How this Multi-Site Hospital System Improved Patient Access to Records with a Seamless PocketHealth/Epic Integration
September 13, 2022Read More
The pandemic and a growing tech stack made it important to find an easy, efficient and reliable way to share imaging and diagnostic reports with patients and other healthcare providers.
Imaging Partners of Orange County relied on CD-ROMs as the mechanism to share many of the more than 70,000 imaging exams they performed each year. CDs were not only costly, but the manual process of burning and packaging CDs, printing a physical release form for patients to sign, and then ensuring CDs and forms got to the right person was taking up a lot of staff time.
The pandemic further accelerated these challenges. “This manual workflow became a real challenge during the first wave of COVID when we were short-staffed,” says Jared Schultz, Executive Director at Imaging Partners. “We were looking for ways to save on costs and provide a better patient experience, especially since patients were hesitant to handle physical media.”
At the same time, Julio Benitez, the group’s IT and PACS Administrator, was focused on finding a platform that worked well with their existing systems. Like many healthcare providers across North America, Imaging Partners had made significant investments over the years in technology to automate and streamline manual processes.
The group’s growing tech stack had increased the IT department workflow tremendously, meaning any new solution not only needed to improve efficiencies but also needed to be easy for everyone to use.
“For years I’ve been looking for a solution that could do what PocketHealth does but none of them come close,” says Benitez, who has over 20 years of experience in healthcare IT. “They are often clunky or costly, or have encryption that makes it difficult to access imaging.
PocketHealth’s seamless implementation made it easy for patients to access their imaging with no clerical or IT intervention required.
In 2020 Schultz and Benitez made the decision to partner with PocketHealth to remove CDs from their workflow and provide a better patient experience. With the PocketHealth for Provider offering, Imaging Partners has made it easy for patients to access and share their medical imaging and diagnostic reports online. The user-friendly interface is intuitive for patients to use. Plus, automated collection of patient consent and tracking of imaging records ensures the group’s compliance with security regulations without the need for clerical intervention.
Speed and convenience are core to Imaging Partners’ principles of care. PocketHealth’s provider exchange capabilities enable the group to instantly share imaging with its referring community and fulfill its standard of sending same-day reports.
PocketHealth’s implementation got Imaging Partners up and running in under six weeks, leading Schultz to describe it as “one bright spot we had in 2020.” “I’ve done six different implementations since PocketHealth,” adds Benitez. “And PocketHealth has been by far the easiest, with no problems whatsoever.” While different solutions often don’t speak well with one another, especially in healthcare, PocketHealth was able to connect seamlessly with the group’s technical infrastructure.
For both Schultz and Benitez, PocketHealth’s customer support, which includes customized marketing materials and 24/7 patient and provider technical support, have also been critical for raising awareness among Imaging Partners’ patient community that they can access their imaging online and ensuring they have a positive experience.
In addition to the smooth implementation, the lack of ongoing maintenance has been a key benefit for Benitez. “PocketHealth is not only user-friendly but from an IT perspective I don’t have to touch it at all,” says Benitez. “That’s a big deal.”
By going zero CD, Imaging Partners has improved the patient experience and realized significant cost savings.
With PocketHealth’s help, Imaging Partners has eliminated CDs altogether. Prior to implementing the image sharing platform, the group burned more than 10,000 CDs a year. At an average cost of $7.50, this number resulted in annual costs of approximately $75,000, plus additional investment in staffing and equipment maintenance.
Since implementing PocketHealth, the reaction from staff and patients has been resoundingly positive. Staff appreciate not having to burn CDs and being able to rely on PocketHealth’s multilingual support team to handle any patient questions.
Patients at Imaging Partners have shared that they now feel empowered as a result of getting ownership over their medical imaging records. They appreciate being able to access their imaging from anywhere, not to mention no longer needing to make an extra trip to the facility to pick up a CD. The group has seen high patient adoption of PocketHealth, reflecting the value that patients are getting.
As Schultz describes it, “PocketHealth was a game changer for us.”