Building a Paperless Workflow at Washington Imaging Services, LLC
Organizations such as Washington Imaging Services, LLC (WIS) of Bellevue, Washington have recognized the value of electronic record keeping and have incorporated new technology to build an outpatient radiology practice that will better serve its patients and medical staff for years to come. WIS and its precursor organizations have been providing state-of-the-art medical imaging services at their Bellevue and Issaquah, Washington locations for the past 40 years. The ACR accredited facilities provide PET/CT, CT, MRI, X-ray, Fluoroscopy, DEXA and Ultrasound procedures to approximately 200 patients daily.
In May of 2010, Washington Imaging took valuable modernization steps to better serve their patients and providing healthcare professionals with the implementation of the Medinformatix Radiology Information System (RIS) and Wacom interactive pen displays. In an effort to improve efficiency, medical institutions have been pushing for system-wide electronic medical record keeping for years, but due to the complexity of different systems, adoption has been very slow. For the vast majority of healthcare organizations, paper-based record keeping at the point of care is still the preferred method for recording patient information. While the ease of use and relatively low cost of paper seems like a good option, the reality is that the cost and time benefits that electronic record keeping brings to the table far outweigh those of the paper-based workflow.
FINDING THE RIGHT FIT
In creating a paperless outpatient radiology center, the staff at WIS had several key goals they wanted to accomplish. First, the solution had to integrate seamlessly with internal and external computer systems. "Our doctors, administrative staff, and imaging technologists are continually moving between medical facilities, and it is imperative that they can access and exchange data 24/7," said Marcia Googe, IS System Analyst at Washington Imaging. Second, the system had to be user-friendly and totally customizable.
After extensive research and due diligence to identify the appropriate solution, Washington Imaging Services selected Medinformatix software and Wacom hardware to be the foundation of their new RIS infrastructure. "Medinformatix and Wacom integrate flawlessly to form the perfect union between hardware and software," said Daniel Chirillo, Operations Integration Supervisor at WIS. "The combination gives us the user-friendly customer-centric technology we seek for patient registration and scheduling. It also simplifies the signing of consent and insurance forms," continued Chirillo.
INTUITIVE AND "INVISIBLE"
WIS's implementation of interactive pen displays as the human interface solution for their RIS system is key to the success of their program. The Wacom pen display provides a true-to-life pen-on-paper signature experience that is completely natural and intuitive. At their main Bellvue location, four Wacom DTF-720 displays have been placed on articulating arms at the main patient reception desk. Patients arriving for a procedure can quickly and precisely complete and sign consent forms using the interactive pen display. "The technology is basically invisible to our customers and that is exactly the desired affect," said Erin Bordner, Washington Imaging’s Scheduling Supervisor.
"Our elderly patients particularly enjoy using the interactive pen displays as the resolution is clear, they can zoom-in on forms to read them better and the clarity of their signature makes them feel confident in the transaction they are completing." Additionally, the interactive pen display greatly speeds the administration process of returning patients. "Because all records are digital, it is a breeze to recall and review records right on the display," added Bordner. Staff at WIS are enjoying the interactive pen display workflow just as much as their customers. "The entire support staff (about 15 people) went through training on the Wacom displays," said Daniel Chirillo. "With such an intuitive interface, it was only a couple of hours before people were totally up to speed. Installation was also extremely easy—just plug and play."
The introduction of interactive pen displays in conjunction with Medinformatix software has made a significant contribution to WIS’ goal of going paperless while reducing costs and increasing productivity. Wacom and Medinformatix deliver a "green" solution that is making a difference across numerous environmental levels. "Essentially, the pen display workflow has eliminated the "old fashioned" steps of the past," said Marcia Googe. "In terms of man-hours saved, reduction in supply, storage and transportation costs, this type of computer input has delivered measurable results. The true ROI, however, can be found in the satisfaction of our patients and employees."
"As a leading outpatient imaging provider inour area, WIS takes pride in the quality of our imaging equipment and our staff. We can now add to this our RIS and Wacom interactive pen displays, demonstrating our high tech and high touch focus to patients at the time of registration. We believe this improves our customer service and differentiates us from our competition."
— Doug Gibson
"Because all records are digital, it is a breeze to recall and review records right on the display,"
— Erin Bordner
Wacom's all-digital workflow streamlines the registration process.
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