What the medavis Referrer Portal Has to Do With Medical Tourism
Birgit Stegemann, member of the radprax management
RADPRAX HOLDING GMBH UND CO.KG
More Service and Less Work
radprax wants to replace sending reports via fax and burning CDs for the referrers with the medavis Referrer Portal.
Medicine made in Germany has a good reputation world-wide. Large clinics as well as specialized institutes benefit from the medavis Referrer Portal. radprax, one of the biggest radiological service providers in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, also operates a medical check-up institute in Düsseldorf. „About half of the patients that come for a check-up are foreigners,“ says Birgit Stegemann, member of the radprax general management. „Most of the patients are from Russia, the Benelux countries and the Arabic countries, especially from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.“
The joint imaging center market their services themselves via three websites in German, English and Russian. „Those who are interested can call and will be advised by employees from the respective countries. If they come to us, we also take care of the visa, hotel and everything else concerning their stay,“ says Stegemann.
Naturally radprax works together with renowned international agencies that are specialized in medical tourism. They have representatives in the respective countries that acquire customers – also with the all-round carefree package. „These agencies are our partners, we see them as our referrers in the medical context and add them in our Radiology Information System in this way,“ says Stegemann. Consequently, the check-up institute transfers the x-ray images with the reports via the multi-lingual medavis Referrer Portal. „This is uncomplicated, quick and easy and a clean solution for both sides,“ says Stegemann.
Quality Campaign also for Referrers
The medical tourism is only a small part of radprax. The joint imaging center operates twelve sites altogether in North Rhine-Westphalia. All sites offer CT, MRI as well as x-ray examinations, some also offer nuclear medicine, mammography and radiation therapy. 80 radiologists are employed by radprax and count about half a million patients every year.
In 2017 the service provider launched a quality campaign with the motto „Pioneer spirit for patients.“ The keywords were progress, service and quality. The first principle reflects in the fact that the imaging center constantly invests in modern large-scale equipment. The service is also continuously checked in a strict way – both for patients and employees. „Above all, however, stands the quality in regards to treatment and processes,“ says Stegemann.
An important process is the communication with the referrers. radprax has about 6500 referrers and about 1000 of them are responsible for the majority of referrals. The medavis Referrer Portal plays a very central role here, as Stegemann, who is also responsible for the project says: „The portal helps us to design our processes more efficiently in terms of image and report transmission – for the benefit of both sides. Our colleagues get their important documents faster and we save time and money.“
Portal Replaces Fax
The potential of the medavis Referrer Portal become clear when you compare processes before and after introducing the solution. Without the portal, the patient receives the CD to give to his doctor and the report is sent via fax to the referrer. „Recently, the Telekom (German telephone provider) restructured their connections to Voice-over-IP, which led to massive problems when sending faxes. This happens when analogue technology encounters digital reality,“ says Stegemann. It also illustrates that fax is a discontinued model in modern communication. „This led to referrers not receiving the reports in some cases and we had to resend them manually,“ says Stegemann. „We currently have two full-time employees who work only on the phone and fax reports in addition to that.“
radprax wants to save itself this effort and rely more on the Referrer Portal for referrers that have problems receiving automatically sent faxes. The introduction, however, was slow at first. “We found out that a letter with the presentation of the offer was not sufficient,” states Stegemann. So she hired an employee who calls all affected doctors systematically and visits them if they are interested. The practices then receive a sample account with anonymized images and reports so they can test the Referrer Portal. “Afterwards, 99.9% of the doctors decide to participate,” says the pleased project manager. The next step is to convince the referrers with the highest number of patients.
Data Protection Questions Resolved
As the medavis Referrer Portal is a complete onlinesolution, no additional systems have to be installedand administered. This makes it easier to get started. „The usage is very easy,“ attests Stegemann,certifying that the portal has good usability.
The workflow for the radiologists at radprax does not change. They create their report as usual in the Radiology Information System (RIS). After validation it is automatically saved. Via HL7 interface and an integration with the VISUS web viewer (radprax does not use medavis RIS), the referring colleagues have access to images and reports in the portal. On demand they receive a notification via e-mail.
As radprax wants to move away from fax, the electronic doctor’s letter by the German association of statutory health insurance physicians would be the only alternative. „The implementation is quite complex however and carries costs for the integration in the practice information system,“ Stegemann points out. „Due to the increasedeffort and the good experiences we prefer the medavis Referrer Portal.“
The only problem radprax and medavis had to face in the beginning was the matter of data protection. In the imaging center each doctor must have access only to his own patients. In reality this was impractical, as it would not be possible to provide internal substitutes for illness and holidays. Therefore the provider reacted and adjusted the configuration individually.
Employ Staff in a More Qualified Way
Work is easier for the referrers if they use the medavis Referrer Portal. All activities around controlling and sending reports via fax are no longer necessary. Up to now, we had to make calls in case of lost or not received reports, today they can again easily be accessed via the portal.
radprax also expects improvements. Birgit Stegemann indicates one with the highest priority. “Of course we want to employ the two full-time employees currently working on the phone and sending faxes in a more meaningful way. They will be trained in using the portal step-by-step and then be able to adjust the administration in RIS. We noticed, that we need less employees and the necessary qualifications change in the course of the increasing digitalization in our imaging center and around us.”
“The portal helps us to design our processes more efficiently in terms of image and report transmission – for the benefit of both sides. Our colleagues get their important documents faster and we save time and money.”
Birgit Stegemann, Operational Manager
Source/Photos: radprax Holding GmbH; Text: medavis GmbH
RADPRAX HOLDING GMBH UND CO.KG
Bergstr. 7 – 9
42105 Wuppertal, Germany
Phone.:+49 202 2489-0
Fax:+49 202 2489-1119
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