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Smart Search: How Medicom Helps Customers Reduce Financial Waste and Improve Patient Care

Smart Search (Previously Automated Federated Search): How Medicom Helps Customers Reduce Financial Waste and Improve Patient Care

What’s at risk when health systems operate inefficiently due to legacy technology and manual administrative practices isn’t just wasted financial resources or even patient satisfaction - it’s patient outcomes. We know the trajectory of patient care and recovery is the culmination of many factors. But, the capacity for care teams to seamlessly share medical imaging along the patient journey, reducing elements like patient friction and wasted time, is possible with Medicom's Smart Search. This year we have seen an uptick in the number of organizations interested in implementing this workflow because they recognize the impact it will have on their ability to provide quality, efficient and secure care to the patients that rely on them every day. 

In this blog, we will answer some key questions and provide actionable next steps for introducing Smart Search:

  1. What is Medicom’s Smart Search and why is it important in healthcare? 
  2. How does Smart Search work and what are its benefits for healthcare providers and patients alike? 
  3. What challenges must be overcome to implement Smart Search in healthcare organizations successfully? 
  4. How can Smart Search improve patient care and reduce costs within the healthcare system overall? 
  5. How do I get my organization on the Medicom Federated Health Network?

What is Medicom’s Smart Search and how does it work? 

Medicom Smart Search (Smart Search) is an image sharing workflow used to break through silos of patient imaging across disparate health networks and connect care teams as they interact with patients along their patient journey. Smart Search automates the process of gathering relevant prior imaging exams that are necessary for treatment planning and diagnosis, reducing the burden on staff to manually request prior imaging from external organizations. Learn about the workflow in the steps outlined below, and access the rest of our Smart Search FAQ here!

  1. An order is placed or a patient is scheduled for an appointment: The appointment priority level (STAT, Routine, etc.) is used to either immediately issue a search of authorized organizations or wait until a scheduled time.
  2. Event message generated: Information is gathered from the HL7 order or scheduling message or through FHIR/API access. 
  3. Determining what is relevant: A Large Language Model (LLM) uses this information to determine relevant exam types. This model will continue to learn to enhance the search results.
  4. Medicom Connect Network Search: Medicom Smart Search automatically broadcasts a federated search of Medicom Connect authorized provider organizations. 
  5. Processed: All Trusted Contacts who have authorized Smart Search requests will receive the query.
  6. Matched record: For patient safety, Smart Search will only return data if a single, distinct match is returned from an external system for the patient and the patient has relevant prior imaging exams. 
  7. Reconciliation: The process can be further automated with retroactive order generation for outside/foreign studies and reconciliation into PACS.

The Healthcare Industry is historically slow to make changes - how can I advocate for Smart Search in my organization?

Through the advisory relationships we have built in the industry and the close connections with our customers, we understand the complexities that face decision makers in healthcare. Advocating for shifts in both technology and culture in their respective organizations and the industry in general are not easy tasks. Medicom Sales, Marketing, Implementation and Customer Success teams are well versed and capable of leading such conversations, presentations and demos on clinical, operational and administrative impact. 

Reduce cost AND improve patient care? Tell me more! 

At Medicom, we provide hundreds of hospitals and health systems across the nation with the capacity to send and collect images through our Smart Search workflows. Even though most patients already believe automated sharing of PHI and imaging to be widely adopted by their care teams, that often isn’t the case. Smart Search functionalities specifically reduce patient friction and protect patients and their families from time wasted bringing CDs and DVDs to different appointments at clinics that may not even be able to open those images. If images are lost or cannot be opened, patients often undergo re-imaging and can even experience delays in diagnosis and treatment in a situation when time is becoming the currency of life. With regard to cost savings, we have witnessed our customers significantly reducing resources spent on CDs, DVDs and lengthy operational and administrative workflows.

When accessing images and patient priors happens in minutes, health systems are able to provide care for more patients. And with the ability to treat more patients with less financial, operational and administrative resources, revenue increases year over year. 

I understand the vision and I’m ready to implement Smart Search! Now what?

We have made sure that joining the Medicom Network is simple - we know that the last thing health systems need is time consuming and complex onboarding processes. Schedule a meeting today and connect with our sales organization to see a demo of Smart Search and discuss other Medicom solutions that are best for your workflows!