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Epiphany Healthcare Blog

How IT Advancements Such as ECG Management Enhance Healthcare Communication

Posted by Allison Fawber on June 21, 2017 at 7:07 AM

 

All industry sectors work hard to keep up with a constant onslaught of technological advancements. In healthcare, technology innovation has led to some miraculous discoveries; indeed, the industry barely resembles what was perceived as cutting-edge care only a few decades ago.

Of course, the advancements that generate the most buzz are directly related to patient diagnostics and treatment. New drugs, imaging technologies, or surgical devices often make international news. But on the inside, for the medical personnel that move mountains to provide best-in-class patient care every day, innovation in healthcare communication is perhaps even more revolutionary.

Software Has Changed the Way We Communicate

Healthcare_IT_Communication

In the modern hospital, communication platforms are the most-accessed, most universally necessary, and arguably most important infrastructural elements. No number of high-tech surgical devices or fantastically skilled staff members can solve modern medical problems if they can’t talk to each other. That communication needs to be fast, reliable, secure, and comprehensive.

Cardio Server, Epiphany’s web-based ECG management software, is hardware independent, which means that your network, your servers, and your domains remain untouched. The application gives healthcare providers access to instant communication regardless of time, distance, or device. And, since we are compatible with over one hundred devices from a variety of vendors, Cardio Server helps your organization become more interoperable.

 “Effectiveness” is Measurable

Using metrics to help determine what makes communication “effective” takes the guesswork out of software upgrades and allows hospitals to quickly see the value in healthcare-technology advancements. How long does it take to access ECG data and how many individuals access that day each day, each month, and each year? How is that data entered and how long does it take to enter? Is data entered once or multiple times? To determine whether your ECG communication is effective, first answer these questions; then consider whether there is room for improvement. What about cost savings based on wasted resources? How often is data keyed inaccurately? How often is data lost entirely? Epiphany has tools in place to offer you a free workflow analysis, which allows you to analyze your processes to see where improvements might be necessary.

Additionally, Cardio Server’s platform contains an extensive reporting package that allows you to analyze your data. The report functionality can help with administrative needs, billing needs, or help determine workflow efficiency.

Cost is Practical

When a healthcare organization can leverage its current devices and infrastructure and use one software program to manage all of their different diagnostic modality tests, the result is outstanding financial return on investment.

ECG management has been available in the industry for over thirty­‐five years. Until now, it has been both expensive and limited to certain acquisition devices. Implementing ECG management generates significant clinical benefits for patients and dramatic cost savings for your facility. 

Patients receive better care when ECG management is coordinated between departments in the hospital. ECG management streamlines procedures in the Operating Room and Cardiology Department, but its life-saving benefits are most profound in the Emergency Department.

Financial benefits include saving at least $7.00 per exam for resting ECG tests. ECG management eliminates the costs of all those “chart pulls” that consume staff time and facility materials.

It is Time to Modernize

ECG management software has changed the way we communicate, helps analyze processes, and results in outstanding financial ROI. Break down the barriers to productivity in your organization and learn more about Epiphany’s Cardio Server ECG Management system today.

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Topics: ECG Data Management, Healthcare industry, ECG, EKG management, Healthcare Communication, Healthcare Technology, ecg management software

Epiphany Supports Modality Worklists with Your Devices

Posted by Allison Fawber on April 10, 2017 at 2:16 PM

Epiphany’s Cardio Server supports modality worklists. Why would one want modality worklists as a feature? With modality worklists, patient demographics and order information from the EMR can be securely transferred between cardiograph, stress, Holter, PFT, & CPET devices and Cardio Server. The use of modality worklists improves workflow through the elimination of manual data entry.

Without modality worklists:

  • Orders (in HL7 format) come into Cardio Server from the EMR.
  • Technician prints a list, grabs a cardiograph, and heads out to perform studies.
  • Studies (we’ll use ECGs as an example) are performed with the technician scanning the patient’s wristband for the demographics or filling out key fields on the cardiograph correctly. 
  • Studies are exported out of the cardiograph to Cardio Server.
    • If the patient’s wrist band is scanned, demographics are always correct and the study, with the correct demographics, goes into the Unconfirmed queue for an MD to read.
    • If the manual demographic entry is accurate, the study goes into the Unconfirmed queue for an MD to read.
    • If the manual demographic entry is not accurate (typos), the study goes into the Preliminary queue for clerical staff to correct the typo and reconcile with the order.  Then it is promoted to the Unconfirmed queue for an MD to read. 

