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Epiphany Healthcare Blog

Document Scanning is Not ECG Management

Posted by Andrea Allen on January 14, 2019 at 1:50 PM

Document scanning ECGs is an unfortunate reality for many hospitals. It does not manage ECGs, one of the most prolific diagnostic tests performed in a hospital, or other cardiopulmonary test results. While document scanning roughly satisfies the meaningful-use standard, it fails clinicians with its inherent delays, low-quality resolution, and lack of physician tools. It is, essentially, an expensive junk drawer where clinicians become frustrated and lose their patience.

ECG management solves all the problems of document scanning.

Delayed Access

While document scanning roughly satisfies the meaningful–use standard (diagnostic test results posted in the electronic health record (EHR) to give to the patient or for interoperability), document scanning comes with inherent delays. Most hospitals, because of a chronic backlog of patient records, scan documents into the EHR days after the patient is discharged. These delays lead to the question: How meaningful are scanned diagnostic test results if they cannot be used to manage a patient while the patient is still in the hospital?

ECG management, by contrast, transfers the ECG from the cardiograph to the management system in seconds.  Clinicians read in the management system from anywhere they access the hospital network, including their iPhones and iPads. Clinicians use electronic tools to enter interpretations, including pick-list favorites; they send confirmed results to the EHR with a single click. Those confirmed ECGs are immediately available to manage their patients while still in the hospital.

Low Quality

Beyond the delays, we often hear that the scanned ECGs look ‘bent’ or ‘crooked’ or ‘wrinkled.’ They are low quality. Additionally, scanned ECGs lose their diagnostic aspect. ECGs calibrate at 25 mm/second, 10 mm/mV.  Document scanning corrupts calibration as it is a picture of the ECG, one cannot use calipers on a scanned ECG.  Furthermore, the standard of care in ECG interpretation is to compare the current ECG to the previous ECG and comment on what has changed. This is only possible manually with document scanning. 

ECG management, on the other hand, paints the ECG on the screen from a raw-data file feed. The quality is the same as the printout from the cardiograph. Because the ECG contains raw data, electronic calipers for measurement corrections are available. All the patient’s previous ECGs are stored in the ECG management system, serial comparison of ECG results is automatic, thus easily satisfying the standard of care.

Expensive

Document scanning is labor intensive. Multiple workflow analyses demonstrate an average savings of $7 per ECG with an ECG management system in place. Automating ECG management allows skilled staff to focus on patient care.

Junk Drawer

Imagine a junk drawer in a kitchen. It contains pens and scissors and take-out menus and birthday candles and tape and a little bit of everything. To find any particular item often requires taking everything out of the junk drawer, which is always frustrating. By analogy, the media folder or image folder in the EHR is a junk drawer. All the otherwise orphaned diagnostic test results get jumbled together in one repository (ECGs mixed with stress tests mixed with cardiac rehab results, etc.). Finding a particular test result means opening many of them until the one in question is found. Clinicians are busy. They express frustration to us about how long it takes to find a particular test result in their EHR junk drawers; sometimes they give up.

Junk drawer

ECG management, on the other hand, identifies all the cardiopulmonary modalities that apply to the patient in their own ‘buckets.’ Finding a particular ECG from a given date is simple. Clinicians use it; patient care is improved by it.

Document scanning thousands of ECGs every year into the EHR is an unfortunate reality for many hospitals.  Document scanning is an inefficient use of hospital resources and impedes the clinician workflow by its delays, lack of tools for study interpretation, and easy accessibility for study retrieval. ECG management is the real solution for achieving patient, physician, and staff satisfaction.

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Topics: scanning test results, ecg management software, managing diagnostic test results

Happy Doctor’s Day!

Posted by Holly Allen on March 26, 2018 at 11:43 AM

Have you heard of National Doctor’s Day?  This national holiday took 58 years to become more than just a local holiday.  National Doctor’s Day is celebrated on March 30th in the United States and praises physicians for the work they do supporting their patients and their communities.  On this day, Epiphany would like to take a moment to thank each and every provider for their diligence to detail, timely diagnosis, and passion for the wellness of their patients who are our family.

Doctor gift.jpgThe first Doctor’s Day can be traced back to a small town in Georgia called Winder.  On March 30, 1933 Eudora Brown Almond, the wife of a prominent Georgian doctor, wanted to create a day to recognize and honor doctors.  She mailed greeting cards to all of the doctors she knew and even placed flowers on the graves of deceased physicians. The flowers she placed on the graves of these doctors that are still used to celebrate National Doctor’s Day today are red carnations.

Even though this day was celebrated locally since 1933, it wasn’t a national holiday until Congress passed Proclamation 6253 in 1991.  March 30th was chosen because Dr. Crawford W. Long used an ether anesthetic for the first time on this day during surgery in 1842.

Epiphany would like thank the many providers who utilize Cardio Server on this special day.  We love hearing your feedback whether it be the ease of access from anywhere on any device including computers, tablets, or mobile devices or feedback regarding our features such as our advanced calipers.

We are happy to serve over 850 hospitals allowing providers to devote more time with their patients and less time on the clerical tasks.  Happy Doctor’s Day to each of you!

 

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Topics: Cardio Server, National Doctor's Day, Workflow Problems, ecg management software

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

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