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How to Choose a Radiology Workflow Solution?

Posted on 01/14/16

Start by Looking at the Company That Built it

Just a few years ago, reimbursement was high and the biggest workflow efficiency concerns centered around finding a viewer that could handle rapidly growing study sizes.

Times have changed. To build the super efficient workflow orchestration needed in Radiology today, the worklist/workflow provider is at least as important as the viewer provider.

Today’s radiology practices are using many different systems to drive their workflow, including:

-Use the worklist provided by the PACS
-RIS driven workflow
-EHR driven workflow
-Unified worklists

All of these types of systems allow radiologists to select and read exams, but really tackling workflow is very difficult and varies from practice to practice. At Clario, we have focused on nothing but Radiology workflow from the beginning when our company started in 2008. We believe this company focus is reflected in our products.

The workflow system is at the center of the enterprise. That is why you need a vendor who is not a competitor of the other systems it needs to integrate with. We connect to any RIS, any PACS, any EHR, Scheduling system, or other sources of clinical data. This allows you to stay efficient, even if your practice needs to connect to different systems, which is very common for large practices.

Our ability to get data from other systems is increasing every day. For example, all the big EHR vendors, including Epic, have announced support for the FHIR standard (https://open.epic.com/Interface/FHIR). FHIR will allow smaller vendors to access the data in the EHR as well as write back into the database. This has the potential to revolutionize radiology, as worklists can query for specific clinical information, depending upon the procedure code and indication, and display that in the proper spot in the UI (or report) for the radiologist.

EHR’s realize they need to be open to survive. Look no further than your phone to see that consumers of software do not want one vendor to supply all the software they use…. they want Apps.

Super efficient workflow needs an emphasis on UI design and “click minimization”. Many of the EHR systems, RIS systems and PACS are based on extremely old technology with limitations on what can be done in the UI. EHR vendors especially don’t have the deep domain knowledge required to build radiology workflow. Radiology has radically different requirements, and a specialized workflow app built with the right technology by the right experts will always win.