Now, if the cardiograph (or other device) supports modality worklists:

  • Orders (in HL7 format) come into Cardio Server from the EMR. 
  • The cardiograph (or other device) queries Cardio Server for the all the orders in the hospital, orders for a given department (i.e., ICU or 4th floor), or a certain patient. These options vary by cardiograph or other device vendor.
  • The technician sees the patient name on the screen of the cardiograph.
  • The technician asks the patient if he is John Doe with DOB of dd/mm/yyyy.
  • The technician selects John Doe on the screen and his demographics populate the ECG perfectly. Study is performed.
  • The technician exports the study into Cardio Server where it always goes to the Unconfirmed queue for an MD to read. 

Modality Worklist - Blue .png

Modality worklists take the human element out of the workflow process; therefore, the reading MDs can view the Unconfirmed studies more quickly. Epiphany’s support of modality worklists helps make your workflow more efficient.

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Topics: holter, ECG, modality worklist, Stress tests, PFT reports

Buyer’s Guide 3:  Cardio Server — Resolve Your Healthcare Billing Challenges

Posted by Lisa Wolfenbarger on December 16, 2015 at 1:38 PM

Electrocardiograms are one of the most prolific examinations in a hospital. They may not be complicated to perform but the sheer number of them make ECGs a challenge to manage, particularly in hospitals working with paper-based ECGs.

We hear repetitive grievances from managers of paper-based departments. They typically state problems that relate to lost revenues from the ECGs as well as other study types. Problems include:

  • Late physician over-reads that delay billing;
  • Weekend/holiday orders and over-reads that get lost with weekend/holiday staff; and
  • Human error in processing studies resulting in missed charges and duplicate billing.

Epiphany has solved these problems for dozens of formerly paper-based hospitals. Here is how it works:

  • Configure Epiphany’s Cardio Server with orders, results, and billing modules;
  • Orders come to Epiphany from your EHR and match to completed studies using patient ID, first name and last name;
  • Completed studies promote to an unconfirmed queue for physicians to read;
  • Physicians read from anywhere at any time versus only in the Cardiology Department;
  • When they confirm the study, a result message automatically goes to the EHR along with a completion message that automatically goes to the billing system.

hospital_billing_statement.jpgBy having access to Cardio Server from anywhere, hospitals eliminate late physician over-reads; this happens daily and on weekends/holidays. By automatically linking orders to billing messages, human error in manual billing is eliminated; hospitals using Epiphany’s automated billing module no longer miss charges or double bill—they capture previously lost billing.

Additionally, we customize the billing workflow to your requirements. For instance, some of our customers want to separate technical from professional charges. We accomplish this by flexible triggers. In the separation instance, we trigger the technical charge once an order is linked to a study and promoted to the unconfirmed queue. The study is then read by the physician and confirmed. The physician’s confirmation triggers a second charge, the professional charge. (To learn more about Epiphany’s HL7 integration for automated billing, see our blog: “HL7 Integration Developments – Technical Charges, Professional Charges, and Credits.”)

On top of all the billing problems we solve, our formerly paper-based customers save money in the labor required to manually process ECGs. Many of them save enough money in the first year to pay for the entire system and enjoy the benefits of reduced labor costs forever. This also applies to other modality types, e.g., Holter, stress, PFT, and more. (See our blog: “Inefficient Paper Process Weighing You Down? Let us Analyze Your Workflow!”)

If you would like to improve efficiency and save money at your hospital or hospital system, contact Epiphany Healthcare today for a demonstration and see what Cardio Server can do for you!

Buyer's Guide 1:  Support, Training & Upgrades   Buyer's Guide 2:  Interoperability

Let Epiphany Help Solve Your Workflow Challenges

Topics: Cardio Server, Epiphany's Cardio Server, reduce costs, ECG, hospital billing, paper-based hospitals, healthcare billing challeges, healthcare billing, duplicate billing, healthcare workflow efficiency, automated billing

Epiphany is Compatible with ALL Leading Cardiograph Manufacturers

Posted by Patricia Brewer on May 22, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Flexibility is reflected throughout Epiphany, specifically with our integration with vendors. This flexibility allows us to connect with many different ECG carts. This means that multi-hospital/clinic organizations with various ECG cart vendors may not need to purchase new equipment in order to take advantage of Epiphany’s ECG management solution. If one hospital has one type of ECG cart but another hospital has a different type of ECG cart, it is not a problem; you can use your preferred equipment. We integrate with Burdick/Cardiac Science, GE, Mortara, Nihon Kohden, Philips, Schiller, Norav, and Welch Allyn ECG carts. If you do not see your vendor on this list, just ask! As hospitals continue to expand through acquisition of other facilities including clinics, one less thing to worry about is capital expenditure for new ECG carts. 

