In today’s growing and competitive healthcare market, there is an increased demand from insurance providers and patients for accreditation. In fact, many insurance companies are starting to require accreditation for reimbursements. Accreditation provides patients and insurers with a clear measurement of quality and level of care.
The Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL), the Intersocietal Commission for Nuclear/PET (ICANL), and the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL) grant accreditation for imaging facilities. These accreditation programs are grouped under the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). The IAC’s mission is to recognize quality imaging diagnostic facilities and to ensure high quality patient care. Although it requires time, money, and effort, earning accreditation helps imaging facilities improve their quality of service, expand their programs, and meet insurance requirements.
Accreditation and PACS
IAC provides echocardiography, nuclear/PET, and vascular standards that set forth a framework for the accreditation program and define the minimum requirements necessary for facilities to provide high quality care. The accreditation process assesses all aspects of the facility’s daily operations, including the staff, procedures, and reports, to recognize achievements and identify and correct potential gaps. A well-chosen and implemented PAC system can assist your imaging facility with meeting the accreditation requirements for examination reports and records.
The accreditation standards all require a records management system that can archive images, measurements, and reports for all studies performed for up to seven years. A PAC System can provide plenty of storage space in a consolidated, secure, and easy-to-access format. The system may utilize local storage, cloud based storage, or a combination. In either local or hosted storage, the PAC system can be backed up, providing guaranteed access and the ability to integrate with your disaster recovery plan. The images and medical data are securely stored in the PACS and can only be viewed by authorized personnel, meeting HIPAA privacy safeguards. A PACS can also enable you to access any image from your records repository with simple search features. This minimizes your time searching for patient records and enhances office communication and file transfer.
The accreditation standards also require timely, accurate, and standardized report generation. Studies should be analyzed promptly, and critical results must be communicated to the physician as quickly as possible. In addition, the standards require that all reporting is standardized. Specific content must be included in each report, such as patient data, findings, and a study summary. A PAC System can provide comprehensive standard reports that can be customized to meet the requirements of the accreditation standards, and they can be quickly and easily updated to comply with accreditation and billing changes. The standard reports can also auto-populate measurements and transcribe results, which increase efficiency and reduce transcription costs and data entry errors. This allows physicians to spend more time analyzing studies and working with patients and less time filling out reports.
A PAC System can be a valuable tool for improving your workflow and aiding you in meeting accreditation standards.