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Real-time radiology reporting benefits primary care

Medtech and Medicly protecting patient data

Real-time radiology reporting benefits primary care

Medtech Global has developed a real-time API connection to deliver radiology reports directly to doctors’ inboxes, eliminating the need for store-and-forward and reducing errors.

The new integration is being used by Kiwi GPs to improve their clinic workflow and speed up the patient journey.

Radiology reports in New Zealand are currently sent from radiology providers via encrypted store-and-forward messaging, with files picked up every 1-2 hours and brought down to view by the GP when the clinic connects.

The current distribution system can sometimes result in reports going to the wrong place due to an incorrect address, or missed acknowledgements to say whether a file has been imported successfully, or rejected.

A personal drive

Medtech’s general manager integration and infrastructure, Lawrence Peterson, is passionate about improving the system for sending and checking diagnostic reports after a failure resulted in a missed diagnosis for a member of his family.

“My personal experience is my “why” and drives me to find solutions for primary care interoperability problems like this one,” he says

“Doctors are busy and do not have time to find lost reports, or try to track them down with radiology, they just want to know that their report is getting to the right place.

“That is the real power behind this integration, it ensures accuracy and saves doctors’ time.”

Medtech worked with private radiology company Horizon Radiology, part of the Integral Diagnostics group in NZ, to implement the Zed Technologies real-time integration for managing medical imaging using its ALEX® platform, which enables event driven data sharing using FHIR® APIs .

The system verifies patient and doctor information before sending reports, ensuring accuracy and reducing the risk of reports going to the wrong place.

“It’s real time delivery straight into the doctor’s Medtech inbox,” Peterson says.

“And before it is sent the system verifies that the patient and the requesting doctor exist at the practice so they get the right recipient every time.”

The branded PDF radiology reports also contain a single sign-on link for easy access to patient results within their patient management system, without having to log in to another system to view the relevant images.

A simpler solution

Samir Ranchhod, chief digital officer at Tamaki Health, says the primary care group is always looking for ways to simplify the workflow of GPs.

The integration was piloted at Tamaki’s Sylvia Park clinic, which is co located with Horizon Radiology, and they are now looking to scale it out across the group.

“We piloted this because we believed it would benefit the workflow of the clinic, and also the patient journey,” he says.

Normally, when a patient is sent to radiology, they return to the clinic and the doctor will then need to access third party software to search for the patient and find the scan.

“There is always a delay in the way that the GPs deal with the patient,” explains Ranchhod.

GPs using the new integration now get reports directly into their Medtech PMS in the same way they get a lab test, along with a link to view the image.

“It is very quick and efficient because doctors are able to work inside the PMS,” says Ranchhod.

“That speeds up the patient journey, but also the workflow for the doctors.”

Future integrations

Peterson says there is no change to the Evolution workflow, so there is no learning curve or change management for GPs, just real-time, rich imaging available right in the PMS.

Any Medtech user who sends a patient to Horizon Radiology can now benefit from this integration, and Integral Diagnostics NZ will look to deploy the Zed Technologies integration across all of their diagnostic imaging services in New Zealand including Astra Radiology, SRG Radiology and Trinity MRI, over the coming months.

Ross Wright, chief executive of Zed Technologies, says the organisation exists to make sure that radiology scans and reports are available when and where they are needed.

“Finding new ways to reduce error or friction in accessing results is a win for both radiology providers and referring doctors. Thanks to Horizon Radiology and Medtech for making this such a smooth project,” he says.