Case Study: UNC Department of Radiology

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Patient care directed at improving the health of North Carolinians is a principal tenet of the UNC School of Medicine’s mission. Within the 19 clinical departments comprising the School of Medicine, highly trained appointed faculty are key drivers of patient care delivery at UNC Healthcare.  A collective priority in delivering quality patient care at UNC Healthcare is to ensure it reaches North Carolina’s underserved.  UNC Department of Radiology clinical faculty members have traditionally accommodated this patient subset in the imaging care they extend to all North Carolinians who are seen at UNC Healthcare.

Getting to Know UNC Department of Radiologyavreo

In early 2011, the UNC Department of Radiology determined that it could externally market the imaging interpretation capacities of its board-certified subspecialists.  Adding teleradiology to its day-to-day workflow appealed not only as an alternative source of revenue for the Department, but also as an established system for state-funded subspecialists to offer imaging interpretation services across North Carolina.  Such an initiative appropriately directed the Department’s skill set to serving state-operated healthcare facilities throughout North Carolina.

The Department of Radiology needed an application capable of multi-facility input that would parallel the existing interpretation.  Such a system would require multiple capacities: 1) ease of use and configuration; 2) adaptability to variable case volume; 3) minimal start-up cost; 4) a low-impact software “footprint”; 5) a unified RIS/PACS component; 6) elimination of separate order entry; and 7) ease of identifying the source of study.

Workflow Improvements

In late 2011, through a Request for Proposal process, Avreo was selected as the core outreach application.  Avreo’s interWORKS Dayhawk provides external, interpretation-only services from workstations independently managed, but situated next to PACS stations used for daily, in-house patient care.  interWORKS Dayhawk’s optimized connectivity allows Department subspecialists to generate and turn around reports at a pace independent of the reading room workflow. Built-in features like patient record management, technologist quality assurance review and full-featured, diagnostic viewer also made interWORKS Dayhawk attractive for permitting Department radiologists to customize reports to the needs of clients.

The Department of Radiology proceeded with installing interWORKS Dayhawk as the instrument for offering interpretation services to state-operated healthcare facilities.  The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) became the first major state-run entity to contract with the Department of Radiology for patient case interpretations.  Thanks to Avreo’s installation of the interWORKS Dayhawk solution, the Department of Radiology provides interpretation services to five DHHS-operated facilities across North Carolina.  interWORKS Dayhawk’s Technologist Quality Assurance (TechQA) allows each facility to ensure image quality and order accuracy before submitting images to UNC’s radiologists for interpretation.

On March 5th, 2012, DHHS’ first studies were submitted to the Department’s interWORKS Dayhawk system from Central Regional Hospital, the state’s largest psychiatric care facility.  Over the next 12 months, the remaining four NC DHHS-operated facilities contracted with the Department came on board.  All five facilities had encountered similar problems when they’d previously outsourced elsewhere for interpretation -- variable quality in returned reports; unpredictable or slow report turnaround time; and decentralized records management, among other workflow challenges.

Since early 2012, interWORKS Dayhawk has measurably improved the timeliness and consistency of imaging care these five entities administer to psychiatric, developmentally disabled and other underserved patients traditionally seen at state-run facilities.  interWORKS Dayhawk’s diagnostic viewing, dictation, transcription and automated report distribution both optimized the radiology workflow and integrated the systems for imaging interpretation amongst five facilities serving residents from all 100 North Carolina counties.  interWORKS Dayhawk also allowed the UNC Department of Radiology to establish consistent protocols, same-day report return, streamlined interpretation, and electronic receipt of results within the developing EHR systems of state-operated client facilities.

The interWORKS Dayhawk solution not only allows the UNC Department of Radiology to offer interpretation-only services to outside facilities from independently managed workstations at UNC Healthcare.  On a larger scale, Avreo also reinforces the School of Medicine’s mission by establishing an outlet for state-operated healthcare facilities to work with state-funded clinical faculty to ensure quality subspecialty care reaches North Carolina’s underserved.

About Avreo

Avreo, founded in 1997, is a leading provider of Radiology Workflow Solutions for outpatient facilities, multi-specialty organizations, community hospitals, radiology groups, and orthopedic practices. Our family of innovative solutions combines services from RIS, PACS, EHR, Dictation, Transcription, and Automatic Report Distribution within a single application, single database solution to encompass all the features a busy practice or hospital needs to operate efficiently. Avreo is a privately held company based in Charleston, SC. Avreo offers solutions on an operational (fee/exam) or capital acquisition payment model.

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