Solution Helps Practice Weather Economic Downturn, Integrating Billing, Scheduling. PACS, Voice Recognition System and Data Repository to Maximize Revenue, Lower Operating Costs
VANCOUVER, Wash., April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Vancouver Radiologists, P.C., a full-spectrum provider of diagnostic imaging services to residents in and around the greater Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore., areas, has synergized and streamlined overall practice operations through the use of MedInformatix Inc.'s Radiology Information System (RIS). The system has enabled the 12-physician, three-location practice to control from a single platform all billing, scheduling, imaging, physician workflow and electronic medical records (EMR) repository functions.
Installed in July 2009 at the height of the economic recession, MedInformatix RIS is the hub that drives the 39-year-old practice's workflow, providing a level of system integration and the ability to capture a wide variety of operational data to help administrators analyze whether Vancouver Radiology's business initiatives actually deliver expected efficiencies and cost savings. From the outset, MedInformatix RIS has scored high marks across the board.
"Our prior GPMS (General Electric's Group Practice Management System) system was used strictly for billing," said Brian Lindsay, Vancouver Radiology's executive director. "Without EMS capabilities, the system was cumbersome and incapable of managing clinical workflow and patient records forcing our workflow to be driven by a PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System). And, patient records were still being manually managed, which was labor-intensive and often inefficient."
"We needed a single, workflow-driven solution from a vendor able to deliver the integration we needed in a system also able to support data mining," Lindsay said. "We assessed 15 vendors, of which five gave presentations and submitted proposals. In addition to meeting our primary requirements, MedInformatix RIS has the added benefit of running on a SQL database, unlike GPMS, which ran UNIX. This simplified its integration with our other applications. The system has delivered on its promises," Lindsay said.
As noted, in addition to inherent integration issues, Vancouver Radiology's former system prevented the practice from moving and manipulating data to the degree required for determining true operational efficiencies. MedInformatix RIS enables management to analyze workflow, more accurately assess the demand for patient services, and calculate such detailed information as patient waiting times and practice staffing requirements.
The system also goes a long way toward ensuring that radiological procedures performed at area hospitals are fully and properly entered into the billing system so that nothing "falls through the cracks," Lindsay said, noting that Vancouver Radiology continues to work with MedInformatix to further improve that particular process.
Through the automation of patient records via its EMR module, MedInformatix RIS has also allowed the practice to achieve greater cost efficiencies through the elimination of five full-time employee positions, particularly important given the still fledgling economic recovery. And MedInformatix RIS has also enabled Vancouver Radiology to better manage and track advance scheduling of imaging procedures, while more quickly and efficiently determining patients' insurance statuses.
"The system, as compared to the old manual way of doing things, has improved our ability to schedule screening mammograms and other recurring procedures as much as a year in advance before patients leave our facilities," Lindsay said. "This increases patient retention, improves patient outcomes and provides our practice with a greater ability to financially forecast and plan accordingly."
"With respect to insurance claims and payments, MedInformatix RIS increases the efficiency of eligibility checks. You don't want to lose an insurance claim or wait four to six weeks before even knowing when you'll be paid," Lindsay continued. "The system confirms eligibility so that we can immediately ask patients when we're unable to verify who we need to bill or whether they plan to pay out-of-pocket for procedures."
In addition to overall system functionality, Lindsay expresses a high level of satisfaction with MedInformatix's RIS support offerings and responsiveness. He attends a weekly Monday conference call with the vendor during which the parties discuss and hammer out solutions to all outstanding issues. While most immediately following the system installation were training and education related, more recent calls focus on how to further improve system operation.
"MedInformatix has been extremely responsive in providing what we need to achieve the level of overall success we demand," Lindsay said. "While the dialogue can sometimes be quite candid, it is always open, and beneficial."
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.