Complete Workflow Solutions: Multi-specialty Group Practice Adopts Comprehensive Digital Workflow
When Dr. Walter M. Whitaker brought the first EKG machine to Quincy, Illinois in 1930, little did he know what remarkable advancements in medicine were to come. Seven years later, in 1937, Dr. Whitaker, Dr. Orie F. Shulian and Dr. Kent W. Barber merged their private practices and opened the Quincy Clinic. This early clinic introduced the innovative concept of group practice to the tri-state area. The idea of group medicine has advanced greatly over the last half century but in 1937 the concept was new. In fact, at the time, less than one hundred group practices existed in the entire country, with only two or three in Illinois. The early clinic contained a complete diagnostic and therapeutic unit and was considered to be one of the most modern buildings in Quincy.qmg
In 1945, the Physicians & Surgeons Clinic opened its doors and Quincy, Illinois became one of the Midwest’s primary centers for healthcare. The Physicians & Surgeons Clinic and the Quincy Clinic merged in 1987, combining their vast resources in staff and equipment.
In the spring of 1994, a new state-of-the-art medical facility was opened at 1025 Maine Street and became known as Quincy Medical Group (QMG). April 2003 saw the grand opening of a new facility on Hampshire Street, housing various medical services and offices, with the Surgery Center of Quincy occupying the top floor. In order to provide quality primary care to their patients in rural communities, QMG also maintains affiliate offices in Canton and Lewistown, Missouri; as well as Mount Sterling, Pittsfield, Pleasant Hill, and Barry, Illinois.
A Unified Multi-Specialty Workflow Solution
After careful consideration, the committee and Ms. Williamson selected ScImage for RIS, PACS, ECG Management, Orthopedic workflow, long-term storage, archiving and telemedicine. “The decision was easy. Our experience with ScImage, who was already providing image management, long-term archive and telemedicine for our CT and MRI exams, had been positive. When we learned of their complete workflow management solution for multiple departments and that they could provide the right kinds of clinical productivity tools for our health care providers, we knew we had found our vendor,” stated Ms. Williamson.
The solution that ScImage created for QMG enables a comprehensive digital workflow. ScImage’s radiology information system, PicomRIS, will allow each of the affiliate locations to schedule imaging exams for their patients. Worklist integration with the variety of modalities used in the practice will speed the turnaround between patient registration and exam completion. The technologists performing the exams will also benefit from ScImage’s web-based conflict resolution and post-acquisition order resolution-making it easier than ever to make corrections to exam data from anywhere within the clinic. The RIS will also provide digital dictation for the reading physicians, as well as web- based transcription tools. Automated billing services will enable faster turnaround for reimbursements and the administrators will be able to track and manage the overall workflow using the sophisticated management reporting tools included with PicomRIS.
“ScImage’s complete workflow management solution for multiple departments provides the right kinds of clinical productivity tools for our health care providers.”
Robyn Williamson – Senior Director, Imaging Services, Quincy Medical Group, Quincy, IL
Today, QMG, as it is commonly known, is one of the leading multi-specialty group practices in the United States. After nearly 70 years of service to the tri-state area, the clinic provides the highest quality healthcare services available to more than 300,000 people within a 75-mile radius.
With nearly 100 physicians, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners, this physician owned group covers 24 medical and surgical specialties. Among these specialties are cardiology, radiology, general surgery, vascular procedures, orthopedics, neurosurgery, ear, nose & throat and obstetrics/gynecology.
The Need for a Digital Workflow
Because of QMG’s dedication to quality patient care, the group has always looked to the future. The group felt that in order to continue their success, they needed a long-term plan for a complete digital workflow. Adopting an entirely digital workflow would be a multi-faceted project that would tie together several systems. This included their practice management system (PMS) and electronic medical record software (EMR). The group agreed that making the imaging exams performed at the clinic available through the EMR would enable a more efficient workflow. QMG also needed a radiology information system to manage the imaging workflow and began evaluating several vendors —some large, some small.
Based on previous experience with a digital workflow, Ms. Williamson knew QMG needed a complete solution that would address their unique and complex workflow, help attract and retain a strong referring physician base and assist QMG administrators in making sound future business decisions. She and the committee also knew that none of this mattered if the solution they selected would not allow them to stay true to the group’s mission of providing the highest quality health services by people who care.
Any solution they chose needed to make all of the patient’s information available to the physicians when and where they needed it as seamlessly as possible. This solution also needed to be responsive, flexible and customizable so there would be little or no disruption to the clinic’s busy workflow.
QMG_labOn the backend, ScImage’s multi-departmental PACS solution, PicomEnterprise, will launch exam images, data and reports within QMG’s existing electronic medical record software. This includes all of the traditional imaging modalities, as well as ECG. Physicians will be able to access information stored in PicomEnterprise’s Electronic Patient Folders (EPF). The EPF concept allows ScImage to gather all relevant clinical and non-clinical objects (images, reports, wave files, waveforms, scanned documents, etc.) under a unique patient identification number. This number will be tied to the existing EMR giving QMG providers access to the data when and where they need it.
