When we speak to organizations about the benefits that can be delivered by our ECG data management solutions, they initially focus on the 2 Ps: Productivity and Profitability (click the link for an earlier article on the 2Ps).
However, as discussion progress, they find that there are other, less obvious benefits that are available from more sophisticated ECG management systems. I like to refer to these benefits as the 3 Cs of ECG Data Management.
Moving to any ECG management solution should improve the standard of care that you provide to your patients because:
- automation standardizes and enforces your best practices;
- Cardiologists are given easy access to patient history and previous tests
- your ECG management system will reduce misfiling and loss of tests;
- a speedier processing cycle means that diagnoses are made and delivered earlier and means that treatment can be started earlier;
However, you can achieve even better patient outcomes if you add the following “must haves” to your shopping list:
- functionality for Cardiologists to provide feedback on ECG tracing quality and/or to order recall of the patient for re-testing
- functionality for automating retrospective review of ECG tracings
- functionality for automating Peer Review of ECG interpretations
A high-quality ECG data management solution should deliver an improved level of compliance and documented proof of that compliance. Shop for these features:
- control of access through password protection (make sure that individual logins can be set up for each Technician that acquires tests at your testing locations);
- encryption of your data at your testing locations and on any site that serves as a repository for your test data (ensure that the data is encrypted before it leaves your testing computers);
- both the application on your testing computers and the application on any repository should create audit trails of all accesses and actions;
- automated documentation of your quality reviews the findings of your reviews.
Control over operations
An ECG management system that includes robust reporting functionality will do wonders for your control over operations. When we talk to busy organizations, particularly those that have multiple testing sites, we find that there is virtually no real-time visibility into their testing operations. It is difficult to detect or resolve operational bottlenecks without actually visiting the testing site.
An ECG system that includes flexible, robust report generating capabilities, offers real-time visibility into ECG operations from any remote location. Problems that are detected early can also be fixed early. The best systems allow reports to be generated automatically or “on the fly.” Exception reporting is utilized so that reviewers can focus valuable time on the problem incidents. Access to information can be restricted as needed so that supervisors and managers see only the information that is appropriate for them to see.