David S. Mendelson, MD, FACR, Chief of Clinical Informatics, Mount Sinai Medical Center

Patient reports include a myriad of data points from diverse sources, most of which is captured electronically at the point-of-care. How this stored data is then communicated and integrated into a patient’s medical file and report is the focus of MEDRAD’s recent product offering, the Certegra™ Informatics Connect.RIS™, the industry’s first Contrast Dose Management™ solution, which comprises a comprehensive line of products designed to support radiology professionals’ clinical and administrative needs.

MEDRAD Inc, a business of Bayer Healthcare, designed the Connect.RIS application to auto-populate contrast-injection records from MEDRAD’s Stellant® contrast-injection systems into radiology reporting systems and RIS, eliminating the need for radiologists to look up or dictate contrast-injection records. By automatically documenting and integrating CT contrast-injection records across clinical systems, the Certegra application delivers consistent patient records throughout facilities and supports accurate and efficient billing and reconciliation processes.

“In recent years, it’s become more and more important to track and record information around the events concerning contrast injection. It’s not normally the main focus of the whole CT report and interaction, but it’s an important part,” said David S. Mendelson, MD, FACR, chief of clinical informatics, Mount Sinai Medical Center (MSMC), where the Certegra Informatics Connect.RIS solution is currently in place with five of their seven CT units. “MEDRAD has a fairly sophisticated data capture of all the events occurring around the injection…the next step needed was an efficient way to get this information into a radiology record, a PACS, and, as a subset of that, the radiology report.”

MSMC already had several MEDRAD injectors in place when they were approached by MEDRAD to clinically evaluate their Certegra platform. “One of the other things that was attractive about our site is that we have been a long-standing Nuance PowerScribe customer and we are the beta site for PowerScribe 360. The other fact to note is that we are a GE Centricity RIS customer as well. And MEDRAD was highly interested in being able to port the information they collect from the injectors into both of those systems,” Mendelson said.

MEDRAD’s initial solution of feeding directly into the PACS was not sufficient for the team at Mount Sinai Medical Center. “The best place to put at least the basic injection information is into the patient report because in the course of billing, the payors want to see that information provided,” Mendelson said. “They don’t have access to PACS, so we were looking for the easiest mechanism to get the power injector information directly into PowerScribe. Initially, we were having people manually type some of this into the RIS or write it into the charts so we would have that in front of us. We would then dictate it directly into our narrative in PowerScribe. But there are a lot of manual steps involved in that.”

MEDRAD’s Certegra solution is a box that sits by each CT; it picks up the information and just sends a message using an HL7 messaging interface into the miscellaneous fields available in PowerScribe 360. “So as soon as I open up that patient and the accession number for that study in PowerScribe 360, I can see those fields and the information is sitting right there,” Mendelson said. They also have begun to create macros in some of their report templates that just auto-populate this information into the reports, making it even easier for the radiologist to create the report.

By eliminating several steps in the process, MEDRAD’s Certegra Informatics Connect.RIS application appears to have made it easier for radiologists to report contrast-injection data. “This is all about a future of efficiencies in running your practice. We just cut out a bunch of manual steps on every end, and it just makes it easier to put patients through and do the right thing. The fewer manual steps you have, the less chance for error,” Mendelson said.