To address the medical imaging priorities for IOM’s CER (Comparative Effectiveness Research), Medicalis out of Ontario, Canada has announced the launch of CICS (Coordinated Imaging Care Solution), an integrated technology platform that provides clinical decision support, e-ordering, and extensive quality tracking that enables comparative effectiveness in medical imaging. Such transparent measures allow health plans, radiologists and ordering physicians to collaborate for improved quality and economic outcomes. Among the more than 30 quality measures, the system can monitor patient-specific accumulative radiation exposure, track adherence to patient safety standards and compliance with clinical guidelines, measure how often diagnostic imaging leads to a diagnosis, and trend diagnoses for different referring specialties.
From the press release:
The Coordinated Imaging Care Solution (CICS) works by connecting all the stakeholders in imaging care through an integrated platform. The platform connects seamlessly to HL7 and EHR systems to enable tracking and reporting of medical imaging services so that the radiologist and the referring physician are looking at the same information including the patient’s medical history. This helps reduce the time and cost associated with redundant exams, and avoids excessive radiation exposure for patients – two of the critical quality measures enabled by the CICS platform.
Metrics include health plan claims, provider capabilities surveys, consultations, portal interactions, and imaging results analysis, and can be cross-referenced and compared for any number of analyses.
Examples of the quality metrics to be tracked include:
Patient safety – This metric tracks patient-specific accumulative radiation exposure. Standard of care adherence – This metric measures compliance with evidence-based guidelines. Operational performance – This is an aggregate of metrics looking at how well a radiologist is managing claims and cost, as well as that providers’ average time to resolve a request from a referring physician. Imaging yield – An aggregate of metrics that measure the frequency that findings are present for a set of clinical conditions (diagnosis). Critical results – An aggregate of metrics that measure the communication of critical results to referring physicians. Patient satisfaction – An aggregate of feedback metrics that are gathered directly from patients who have had service at one of the provider’s imaging locations. This includes ease of scheduling an appointment, time spent in the waiting room, courtesy of staff, explanation of procedures, time spent with patient, and an overall experience rating. Location capability – This is a Zagat-type ranking that allows referring physicians to direct patients to an imaging facility based on accessibility, parking, diagnostic services offered, equipment, certification, and accreditation.