FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Using the MedInformatix Radiology Information System (RIS), Carolina Regional Radiology (CRR), a full-service imaging and interventional radiology practice serving a 10-county region, has begun collecting and tracking a year's worth of patient health data for the federal Stage 1 Meaningful Use effort.
The MedInformatix RIS with EHR Version 7.5 facilitates electronic health data-gathering, a key health information technology goal sought in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Radiologists who began using certified technology to comply with Meaningful Use objectives in 2012 are eligible to receive up to $44,000 over five years.The MedInformatix RIS is certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator - Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB).
CRR expects to receive incentive bonuses from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services this year after 18 radiologists collected patient data over 90 days in 2012 during the initial phase of the program.
To fulfill MU guidelines, CRR uses the MedInformatix RIS to key in patient medications, allergies and active diagnoses, as well as findings from tests being conducted for the first time. The practice also has integrated new workflows affecting scheduling, registration and imaging departments, according to Ted Best, Carolina Regional Radiology's Acting CIO, president of Xodus Technology Professionals and a systems engineer specializing in radiology and healthcare IT management.
"It's been a challenge to implement new MU requirements without slowing exam processing. The most challenging requirement has been collecting vital signs. The process is completely new for the center and staff," Best said.
As the practice prepared to collect patient data for MU, MedInformatix provided around-the-clock support as well as the certified technology required to meet Stage 1 objectives. For four months, a MedInformatix staffer who had documented implementation procedures was available remotely to help the practice configure the system and install applications to produce required reports.
"We would not be in a position to attest had it not been for MedInformatix's support staff," Best said. "It would have taken five times the effort without him."
The MedInformatix RIS supports MU-related workflows and streamlines work processes principally by eliminating the need for paper documents,which has enabled CRR's imaging centers to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.Before implementing the MedInformatix RIS, for example, incoming patients filled out registration sheets on a clipboard while waiting to be seen.Now they interact with a registration clerk in front of a Wacom touchscreen while paper documents are scanned electronically into the system. The patient can review data as it is entered, make corrections and sign documents electronically, resulting in an absence of errors that would delay exam processing or affect insurance filing.
By displaying updated information on patient status at any time, the MedInformatix RIS also has improved interdepartmental communications as the patient progresses from check-in and registration to examination and checkout. "That real-time coordination between the front office and the imaging area reduces patient wait time and makes everyone more efficient," Best said. "Hard-dollar savings related to paper purchases and shredding and improved staff efficiencies make this a winning solution."
The MedInformatix system's integration with the CRR's Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) amplifies coordination further by producing reports in record time.For example, mammography results are often available in the referring physician's office before the patient has left the imaging center. Providing such rapid response is critical for patients needing follow-up services and marks a fundamental improvement in the quality of patient care.
Established in 1956 as Fayetteville X-Ray Associates, Carolina Regional Radiology operates two imaging centers and serves three hospitals as well as individual practices housing their own radiology equipment.
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.