All the QA functionality need for IR Practitioners
Dr. Eclavea joined Radiology Associates of Appleton, Wisconsin in 2009 after more than a dozen years in the military, where he most recently was the chief of radiology for Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center. Radiology Associates of Appleton does not use QA or interventional radiology (IR) software, so Dr. Eclavea wanted to purchase a simple solution to capture his own data, such as patient demographics, trends and complications, and patient outcomes. For a while, he manually entered data into an Excel spreadsheet. “This obviously wasn’t an ideal solution, but it was better than nothing,” he comments. “If you don’t gather some form of data, you have no idea what’s going on in your practice.”
Like most individual practitioners, Dr. Eclavea has limited access to IT resources and support staff. He had to find a solution that was cost-effective, wouldn’t require the use of Radiology Associates’ IT resources, or violate security rules. Dr. Eclavea had experienced the value of QA software during his work with military, where HI-IQ’s full IR department practice management software offering was used for QA inventory management and scheduling. When he decided to purchase his own QA solution, his previous positive experience with HI-IQ led him back to the company. He selected Digital Logbook, HI-IQ’s QA solution for individual and small-practice interventional radiologists.
“I don’t like reinventing the wheel. I knew the product from the past, and it’s endorsed by SIR (Society of Interventional Radiology),” he explains. “It’s a good fit for interventional radiologists and it has all the functionality that a practice or individual practitioner will need.”
“Digital Logbook was easy to set up. It’s a very user friendly interface. It resides on the HI-IQ server and HI-IQ manages it and automatically backs up your data every day,” Dr. Eclavea notes. “To get started, all I had to do was go to the website, log in, download a small plugin and I was ready to go.”
Capture Essential Patient and Encounter Data
Digital Logbook has three modules: QA, patient-follow up, and peer benchmarking. The QA module allows the capture and instant recall of essential patient demographics and encounter details, allowing Dr. Eclavea to study patient outcomes and track procedure complications. It also facilitates monitoring of patient radiation dosage.
Digital Logbook includes two user accounts per subscriber, so Dr. Eclavea’s nurse practitioner can assist with data entry, creating reports, and related tasks. Digital Logbook’s simple, web-based interface for the collection and analysis of patient and procedure data allows secure and fast access from any Internet-connected device. “The online access really appealed to me,” said Dr. Eclavea. “I keep it open on my desktop computer throughout the day. I’ve also used it on a laptop and an iPad.”
Dr. Eclavea tracks procedural complications in his DLB database. “If I notice that there are more complications with a certain procedure, I can analyze the way it’s done and think about what we can change to eliminate the complication and improve patient care,” he explains. By using DLB, Dr. Eclavea analyzes trends to determine whether his quality improvement programs are effective.
When he used the HI-IQ IR system as a military doctor, Dr. Eclavea was able to run reports and provide proof that enabled him to hire more nurses and buy more equipment. He expects to be able to measure ROI for Digital Logbook after using it for a while longer. Still, although the system is only a few months old, it has helped his nurse practitioner get credentialing to do certain common IR procedures. “Once we started tracking procedures, she was able to get credentialed in a couple of months,” he says. “We had no way of tracking that before. Now we can continually track her procedures. Her re-credentialing will be easy because we can run a report on Digital Logbook that shows the procedures she’s done and what her complication rates were.”
HI-IQ Digital Logbook is making it easier for Dr. Eclavea to record critical patient and encounter data and use the data to create QA reports, analyze his practice, and meet the increasing demand to comply with QA initiatives. He is currently using Digital Logbook to measure the success and progress of his patients and his practice. In the future, he expects to use it to gain resources such as additional equipment or staff.
Dr. Eclavea encourages his peers in the IR field to use a QA tool such as HI-IQ’s Digital Logbook to automate QA. “There are a lot of changes coming in healthcare. Quality improvement is a must, and reimbursements are getting cut. You have to provide the same or better level of care with fewer resources,” Dr. Eclavea comments, “Until you automate the QA process, it’s just going to be extra work to provide all these reports. It’s a necessary evil so we should do everything possible to improve patient care and optimize our reimbursements.”