Ms. Williamson and the IT Steering Committee also wanted to ensure that any solution they chose would address the needs of their referring physicians. They understood that the needs of these very important customers required that they be able to schedule patient exams and review exam data with patients during their follow-up visits. Since QMG had been using ScImage’s offsite disaster recovery and telemedicine solution, PicomOnline, for more than two years, it was clear that this active data center could improve information exchange with their referring physicians. “In speaking with several physicians in Quincy and our affiliate locations, we knew that these folks needed to be able to access their patient’s information from not only the office, but from home and the hospital too. We also knew that administering this kind of access could prove to be challenging and time consuming. ScImage’s solution makes that very easy for us. Having a disaster recovery solution that satisfied our business continuity goals while giving our referring doctors secure access to their data just made sense,” stated Ms. Williamson.
One of QMG’s internal medicine practitioners and the IT Steering Committee’s physician champion, Dr. Greg Andrews agrees, “ScImage’s overall workflow solution is going to assist us in growing our business and will enable a more efficient workflow for the group. We have been using the PicomEnterprise solution since 2004 with great results and look forward to adopting the elements that complement and complete our digital workflow.”
© 2006 – ScImage QMGCS20061117
Value and Extensibility in Cardiology PACS
One of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for the 9th year in a row – 2015
Change is the one constant in healthcare today. Facilities are relentlessly challenged with new regulations, reimbursement models, economic forces and performance pressures. In order to remain viable and competitive, many health systems focus on the tangible value of clinical systems and related processes.
This is also the case with St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri. Founded in 1866, this prominent 493 bed hospital, offering over 60 clinical specialties, is nationally recognized for many of its services including cardiovascular care and surgery. With the notoriety of being recognized as one of the nation’s 50 Best hospitals for nine years in a row, St. Luke’s regularly demonstrates prudence and vision. Fortunately, they found an image management partner with similar insight.
With overwhelming supportive evidence, the current trend in the PACS market is to consolidate redundant imaging resources into a single enterprise system. This enterprise concept was already available commercially in ScImage’s PICOM® platform which St. Luke’s installed in 2002 to manage cath imaging. “For our facility, ScImage has provided an incredible value” says Scott Holtswarth, director of information systems at St. Luke’s. “We installed its PACS initially to manage imaging for our cath labs. Shortly afterward, ScImage helped us integrate imaging into an early EHR of our own design, called WebPINS (Web Enabled Patient Information Network). ” Today, ScImage is an integral part of the management of images, waveforms and data throughout St. Luke’s network.
After learning more about the intrinsic flexibility of the PICOM365® architecture, Mr. Holtswarth and St. Luke’s envisioned developing a comprehensive cardiac record.
“With every subsequent project, ScImage has always come through. We’ve added echo and vascular imaging and reporting; perinatal workflow, pediatric cardiology, ECG management, holter and stress test reporting and a cloud application hot site for specialty reading.”
From a clinical perspective, ScImage’s PICOM365 enterprise imaging system provides caregivers with extraordinary workflow flexibility and unmatched diagnostic access. The single database approach to data management affords cardiologists at St. Luke’s the ability to view all diagnostic disciplines in cardiology through a single login.
All of the innovation amassed in the ScImage platform provides clinicians with optimized productivity and seamless access to data, to assist in providing the best patient care. Dr. Anthony Pearson, director of the echocardiography laboratory at St. Luke’s, routinely logs in remotely to manage his workload by creating and signing cardiac reports. While Dr. Pearson is on call, he receives notifications of STAT echos and EKG’s that have just been completed in the intensive care unit. Using the ScImage zero footprint viewer, he is able to review the echo images and immediately convey the results to the intensivists.
ScImage’s single database approach to multi-department image management has been an integral benefit of the PICOM365 PACS platform since the product’s inception in the late 1990’s. By systematically collecting information from multiple data sources, both operational and clinical data can be collected, indexed and categorized. Now, with PICOM Analytics, users can seamlessly access production data to evaluate operational performance and execute ad-hoc queries for in-depth clinical outcomes investigation. Access to the non-proprietary SQL database offers crucial data points to address PQRS, comparative analysis and other regulatory reporting. “The real value is in the breadth of the system’s capability, ” added Mr. Holtswarth. “When we add another department or clinical service, the incremental cost is a fraction of what it would cost to implement another specialty system. ”
St. Luke’s foresight helped the institution position itself for the requirements of value based healthcare. The extensibility of ScImage’s PACS has allowed St. Luke’s to leverage its current implementation to add secure, cloud image sharing. Image sharing became a key component as St. Luke’s looked to implement strategic outreach for critical and specialized imaging procedures.
Ultimately, ScImage’s PICOM365 enterprise PACS has helped St. Luke’s diversify its services, drive down system costs, improve access to historical data for better clinical decisions, improve report turnaround efficiency and consolidate patients’ records for a more holistic clinical view.
ScImage helps our healthcare partners position themselves for the future with solutions – BEYOND PACS.