As mentioned in a previous post, AuntMinnie.com is running a series on surviving the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA). The second in the series is entitled Deficit Reduction Act Survival Kit, Part 2 – Attaining Operational Excellence. The interesting points of this article include:
- Target small, incremental changes. With this approach, the multiple small improvement steps taken will lead to a large improvement in imaging center operations and in radiology workflow.
- To gain the incremental changes, focus on the workflow. Identify the gaps; determine the root causes; and implement the changes.
Focus on three operational components:
- Access and service
- Capacity and throughput
- Revenue cycle
From an integrated radiology workflow perspective, patient report turnaround times (TAT) and billing efficiency are two key areas which will lead to large payoffs in efficiencies.
TAT. According to the article, two of the top reasons for a referring physician to send patients to an imaging center are quick scheduling and fast TAT on getting the report. The HL7 standard can facilitate improved TAT with scheduling patients and delivering patient reports to the referring physician.HL7 provides the language in which to communicate the information, but electronic communication exchange will quicken the interactions. Scheduling patients and reporting patient radiology results can easily be enhanced by using an interface engine. Simply stated, it will orchestrate the communication and streamline the workflow.
Billing efficiency. HL7 can be used to capture patient demographic and charge capture data in the billing workflow. If your radiology practice is collecting this information manually today, enabling the electronic flow of this data will deliver tangible dividends in increased productivity and increased cash flow.
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