One of the advantages of this system over the current ad hoc approach is to minimize the frustration and time spent on paperwork — one of the top contributors to physician and staff burnout, a major problem for most healthcare systems. And while this advantage is likely to manifest in the “softer” area of staff morale and enhanced physician wellness, it has a direct impact on the bottom line as well.
Improving revenue capture
Currently, a large percentage of ultrasound studies in emergency departments is not billed, leaving a significant amount of important revenue on the table. This problem of uncaptured revenue is particularly prevalent in point-of-care medicine.
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In the emergency department, clinicians typically do not know who their next patient will be or what they will present with. Unknowns like these — often compounded by the accelerated speed of environments like the emergency department or critical care — lead to well-known losses of revenue for the hospital. Synchronicity’s seamless documentation and billing functions can make a significant contribution in the area of revenue capture.
Compliance, credentialing, and quality improvement
Hospitals and health systems have requested a system like Synchronicity for another reason besides greater efficiency and the delivery of cost effective care: they need it for compliance, credentialing, and the overall consistency of technological use that is related to quality and patient safety.
Synchronicity establishes a way for hospitals to collect data for point-of-care ultrasound credentialing, something that is present for more traditional modalities, but which is absent in this area. Standards can be communicated to physicians and data captured by Synchronicity can be used to evaluate how they're doing, drawing on a peer-to-peer network that allows critiques of images and evaluations. The system also automatically produces clear documentation of exams by type of study as well as by physician. This capability means the hospital or unit could archive the images for use by the hospital’s quality monitoring system.
Implications for value and population health
Synchronicity was designed by Fujifilm SonoSite to work with its own equipment, but the software also easily integrates with any point-of-care ultrasound system that has DICOM images, including hospitals with competitor systems or in a mixed ultrasound environment. With the image storage, accessibility, and documentation taken care of with Synchronicity, hospitals and health systems can achieve even more value by expanding their use of ultrasound at the point-of-care.
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