Five Ways to Improve Productivity and Efficiency in Cardiology Workflow


Many cardiology departments face significant challenges meeting regulatory requirements, quality metrics, and productivity goals. Mastering these challenges is increasingly important as pay-for-performance efforts and value-based payment models become more common.

Your workflow solution should improve your department’s productivity and efficiency. With so many IT options on the market, however, it can be difficult to determine which features are most important for your environment.

Position Your Cardiology Department for Success

To determine the most effective workflow solution for your cardiology department, look for one that addresses these five key areas:

1. Critical Results Management

Your workflow solution should help you manage your relationships with referring physicians by making sure they receive results in a timely manner. Ideally, the workflow should look something like this: A sonographer identifies a critical result and launches the relevant workflow. The solution sends an automated alert to the cardiologist using his or her preferred method of communication.

Once the cardiologist confirms the finding, the solution continues to send alerts to the referring physician until the results are acknowledged. Each step should be trackable for audit purposes. The data you collect can also be used in reports for continuous improvement efforts.

2. Cardiologist Interpretation Variability

An integrated workflow solution should account for interpretation variability among cardiologists. It should use proven best practices to let you select cases according to different variables before assigning them for review. This workflow should be configured to include automatic notifications and alerts for clinically significant discrepancies. The solution should also be capable of delivering data reports to help you drive continuous improvement.

3. Sonographer Interpretation Variability

The inherent variability of ultrasound scanning poses a challenge for interpreting physicians. An integrated interpretation variability workflow lets cardiologists quickly capture their feedback on an image. The workflow makes this communication step easy and consistent. Providing constructive feedback helps sonographers improve their technique, eventually reducing the need for repeat exams.

4. STAT Workflow

Cardiologists are often away from their workstations treating patients, so it’s important for a workflow solution to use automated alerts to bring urgent studies to their attention quickly. Look for solutions that have predefined, automatic escalation rules and timers that determine the frequency of alerts. The solution should continue to send alerts until the results are acknowledged. These workflow steps should be time-stamped, and the data should be easily accessible for continuous improvement.

5. TAVR Workflow

As an effective and noninvasive option, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is rapidly increasing in popularity. Typically, physicians nominate patients for the procedure, and the patient is approved if they meet specific eligibility criteria. Many health systems conduct the nomination process manually, making it difficult to track documentation.

A workflow solution with an embedded workflow for TAVR nominations streamlines the candidate review process. TAVR coordinators can manage nominations electronically, collecting relevant data before forwarding candidates to a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) for consideration. After the MDT review, all decisions can be tracked for reporting purposes.

A comprehensive cardiology workflow solution can drive productivity and efficiency improvements that help your department meet regulatory requirements and achieve your quality goals. By automating a wide variety of tasks, a workflow solution can eliminate manual steps and free your staff to focus on more important priorities.

Change Healthcare Workflow Intelligence™ is built on proven best practices, helping you succeed in each of these areas. Visit our site to learn more.