 Epiphany Cardiograph Vendors

Another bonus of integrating with a variety of cart vendors is the cost benefit of not having to retrain staff on new carts. We all know that training staff on new equipment can be a costly and timely venture. By using your current carts, that expense is no longer a worry.

You also get to keep the features you like on your current carts, for example, the algorithms used for provider interpretation. Providers get used to the way the cart interprets ECGs. By keeping your current carts, providers do not need to change the way they interpret their studies. 

As technologies evolve and hospitals continue to grow, an organization could end up with a variety of ECG carts. Epiphany has the ability to integrate with those systems so they continue to work seamlessly for you.
 

Cardiographs that Epiphany Integrates With:

  • Mortara ELI 350, 250, 150 and 10
  • Philips PageWriter TC70, TC50, TC30, Touch and Trim XML series
  • HP PageWriter Series 200, 300, and XLi with modem or floppy disc interface
  • GE/Marquette SDLC Interfaced MAC-6, MAC-8, MAC-12, MAC-15, MAC-PC, MAC VU
  • GE/Marquette MAC 5000 and MAC VU with floppy disc interface
  • GE/Marquette MAC 5000 Version 8A or later, XML interface
  • GE/Marquette MAC 5500, 1200, 1600, 800
  • GE Cardio Soft XML export
  • Cardiac Science/Burdick 8500/8300, Eclipse Premier, Eclipse Plus, Eclipse 850 and Atria Series 
  • Schiller AT and CS series
  • Schiller MS 2010 & 2015
  • SCP formats
  • Norav PC ECG 1200, Blue ECG, Green ECG LAN
  • Nihon Kohden 1550A and 1350A
  • Welch Allyn CardioPerfect PCR-100 PC-ECG

 

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Topics: EKG software, ECG software, ECG, Cardiac Science, Burdick, Philips Pagewriter, Mortara, Schiller, Nihon Kohden, Welch Allyn, Vendor-Neutral, Multi-Vendor, ECG cart

Cardio Server Changed Workflow for Physicians at Northeast Georgia Medical Center

Posted by Denisha Waldrop on September 9, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) in Gainesville, Georgia, is a 557-bed hospital northeast of Atlanta. HealthGrades® rated NGMC number one in overall cardiac care for the entire state of Georgia, and in the top 5% in the nation, for the last six years in a row (2006 – 2011).
 

NGMC


NGMC performs ~60,000 ECGs per year. Like many hospitals with that volume, it was not uncommon for ECGs to remain unconfirmed for extended periods of time as physicians read on paper in the Cardiology Department.

With the installation of Epiphany’s Cardio Server at NGMC, physicians are now able to view ECGs immediately after they are acquired with the previous ECG available on the same screen. They can view these studies in the same high quality just as if they had the original in their hands. The physicians can see these studies from any PC in the hospital or from their offices and homes; they can see them on their iPhones, their iPads, or their Droid phones. Cardio Server also tracks the number of studies they read for accurate reimbursement from the hospital.


In summary, installing Cardio Server at NGMC:

  • Significantly reduced the amount of time it took to access an ECG from the time it was captured until it was viewable
    by a physician;

  • Provides the previous ECG, when available, for comparative statement to be included in the interpretation;

  • Allowed the organization to automatically bill for the procedure when the study was confirmed (i.e., no more missed charges);

  • Prioritized viewing STAT ECGs immediately after they are performed from any PC, resulting in quick determination of severity of tracing;

  • Gave the physicians the ability to read more studies in a shorter amount of time by not having to report to the ECG department and sift through a stack of papers; and

  • Enabled multiple physicians to read at one time from various locations.

     

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Topics: Epiphany's Cardio Server, workflow for physicians, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, NGMC, EKG, ECG

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