Delivering Radiology Reports into the Electronic Health Record

One of the biggest changes in teleradiology operations over the past two years has been the demand and the ability to deliver radiology reports directly into the EHR (Electronic Health Record) of the Urgent Care Center.

Teleradiology Specialists has always provided electronic access to teleradiology reports through a secure web portal.  Previously firms faxed their reports to the centers which scanned the reports and attached them to the EHR.  As centers began to see at least five x-ray patients a day, that method became time consuming and prone to error.

There were two primary drivers for centers wanting to receive their reports automatically downloaded into the EHR.

  1. Electronic delivery increases efficiency, cuts down on errors and reduces administrative time.
  2. In order for a provider to qualify for the CMS EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use), they were required to use computerized provider order entry (CPOE) for radiology orders directly entered by any licensed healthcare professional who can enter orders.

The connection between a radiology PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) and the EHR is most frequently accomplished by an HL-7 interface.  Health Level-7 or HL7 refers to a set of international standards for transfer of clinical and administrative data between software applications used by various healthcare providers.  There are two types of interfaces

Unidirectional interface – results only are transmitted via HL7 to the EMR

Bidirectional Interface – Orders come in and results go out streamlining the process

In most cases, a unique interface must be established for every individual client.

“One of the greatest benefits of adding an HL7 interface into your workflow is improved patient care” according to Hayley Dezendorf, Interface Project Coordinator at Teleradiology Specialists “workflow is more efficient, results are in the EHR quicker without extra steps, and oftentimes the potential for human error is decreased when submitting orders” according to Hayley.

Many of Teleradiology Specialists clients have their reports electronically transmitted into their EHR.  All clients using the Practice Velocity EHR, can take advantage of a single interface which sends results into their EHR.  Other EHR vendors where clients have interfaces include DocuTAP, eClinicalWorks and eMDs.  More are scheduled for 2017.

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