How does an offsite Cardiologist communicate that the quality of an ECG tracing is insufficient for interpretation and that the patient should be contacted for re-testing? And how does your organization document the identity of the testing site where the test was acquired and the identity of the Technician who performed the testing?
We find that many diagnostic testing organizations simply rely on the Cardiologists to make a phone call to the testing site. This process is unreliable and a poor way of monitoring ECG test quality, particularly in an organization that manages large volumes of tests because:
- The person who receives the call from the Cardiologist must accurately record the message from the Cardiologist and to act quickly to arrange for retesting. However, in a busy clinic or hospital environment, the message may be inaccurately recorded, may be misplaced or may be forgotten.
- The technical insufficiency has not been recorded in a centralized diary, along with other instances of technical insufficiency, in order to enable review, analysis and identification of personnel that require supplementary training.
Most ECG management software does not offer functionality for managing ECG tracing quality. However, TeleMED offers a Feedback Tool, with a standardized, automated ECG workflow that includes the following features:
- one click access by Cardiologist to a pop-up Quality Feedback Box for entry of real-time commentary on the quality of a tracing;
- point-and-click activation of a message, directing that the patient be recalled for re-testing;
- option for automated notification to the patient’s family physician of reason for patient recall; and
- automated logging of instance of quality insufficiency, in a centralized database, for retrieval and analysis at a later date.