Patient Informatics

6. Ensuring prompt and reliable information flows (integrations into the wider hospital environment)

The 4 main standard information flows within an imaging procedure are:

  1. Patient is examined and the region (body part / symptom) of interest is identified by a clinician. The referral to Radiology follows agreed clinical referral guidelines
    1. This initial consultation is documented electronically with an agreed minimum data set and shared electronically or printed for the patient/carer;
    2. If there is a process to obtain any other results required to corroborate results (such as laboratory blood tests or previous imaging) this should be initiated.
  2. Diagnostics Performed:
    1. Imaging information captured to include necessary text, image and dose information
  3. Results
    1. Interpretation and capturing in a format that can be shared and possibly coded for ease of future aggregation (to support research or statistics / post event review)
    2. Interpretation may be local (i.e. completed in the hospital by a Radiologist or suitably trained Technologist) or remote via telemedicine (i.e. reporting performed in another location outside of the hospital).
    3. Templates (stock text) can be prepared and used to ensure all data captured and a standardised format – increases speed at which reports can be issued plus the speed at which the results can be interpreted by clinicians for treatment.
  4. Result Distribution
    1. In its most basic form, rapidly conveying reports is crucial. Speed is of the essence in COVID-19 patients.
    2. In an established informatics environment, the standard posting is to Electronic Patient Records, Patient Health Record, Community/Primary Care Systems is acceptable; in a manual paper environment, multiple copies of the report should be dispatched via the usual processes.
    3. There must be an ability to recall patients if necessary due to poor imaging identified or the need for further projections / examinations to rule out other pathologies or causes as necessary
    4. Management Reports for local, national, or international use
    5. Consideration on how image transmission can take place if required to other sites or workstations (for example if specialist interpretation of complex imaging is required).