transmitting claims to more than 300 carriers and calculating discounts for self-pay patients. All of those tasks have been automated by MedInformatix. The practice maintains a high bar for cash flow as evidenced through its average 19 days in accounts receivable last year, less than a third of the national average.
MedInformatix has ably supported Imaging for Women in positioning itself as a unique practice. Patients with abnormal mammograms undergo a complete workup and receive a verbal report and layperson's summary the same day of the exam, alleviating unnecessary worries and avoiding delays if further medical treatment is necessary. The referring physician has the report in their office, usually within the hour of the patient exam. One of the practice's own staffers, who was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), a non-invasive breast cancer, underwent a biopsy, qualified for radiation seed therapy, and in 30 days was cancer free. "She didn't have the prolonged waiting to get procedures done that a lot of women experience," Fulk said.
In addition to mammograms, Imaging for Women conducts ultrasound, X-ray and bone density procedures.
MedInformatix, Inc. (www.medinformatix.com) is a leading national provider of fully integrated Electronic Health Records. The products have been built around MedInformatix's 25 years of workflow expertise. MedInformatix's suite of products is designed on a single database using Microsoft SQL. Whether the client is a single physician who went live in 1994, a 13-location cardiology practice, the busiest radiology practice in Manhattan, or one of 15 other serviced specialties, MedInformatix accommodates their needs. MedInformatix can turn the dream of a paperless, integrated practice into a reality.
MedInformatix Version 7.5 is now certified to meet 2011-2012 criteria supporting Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as a Complete EHR by the Drummond Group.
This Complete EHR is 2011/2012 compliant and has been certified by an ONC-ATCB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.
MedInformatix, October 22, 2010, Version 7.5, 1022201024238, Clinical Quality Measures: NQF0013, NQF0421, NQF0041, NQF0024, NQF0028, NQF0038, NQF0059, NQF0061, NQF0064. Additional software used: TrueCrypt v2.0, email software, spreadsheet software.