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The Challenge of Optimizing Cardiovascular Information Systems (CVIS)

Posted by Patricia Tyler, R.N. and John Meyer, FACHE
The Challenge of Optimizing CVIS.jpg

Today’s cardiac catheterization laboratories, noninvasive cardiology and vascular service departments must manage and store extensive amounts of patient data – clinical documentation, analytics and images – tasks that have led to the ubiquitous adoption of a comprehensive CVIS.

  However, no matter how comprehensive cardiovascular information systems may seem, few, if any, are optimized through the necessary customization unique to each user’s circumstances, wants and needs.  This deficiency results in a system that does not create a single seamless interface to consolidate cardiovascular data and images into one location for review, sharing, manipulation, reporting, billing, patient care decision support, and analytics; therefore, they do not produce the needed functionality or return on investment.

The CVIS Optimization and Integration Challenge

Cardiovascular physicians require patient procedural data and imaging files be available in a timely and accurate manner to enable the physicians to report findings and develop a treatment plan quickly and effectively.  Physician reporting is optimally completed in an electronic structured report to assist in the accuracy and timeliness of the record integrating with the patient’s medical record.  Unfortunately, many CVIS applications suffer from misalignment with existing work flow, real-world operating conditions, and critical interfaces, and less than user-friendly data entry, among other issues.  These issues, coupled with CMS’s Meaningful Use and NCDR Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) compliance, and the penalties that could result with lack of compliance, make it clear that a reliable and robust CVIS is a must for any contemporary cardiovascular program.

Most hospitals have invested in state-of-the-art data collection and reporting systems for their cath lab, cardiology and vascular services which offer structured reporting either with or without cardiovascular picture archiving and communication systems (CPACS).  However, specific issues (such as the following) will significantly decrease optimization of the system:

  • The technology is not optimized and interfaced correctly with the hospital health information system (HIS)
  • Structured reporting templates are not designed and customized to the physicians’ liking
  • The technology is not set up correctly to support the existing clinical workflow and operations of the department

These issues often result in the physicians not using the system at all or in an ineffective fashion.  This creates additional work for the staff as they must develop time consuming work-arounds to get data into the HIS.  CFA has found that many cardiovascular program administrators face these issues and have not found effective assistance from the technology vendor or their hospital’s IT support team.

CFA’s Solution to the CVIS Challenge

CFA offers CVIS consulting and integration services staffed with an experienced consulting specialty team – services designed to optimize the hospital’s cardiovascular data information and CPACS technology systems, improve operations and enhance workflow efficiency.  Our CVIS consulting offerings include:

  • Cardiac cath lab and cardiology department CVIS technology and clinical workflow assessment and analysis
  • Recommendations and implementation support for improving CVIS technology and clinical workflow efficiencies and process optimization
  • Development of a roadmap on the critical steps to get from the CVIS current state to the future state integrated technology and workflow optimization
  • Optimized integration with the cath lab hemodynamic system, CPACS, HIS, and other hospital technology systems
  • Expert reporting template design, modification and customization for adult and pediatric Cardiac Catheterization, Echo and Vascular electronic structured report templates
  • Education and competency training for physicians and staff on use and workflow of structured reporting and software applications
  • A Project Manager Specialist is assigned for every CVIS implementation project
  • Experienced CVIS and CPACS Administrator support – interim and full time service contracts available for 24/7 remote and onsite CVIS and CPACS administration support services

We invite you to review a case study illustrating CFA’s results in optimizing its client’s CVIS technology.  For additional information, please contact CFA at (949) 443-4005, or by e-mail at

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