RIS – made in Germany
Case Study RIS, MVZ Radiologie Karlsruhe, Germany
Dr. med. Martin Ohmer, Prof. Dr. med. Henrik Michaely, Dr. med. Metin Sertdemir (fltr)
The Selection Process
Quality Assurance Through Seamless Patient History
The imaging center MVZ Radiology Karlsruhe in Germany offers fast and secure diagnostic imaging in a friendly atmosphere. State of-the-art medical technology, the radiologists‘ diverse medical expertise and an optimal service form the framework for this service.
In July 2014, quality and performance took another giant step forward. The reason for this was the acquisition of the Radiology Information System (RIS) from medavis. Thanks to the new software, almost the entire document workflow is now paperless. This offers all employees an optimal overview of patient data and helps the owners Professor Dr. med. Henrik Michaely, Dr. tip. Metin Sertdemir and Dr. med. Martin Ohmer to optimally align their work with patient care.
“The RIS is the central control point of the entire facility, and we are reluctant to make changes to it,” says Professor Michaely. “But our former system was slow and simply did not meet our requirements anymore. That’s why we decided at the end of 2013 to look for a new system.”
The MVZ Radiology Karlsruhe offers all modern imaging methods in radiological and nuclear medicine diagnostics as well as radiotherapy for certain diseases. In addition, the doctors work hand in hand with cardiologists on cardiac CT. The team of 12 doctors and more than 50 non physician staff makes use of first-class equipment, which is always kept up to date by continuous investments. “In addition, internal processes are continuously optimized. And in order to make progress there, we wanted to take the step towards full digitalization,” explains Professor Michaely.
“Huge changes such as a new RIS have to be well thought out. That’s why we asked many colleagues about their RIS solutions, did research on the Internet and attended specialist conferences. Finally, we limited the selection to three providers and asked them to present their RIS to us”, he describes the selection process. “medavis convinced us at this point. On the one hand, the product offers everything, on the other hand, I prefer a medium-sized company based in Germany rather than a large company. It has already been shown that we as a customer are heard much faster than with the previous manufacturer.”
T he system introduction showed that the decision for medavis was the right one: “Everything was well organized. All activities have been planned for the Go-Live-Date in July 2014. Before that, medavis trained our key users, who then trained their colleagues”, reports Professor Michaely.
He has identified two challenges during the RIS changeover:
1. A new product offers new possibilities. The employees do not recognize these in the training sessions, but afterwards when working with the RIS. Since a system change is always accompanied by mixed emotions, it is necessary to help the insecure employees who are grieving for the old system, and to pair them up with those colleagues who are looking forward to the new product.
2. The data migration from the old to the new system did not work at first because the old database was not compatible with the new one. This was a problem that had to be solved.
“At first it always feels strange when there are changes, but the medavis staff have brought the project to life and taken the users along with them. What amazed me in particular: The complete integration of the modalities went smoothly. It was unbelievable. There were no problems with any device or the PACS; everything was recognized, everything was immediately transmitted.
By the way, it took a maximum of two weeks after the introduction, and then I didn’t hear a single remark about something annoying or someone being unhappy.”
The Live Operation
Today, 56 RIS workstations, including home workstations, are used in the imaging center. One of the aims of the system change was to speed up the processes. Therefore, it was important for Professor Michaely to have a good RIS-PACS integration and document management even for old reports. “Today, we are clearly working faster and more efficiently. The RIS works wonderfully, it is fast, extremely stable and is enhanced with what we need. I don’t miss anything, I’m very satisfied at the moment,” Professor Michaely explains with complete conviction.
“I am particularly pleased about the digital document archive. With the medavis RIS, I always have all previous reports at hand and am therefore much better positioned for the individual diagnosis. I’m sure that we are making fewer mistakes. The diagnostic process has changed massively. In our old system, the previous reports were called up with several mouse clicks. This has slowed down the workflow significantly. Today we can access several previous documents and, if necessary, also incorporate them into the new report. We are supported by the integrated speech recognition, which works very reliably,” reports Professor Michaely.
Thanks to multimedia integration, all documents are managed digitally. For outgoing documents, the practice works completely paperless. Reports, letters and also invoices are sent electronically by mail or fax. “This almost paperless document processing saves us archiving space and time. I can only advise every colleague to take advantage of the digitization.”
On the other hand, from an operational manager‘s point of view, the statistics function is “simply great.” Since it is extremely granular, it takes some training to grasp all possibilities. After this, almost anything is possible. Professor Michaely sees the most frequently used evaluations in his personal menu. All statistics are clearly arranged into categories and can be compiled over any period.
Online Appointment Booking
Since mid-2020, the imaging center also deploys medavis‘ online appointment booking solution booking4med to support its registration team. The solution allows patients – and now also referrers – to book examination appointments at any time and from any location via the Internet.
The data is stored in the RIS and can be transferred directly upon registration. Overall, booking4med saves employees a lot of work and speeds up the processes at the imaging center.
Data protection is also taken care of: Patient data always remains on the imaging center‘s server. Thus, it is kept completely compliant with data protection rules on German servers. For some patients this is a crucial argument and for Professor Michaely it is extremely important that booking4med makes this possible.
“In our everyday work, many things have changed for the better. I don’t know where to start. Registration – starting with the appointment booking – is easier and faster, the diagnosis has been speeded up and improved qualitatively because more information is available.
With the digitization of documents such as patient clarification sheets, questionnaires and referral forms, we have a complete electronic patient history and thus a reduction in archiving costs with faster and easier access. Or the digital appointment planner: It is completely customizable to our needs and we have incorporated scheduling guidelines for younger colleagues, which in turn reduces the error rate.
Speech recognition is very important for us doctors. The archive also makes everything faster and better. When I hear myself say that it all sounds very simple. However, it is not self-evident to have such a stable system with so many functionalities.”
The document workflow is the process that has changed the most in the MVZ Radiology Karlsruhe. Starting with the online appointment booking, the referral and patient clarification forms, the external documents that the patients bring with them, up to the on-site examination, the handling of current and previous reports and the images: There’s almost no paper today. “We can control everything digitally and always have everything at hand”, the owner is pleased about the interaction between the team and the RIS.
“medavis RIS is the product that keeps our imaging center running. It is robust and enables us to be highly efficient. medavis is a company with which we cooperate very well and have had only good experiences so far. The system is stable, you can work safely and always rely on it”, Professor Michaely draws a consistently positive conclusion.
But it is not only the product that he has positive things to say about. The exchange with the medavis support team has always been smooth. “We had a bigger software provider before. Since the contact person changed constantly I never knew when I would receive an answer. There is no such thing at medavis.“
For simple telephone enquiries via the hotline, there is usually a direct solution, or via an online support ticket through the medavis Service Center. Here, even more complex requests can be processed or solved within a maximum of 24 hours. All support tickets as well as the current status can be viewed at any time via this service center. “I also like that critical issues which need a quick solution are addressed immediately by a competent support team member. But critical issues hardlyever occur.
Our change requests are very often included in next versions of the program or as small updates, which of course we like, because we help shape the way we work, and the feedback is received positively. More than 60 employees work with the medavis RIS – it is always performing and never crashed. This incredible stability is very valuable and perhaps the biggest benefit of medavis RIS – among the other things that all work very reliably.”
Professor Michaely can recommend medavis and the RIS because the system is stable and versatile and covers everything you need. “The product keeps what it promises and is well worth its price.”
MVZ Radiologie Karlsruhe
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