More efficiency and better quality of care
Case Study RIS, Praxisnetz Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, Bonn, Germany
The Praxisnetz Radiology & Nuclear Medicine Bonn with eight locations works with the Radiology Information System (RIS) by medavis. The close cooperation among the physicians ensures an optimal flow of information to the patients and referring physicians up to the colleagues in several clinics in the region. Patients benefit from care that is close to home and timely, and treatment that meets the highest medical standards.
One RIS for every dimension
When, as in the case of Praxisnetz, 21 physicians work at eight locations with their staff at a total of 78 RIS workstations, it presents a complex challenge for the IT infrastructure. Around 150,000 examinations per year, over 500,000 patients and more than 1.3 million examinations – this amount of data needs to be mastered by a RIS database, especially since all locations access it centrally and performance must not suffer as a result. medavis RIS controls the information flow between all participants flexibly and reliably, with interfaces to 34 modalities, a PACS, and a hospital information system.
Prof. Dr. Martin Vahlensieck, radiologist, managing director and jointly responsible for the IT infrastructure of the joint practice, remembers: “After a very intensive planning phase, which was carried out very professionally by the medavis staff, we were happy to start with a new RIS in July 2013. We had high expectations of what would be better with the new system, after we had disappointedly terminated the previous one after only three years.”
The requirements for the new system were formulated clearly: fluent work across locations, from patient admission to reporting and billing, as well as fast availability of images, regardless of the workstation. “The coupling with our PACS did not work well with the old system,” recalls Prof. Vahlensieck. “Likewise, we have experienced a few very unsatisfactory attempts with speech recognition. The fact that medavis offered the deep integration here, in addition to working with the market leader for speech recognition, and finally the recommendations of colleagues as well as conversations with medavis employees were decisive for our decision to buy medavis RIS.”
Although the network bandwidth had to be doubled in the beginning so that the physicians could work with the central RIS across locations without delays, the central, star-shaped installation is running stably and reliably today.
“Installations with our dimensions are a challenge. When it comes to the network, advice from the provider is important, so it is best to know in advance how much bandwidth is needed. Here we had to readjust a bit, but then everything ran smoothly. The users were and are satisfied”, Prof. Vahlensieck describes the start with the new medavis RIS.
One patient file, networked work, fast documentation
More than eight years later, medavis RIS is an important and reliable companion in the daily practice routine. No matter at which workstation and at which location the physicians log in, their personal user profile and the complete patient file are available everywhere. The central storage of data from all joint practices ensures access to old findings and images, even if the patient previously presented at another location. In this way, the physician can prepare himself optimally for the patient and, if necessary, exchange information with the colleague who treated him earlier.
“The be-all and end-all is to have all the necessary information about the patient, even from the past, available to me quickly and comprehensively during treatment. With the help of RIS, our physicians can exchange information, organize substitutions, and assign work at any time; central work lists make this possible,” says Prof. Vahlensieck, explaining the cross-site IT concept. The physician-specific profiles provide each user, regardless of where they log in, with an individual workstation including speech recognition.
“We had only had bad experiences with speech recognition before. Now it works perfectly,” says Prof. Vahlensieck, pleased with a real improvement in his day-to-day work. The physicians in the joint practice dictate their findings and letters directly via the RIS workstation, correct them and the documentation is complete. The software continuously learns as it goes along. As soon as a physician has corrected a word that was incorrectly recognized three times, the system recognizes this word and remembers it for the future. “Of course, we also maintain a central dictionary, but this learning function in the process is just cool,” explains Prof. Vahlensieck.
Prof. Dr. Martin Vahlensieck
Radiologist Managing Director & IT-Responsible
Although speech recognition involved additional acquisition costs, these have been worthwhile. Five employees who were previously employed as typists can now take on other tasks. “The new workflow has meant that we can give the patient the findings immediately and that colleagues in the referring joint practices and clinics are informed about the patient’s condition at short notice, sometimes only five minutes after the findings have been made. All in all, the process support from RIS simply works very well. The physician no longer has anything to do with the administrative side of things, and that’s the way it should be,” Prof. Vahlensieck concludes.
Clear and reliable scheduling
In addition to the reporting process, the introduction of medavis RIS has also improved the scheduling in the joint practice. Eight employees are exclusively occupied with assigning appointments. In doing so, they are optimally supported by RIS in recording the necessary information about the patient and in finding suitable appointment slots. “The appointments are structured very clearly, and the colored coding gives you a quick overview. Thanks to the good documentation already during the appointment allocation, the patient is optimally prepared for the MTRA,” Prof. Vahlensieck praises the software. “Overall, my colleagues, staff and I are very satisfied with the system and we would recommend it immediately.”
Since mid-2020, the staff has been supported by booking4med, medavis’ online appointment booking solution. The data entered by patients online is only stored during the booking process and immediately deleted afterwards, making booking4med a very secure solution for patients. Additionally, the 2-factor authentication offers highest protection and data security. In the medium term, the joint practice would like to increase the rate of online appointments from 15 to at least 40 percent – thus relieving its own staff and paving the way for patients to get their examination appointments quickly, easily and securely.
High competence and speed of the medavis support team
When it came to solving any problems, the joint practice then relied on the well-known high competence and speed of the medavis staff. “They have proven themselves very well over the past years,” says Prof. Vahlensieck.
“It is important to me personally that the contact in case of support also works. This is significantly better with medavis than with our previous provider. I simply expect that even as an IT layman, I can describe a problem and the employee takes the trouble to understand me.”
The seven key users in the joint practice, who are the contact persons for the partner’s support in these cases, have proven equally valuable. “This ensures that both sides always speak the same language. We are completely satisfied with the support provided by medavis,” the radiology specialist is pleased to say.
53115 Bonn, Germany
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