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Cardiac Clinical Workflow Frustration Grows with Structured Reporting

The amount of data that cardiovascular clinicians deal with as part of their clinical workflow can be overwhelming. One way to get a handle on all that data is through structured reporting.

clinical workflow

Source: Thinkstock

By Fred Donovan

- The amount of data that cardiovascular clinicians deal with as part of their clinical workflow can be overwhelming. One way to get a handle on all that data is through structured reporting.

Structured reporting is the capture of information that is then integrated into clinical workflows. It helps to distribute data management responsibility across members of the healthcare team.

Even though organizations are deploying structured reporting systems, clinicians have been reluctant to adopt them because they are dissatisfied with the system they are using, according to a report by KLAS Research.

To find out why clinician adoption has lagged, KLAS evaluated structured reporting system vendors on three criteria: training, functionality, and vendor relationship (support, service, and executive involvement).

KLAS interviewed 41 “deep adopters” of structured reporting across a range of vendors to determine what the vendors did well and where they needed improvement.

Vendors examined in the report were Agfa Healthcare, Change Healthcare, Digisonic, Epic, GE Healthcare, INFINITT, LUMEDX, Merge, Philips, and Siemens.

INFINITT and Merger both scored at the top or near the top in the areas of training, functionality, and relationship, according to KLAS.

Customers of INFINITT said its training personnel provided hands-on, personal service, and its training resources outlined clearly the benefits of structured reporting.

INFINITT also got high marks for supporting clinician buy-in. Customers said that INFINITT listened to users and succeeded at collaborating with clinicians and IT staff. 

Customers of Merge described its cardiology and hemodynamics systems as standouts.

Merge’s clinician training held customers accountable and assisted those who struggled with adoption.

A strong account management program helped Merge customers develop and execute an organizational road map; however, satisfaction with account management had declined somewhat since IBM acquired Merge in 2015.

Customers of Epic said its cardiology solution integrated well with its electronic medical record platform,and they benefited from responsive support.

These strengths contributed to high consideration from potential customer organizations and a feeling among customers that Epic was a solid overall partner, the KLAS report found.

When it comes to delivering a positive experience for clinicians, Epic customers reported significant challenges with training and functionality.

Clinicians wanted Epic to provide deeper cardiology expertise, a stronger implementation methodology, training that is less piecemeal, and more help getting templates built and customized.

The workflow, functionality, and documentation in the Epic Cupid cardiovascular information system needed work to improve the clinician experience. 

“We are starting to see some subtle changes to Cupid. The structured reporting is still cumbersome, and we still struggle getting the physicians where they need to be. The physicians have said that the system has a lot of clicks and isn’t intuitive for their workflow,” a director of cardiology was quoted as saying in the KLAS report.

In the area of vendor relationship, customers of Change Healthcare, Fujifilm, and GE Healthcare said that responsiveness lagged and that complex support structures slowed down problem resolution.

“The [GE Healthcare] system is very clunky. It isn’t very intuitive for new users; they can’t just sit down with their limited training and figure out how to use Centricity Cardiology DMS [data management system] because the learning curve is steep,” said a cath lab manager cited in the report.

Philips customers reported they were not informed about upgrades or changes and lacked a transparent view of system capabilities. Agfa HealthCare, LUMEDX, and Siemensall fell short in supporting clinicians through training and other strategies.

“As long as clinicians are having a negative experience, adoption of structured reporting will likely remain low, even as organizations expand deployment to cover additional areas. As a result, the clinician experience ought to be a key focus of the cardiology market as a whole,” the KLAS report concluded.


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