How a new solution for dose management increases operations efficiency
When hospitals implement new performance management software, they often focus on the need to report dose events. The Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus in Stuttgart, for example, had to comply with an incoming European radiology directive. Little did they know that the tool they introduced to achieve this would support them in streamlining systems utilisation along the entire patient pathway too.
Global healthcare systems can be complex, with high regional adaptation and limited capabilities for international standardisation. Inefficiencies in these systems, too, call for the strict execution of performance excellence strategies. According to a 2017 report, a fifth of healthcare spending is wasted due to inefficiency, at least in 35 OECD countries. Studies also show a potential for a 9-16% growth in productivity if performance best practices are implemented.
Performance management applications are now helping healthcare providers make quicker and more informed decisions by offering a clear overview of their performance data. Assisted by algorithms, however, they can streamline their operations management by monitoring quantities like imaging throughput, dose levels (Monitoring is based on DICOM data), and utilisation of staff and rooms. This can simplify reporting and give insights into where workflows need adjustment, creating the highest level of efficiency for the organisation and saving time and costs.
The radiology department at Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus (RBK), a state of Baden Wurttemberg-sponsored private foundation hospital in Stuttgart, Germany, initially implemented one such solution - Siemens Healthineers’ cloud-based performance management applications enabled by the teamplay digital health platform - to monitor dose of their various systems and to comply with a new European radiation protection directive that came into effect at the end of 2018.
They quickly realised, however, that its benefits stretched far beyond this for them. The solution, which has separate applications for dose management, resource optimisation, protocols management and image sharing, helped them monitor all the above, from imaging throughput to dose levels – and departmental resources down to each device and procedure. And the solution also streamlined system utilisation and many other helpful functions: “Teamplay offers the interface we need to increase transparency between the different systems, even if they are from different manufacturers. This is crucial to us because it allows us to gain maximum information with minimum effort,” says Anika Graser, who manages MTRA at the hospital’s radiology and nuclear medicine department.
As the teamplay performance management applications are updated regularly, and the set of available applications is growing steadily, radiology departments benefit from innovative developments right away. For example, the new application teamplay Insights was included recently, allowing strategic heads to optimise value by tracking individual targets and KPIs in personalized dashboards according to their needs.
“Dose monitoring is the issue that’s currently in the foreground, but once it is established, we can address further issues,” says Professor Angela Geissler, head physician of radiology and nuclear medicine at the hospital, which has three locations and 1,041 beds and treats over 44,000 patients a year from Stuttgart and the surrounding region.
“With teamplay, we have a platform that not only allows us to adapt protocols centrally but principally also to seamlessly exchange them internationally. That is a really exciting perspective for us. And we are really interested in benchmarking, especially regarding system utilisation and in exchanging images. At the moment, we are still busy sending and receiving tons of CDs.”
Seamless information exchange
Teamplay supports hospitals with HIPAA, and is compliant with global privacy laws and the European GDPR, having been awarded the European Privacy Seal (EuroPriSe) and certified by ISO27001.
The statements by the Siemens’ customer described herein are based on results that were achieved in the customer's unique setting. Since there is no 'typical' hospital and many variables exist (e.g., hospital size, case mix, level of IT adoption), there can be no guarantee that other customers will achieve the same results.
Both Anika Graser and Angela Geissler are employed by institutions engaged in contractual collaboration with Siemens Healthineers.