News | February 25, 2009

Some Cath Lab Directors Say CVIS Deliver Limited Financial Benefits, Satisfaction

February 23, 2009 - Cardiovascular information systems (CVIS) are not delivering quantifiable financial benefits, according to cardiac cath lab directors who participated in an independent national survey completed in January on behalf of Wolters Kluwer Health and ProVation Medical.

The survey of hospital cardiac cath lab directors was designed to measure the use and satisfaction levels with CVIS and procedure documentation systems.

Thirty one percent of cardiac cath lab directors reported no quantifiable improvements in revenues or the revenue cycle since implementing CVIS, due in part to continued reliance on dictation for physician documentation. Overall, 69 percent of respondents reported that physicians continue to dictate, despite clinical procedure documentation for physicians being identified by 51 percent of cardiology directors as an “extremely important” CVIS feature.

Four in 10 cardiac cath lab directors whose physicians dictate felt that documentation issues have at least a “moderate” impact on revenues. One-fourth also estimated that they could realize an annual savings of $100,000 or more by eliminating the costs associated with dictation and transcription.

“When properly designed and implemented, technological systems for cardiology should streamline workflow, reduce costs and increase revenue,” said Arvind Subramanian, president and CEO of Wolters Kluwer Health Clinical Solutions and ProVation Medical. “However, when they are difficult to use, don’t offer a solid return on investment (ROI) or do not integrate with other information systems, they cannot deliver the full scope of improvements health care organizations require to achieve their patient care and financial goals.”

This was borne out in the survey. The majority of respondents reported being only “somewhat satisfied” or “satisfied” with CVIS. Lower satisfaction rates were most closely associated with problems interfacing with other systems and hardware (10 percent); failure to function as promised (8 percent); not user-friendly (7 percent); poor vendor support (6 percent); and failure to offer a comprehensive array of features (5 percent).

Of the 31 percent who reported using software for procedure documentation, fewer than one in five said the application produced automatic CPT and ICD codes based on that documentation. As a result, 22 percent reported no quantifiable increase in revenues since implementing the documentation solution.

However, interest in clinical documentation software remains high. The majority (68 percent) of those whose physicians currently dictate said it was at least “somewhat likely” that they would implement physician procedure documentation within the next two years. Among the features identified as having the most influence over that purchasing decision were the ability to streamline workflows and increase efficiencies (88 percent), ease-of-use (86 percent) and physician satisfaction rates (72 percent).

By eliminating transcription and automating the documentation and coding processes, software can help deliver a solid ROI through reduced costs and improved reimbursement levels, the company said.

Renaissance Research, of Edwardsville, IL, conducted the national online survey Jan. 13-25, 2009. The survey was completed by 151 hospital cardiology and cardiac lab directors, providing a margin of error of +/- 8 percentage points.

ProVation MD software helps in procedure documentation, coding compliance and replaces dictation/transcription. The company will be exhibiting its ProVation MD Cardiology software at the American College of Cardiology’s 58th Annual Scientific Session in March 29–31, in Orlando.

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