5 Reasons Why POCUS Workflow Matters
August 02, 2022
Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes. But the adoption of POCUS at hospitals and clinics has been stifled because of convoluted workflows, leading to incomplete documentation, lost revenue and wasted time. An improved POCUS workflow solution alleviates the overload of frustrations physicians experience when using POCUS, bringing order and reliability to a complex system. Simple POCUS workflows lead to expanded use of medical imaging to improve patient care. Here are five reasons why every stakeholder should care.
1. Strengthened Documentation Compliance
Far too many point-of-care ultrasound workflows are built on ancient systems or do-it-yourself solutions that are convoluted, piecemeal, and not secured, which can put a hospital system at risk for cyber breaches, lost patient information, and a slew of other issues. But when POCUS workflows are designed around clinicians, documentation and compliance naturally improve without prompting. The ability to document an exam with fewer steps—right at the bedside, or on the go—means no more waiting around for a computer or fumbling with passwords for multiple logins. A system that clinicians enjoy is one that they will use.
2. Accelerated Quality Assurance (QA) and Credentialing
Switching to a well-functioning and efficient POCUS workflow aids providers in capturing ultrasound images and accelerates the QA and credentialing process across an institution. Indeed, patients and institutional reputation benefit when every ultrasound study is accounted for and documented in a timely manner. With the ability to view and provide feedback from anywhere, the standard of patient care improves, and clinicians can focus more time on the things that matter most.
From an academic institution’s perspective, a streamlined QA and credentialing process can facilitate faster feedback for more customized learning. By increasing documentation rates among residents and attending with an efficient POCUS workflow, the two groups could theoretically highlight a wider array of experience and learning. From an instructor’s perspective, streamlining workflow QA allows them to quickly separate out clinical exams from educational exams without the manual work. For example, Joseph J. Minardi, MD, Director of West Virginia University's Medical Center for Point-of-Care Ultrasound, has shared that using Exo Works™ shrinks his feedback timeline from hours to minutes, making the credentialing process for POCUS enjoyable, scalable, and valuable for him and his students.
3. Revenue Capture
In too many institutions, POCUS workflows are so convoluted that clinicians don’t complete worksheets and documentation, which slows or entirely loses reimbursement for those institutions. Without a POCUS workflow that is built around the user, hospitals are letting funds pass right through their fingers that could be reinvested in improving patient care. Read more about measuring the total cost of POCUS workflow ownership here.
4. Strengthened Integration and Security
Well-designed modern POCUS workflows will often have cybersecurity best practices baked in so that patient and hospital information are connected and always secured—all without compromising on user experience. Hospitals can now integrate their POCUS workflow to PACS systems for image archival and EMR for patient documentation and billing, creating an all-in-one solution for clinicians that is both easy to use and postured for security. Clinicians want to offer the best care to share their patients, not face obstacles with do-it-yourself solutions to connect these disparate systems. They expect to upload documentation notes, apply billing info, and archive images within the same platform.
The innovation of cloud architecture allows hospital systems to establish cybersecurity best practices from the foundation of their operations, rather than being added on as an afterthought. With a strong security posture from the start, IT departments can design their systems to emphasize evolution and speed, which helps clinicians attend to patients faster.
5. Improved Patient and Provider Satisfaction
For a worried patient, immediate feedback and action can set a reassuring tone that sticks with a patient throughout an entire healthcare experience. For physicians using POCUS, anything that hinders their ability to provide timely care creates frustration. POCUS workflows can too often be a barrier to seeing other patients, especially in emergency situations. For this reason, clinicians need a simple and easy-to-use POCUS workflow that is designed around their needs, not just the needs of radiology or hospital administrators. When a streamlined and reliable POCUS workflow solution supports a hospital, patients benefit from physicians who are freed up more to provide them timely, compassionate, and attentive care. With reduced barriers to documentation, patients, compliance, and program directors can rest assured that health records will be up-to-date and comprehensive—which leads to overall improved decision-making and a fuller picture of the patient when moving between doctors. This, ultimately, contributes to a better healthcare system.
The Future of POCUS Depends Upon Reliable Workflow
POCUS at your institution depends on you. It depends on educated stakeholders sharing knowledge to build a new way to work. A simple and dependable POCUS workflow increases adoption and proper POCUS use at a hospital, giving clinicians the confidence that when they scan a patient, they are engaging in a quick and easy task that will soon free them to see the next patient. Time is everything, and an improved POCUS workflow solution like Exo Works gives clinicians a powerful tool for more attentive patient care, both now and in the future.