The interventional-radiology department at Tufts Medical Center (Boston, Massachusetts) was an early adopter of the workflow tool HI-IQ, developed by ConexSys; however, a recent initiative to develop a paperless workflow led the department to fuller use of its features. “When I came on board two years ago, we sat down and looked at the capabilities HI-IQ offered, and we were particularly interested in the idea of going paperless,” Kristen Mansur, RN, the department’s nurse manager, says. “The nurses would have more standardized documentation, and we would eliminate a lot of the handwriting and handwritten record keeping.”
Using HI-IQ Digital Logbook, a quality assurance (QA) solution designed for individual and small-practice interventional radiologists, Dr. Anthony Eclavea implemented a QA program that improves patient care, supports clinical decision-making, and enables ongoing practice improvements.
MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland, in Midland Michigan is a long time user of the HI-IQ system. Many of the elements of the software suite are used on a daily basis, but none as heavily as the Inventory Management module. Over the years we have had the system in place, it has evolved from a simply keeping track of what was used during a procedure, to a fully integrated inventory management tool.
Interventional radiology emerged out of a physician’s desire to give a patient better than the prevailing options. It’s that spirit of “limitless potential” that has led to thousands of groundbreaking procedures. So it’s no surprise that many IR practices are finding ways to “do better” than standard-issue electronic medical records (EMRs).
Automated tracking can simplify the costly numbers game of inventory management in interventional radiology.
With pernicious reductions in Medicare reimbursement and declining payer rates, today’s volatile health care climate is forcing hospitals to curb costs and manage expenses, even as they attempt to stay abreast of technological advances.
Over the years, Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., had experienced tremendous growth in the
number of interventional radiology (IR) procedures it delivered, and larger quarters became a necessity. While planning the move, department management saw an opportunity to re-engineer workflow and improve communications in the newly designed IR department.
“We all need to become more knowledgeable in the “business” of interventional radiology. HI-IQ has been helpful to both our practice and hospital system. HI-IQ monthly, quarterly, and annual reports help us determine resource utilization, case mix, and physician productivity.
We use HI-IQ data and tools to look at room utilization across our five hospital system. The data is used in conjunction with our hospital system to help us better balance work and support our efforts to increase IR resources by facility. The charts and graphs provide instant visual understanding for physicians and administrators of work distribution, case services, encounters, and physician productivity. The data is also helpful in allowing our practice evaluate case complexity and staff allocation by individual labs and hospital sites. Data per physician is helpful for distribution of workload, as well as helping individual physicians monitor and achieve personal goals.”
We recently underwent a mock Joint Commission inspection. The JC inspector reviewed patient-related processes performed in Interventional Radiology in excruciating detail.
The inspector was most impressed with our Quality Assurance and scheduling practices, which we manage using the HI-IQ system by ConexSys. When he asked us to generate reports on complication rates by service and outcome, he was taken aback by our immediate response of, “What timeframe do you want to see?
” Within minutes we generated a report showing classification of complications and outcomes. He was stunned. In fact, he was so pleased with the detail of the documentation, he commented on using our Interventional Radiology department as a model for future IR sites as well as non-IR sites that he will evaluate.”
“Patient flow is the most important aspect of the interventional lab. HI-IQ has done a great job of creating a communication tool that helps us manage our day. Instead of the confusion of phone calls back and forth, with everyone trying to find out where patients are, the flow of the day is visualized on the schedule. HI-IQ takes into account more than just the cost of equipment used in a procedure, it helps identify where time losses are occurring, and we can use that information to improve flow of the patients and be accountable for the cost of staff resources.”
“The HI-IQ inventory management system has paid for itself by providing accurate tracking of expensive technology.
The system has allowed us to significantly reduce `inventory on hand' with the resultant reduction in supply expense. We can customize trigger points to our needs and have virtually eliminated `just in case' ordering.
The system has proven itself to our Materials Management department and we are currently making plans to interface it with our purchasing and billing systems.”
We implemented an interface between HI-IQ and our billing system. Every item is now scanned in to track supplies used, and supply billing is sent automatically to our charge capture system. We saw an immediate increase in billing dollars.” And further, “We’ve reduced our inventory by 9%. During our last physical cycle-count, we had a 16% error rate in our on-hand values. This was a decrease from the previous six months. We expect to continue this trend at our next count.”
Having detailed real-time data about procedural volumes and complications is a game changer. The reporting capabilities of HI-IQ make required tasks such as OPPE a breeze. Being able to respond to a request for IR data from a business manager with a few keystrokes is phenomenal.”
“I wanted to take a moment and share with you an experience we had at Memorial Medical Center after we went live with our inventory and billing phase in classic HI-IQ. During our testing event, a report was generated that showed the comparison between our HIS system and what was billed in HIIQ. During this testing phase I went through line by line and matched each item up to see what was actually being billed. I noticed that in our system of truth (Radnet) our technologist selected a catheter that they used during the case. In HIIQ, they scanned that item into the products tab within the patients encounter. The catheter the tech selected in Radnet cost around $900. The catheter that was actually used cost $5,000. This was only caught because HIIQ actually scans the product and selects the appropriate charge. Without this method, we would have lost over $4000 on that one product. I wanted to show that using HI-IQ our ROI will be met.ace it with our purchasing and billing systems.”
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The Society of Interventional Radiology1 exclusively endorses HI-IQ®
1SIR is not responsible for the performance of any products or services offered by ConexSys, including HI-IQ, or any representations or warranties offered by ConexSys