Conserus Workflow Intelligence: providing continuous improvement in a variety of ways

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 - Greg Holl
Greg Holl

For the team at the Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin (FH and MCW) in Milwaukee, Conserus Workflow Intelligence is the solution that keeps on giving.

“We’ve been able to use this tool for a number of different things, and it’s been very positive for the radiology department,” said Greg Holl, radiology informatics system manager at MCW.

Holl and his coworkers have been reaping the benefits of Conserus Workflow Intelligence for more than eight years, and everyone knows the drill by now: If a problem arises related to workflow, quality, or just about anything else, you start by reaching out to the person—and the solution—that can get things done.

“It has gotten to the point where I’ll be contacted by members of the department saying, ‘We were wondering, can Conserus Workflow Intelligence handle this?’” Holl said. “We’re constantly growing with the product and finding new ways to apply it.”

He added that the solution’s flexibility allows him to tackle just about any request that comes his way. And by quickly providing information on impact of the workflow change, along with the latest and greatest quality metrics, it contributes to a cycle of continuous improvement for radiologists, technologists, and other FH and MCW employees. 

Taking traditional peer review to the next level

One of the most practical ways MCW radiologists use Conserus Workflow Intelligence is to automatically facilitate peer and resident reviews. And by taking advantage of the solution’s full potential, they are able to go beyond the bare minimum and track significant mistakes that may otherwise get lost in the shuffle. 

“I think a lot of people purchase the product so they can comply with ACR requirements to have a peer review process in place,” Holl said. “We do collect data to show we are hitting those compliance goals, but we have also set up additional reviews to track discrepancies. We really think we’re getting more value on those discrepancy reviews, because they provide educational feedback for colleagues. The random samplings we report to the ACR may or may not catch something, but the discrepancy reviews will.”

When larger discrepancies are found, a team of subspecialists are brought in to adjudicate the review and provide feedback for the reading radiologist. But it’s not just potential mistakes that get tracked and noted; managers use Conserus Workflow Intelligence to track positive events as well, letting radiologists and technologists know their exceptional work is appreciated.

“We can go back and provide some congratulations, some positive feedback,” Holl said. “I really think it has helped with the acceptance of the tool. We don’t want the solution to be viewed as punitive; we want this to be a teaching tool, something that people are supposed to grow from during these reviews. I think it’s been very helpful to show that we are also using this software to report those positive events.”

MCW uses the data collected from Conserus Workflow Intelligenceboth positive and negative event reportsto contribute to Physician Report Cards for the entire team. These report cards are used by the department chair in his one on one meetings with individual radiologists.

The solution can also help providers review the work of radiologists in completely different departments. When outside studies come in, MCW radiologists use Conserus Workflow Intelligence to document the quality of the original reads.

“If the exam is performed at another facility and the films are sent here for a second opinion, we can document how often we find a discrepancy or something that was missed on that first read just to show the value our radiologists can bring,” Holl said.

Improved inter-departmental communication

Conserus Workflow Intelligence also helped MCW find a way to develop a stronger relationship between the radiology department and the emergency department (ED). Radiology residents are assigned after-hours wet reads, and then each resident reviews his or her reads with a staff radiologist the following morning. This workflow was instituted at the request of the ED so they would know for certain they are getting high-quality reads after hours.

Holl used Conserus Workflow Intelligence to develop a new database for recalls, which he now provides to the ED to show how well residents are performing.

“It’s basically a way to communicate back to the ED to communicate the value of the work from our residents,” Holl said. “It shows that we are able to provide a high quality service”

Believing in the brand

FH and MCW’s relationship with McKesson goes well beyond Conserus Workflow Intelligence. The health system also uses McKesson’s radiology PACS—in 2015, they upgraded to McKesson Radiology 12.1.1, which includes the company’s teaching file solution, McKesson Study Share. These solutions are all used across the entire FH and MCW enterprise, which includes three major area affiliates and numerous other hospitals and clinics throughout the Milwaukee area.   

Holl was impressed by how well McKesson Study Share worked with McKesson Radiology, providing trainees with the resources they need to excel. 

“The Study Share solution is very tightly integrated,” Holl said. “Physicians can find an image they would like to share to follow up on later, and it’s directly integrated; they click a link in the toolbar, save the images into their personal folder, and go back later and prepare it for presentation. We had looked at other teaching file solutions in the past, but we weren’t able to find anything else that had the tight integration like that. Having McKesson’s teaching file system built right into the PACS has helped with adoption of the tool very much.”

Whether it is Conserus Workflow Intelligence, McKesson Radiology, or McKesson Study Share, the team at FH and MCW has learned that it can depend on McKesson’s full suite of solutions to help provide patients with the best, most efficient care possible. If there’s anything they ever need, they know McKesson is there to help.