Radiology Tracked in Real Time Reduces Delays in ER

June 30, 2016

Monitoring ER radiology in real time helps improve efficiency, from SIIM 2016.

Real-time monitoring of ER radiology workflow may help reduce delayed examinations, improve patient safety, and improve efficiency among clinicians and staff, according to a case presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine in Portland, OR.

Researchers from Indiana University Health in Indianapolis sought to determine if stalls in the examination process could be mitigated by providing a means for automated real-time monitoring of ER radiology workflow, in addition to currently available systems. Before this study, five to 10 ER examinations per day, out of several hundred, were delayed or lost in the workflow.

The researchers developed a system that provided user-friendly real-time end-to-end status information of the ER radiology workflow. The dashboard listed the following:

Exam has been ordered

Exam has been performed and images are available

Dictation has been started and by whom

Final-signed radiologist report is available

The color-coded user-friendly dashboard not only kept track of the on-going examinations, but it allowed staff to see the progress and keep their patients up-to-date. According to an informal poll of about a quarter of the ER providers, about 20 minutes per provider per eight-hour shift is spent on tracking radiology studies. The researchers noted that their system could help cut down on this time inefficient use of time in the ER.