Electronic medical record improves physician compliance of reviewing portal images, study suggests

The use of an electronic medical record (EMR) for reviewing portal images dramatically improves compliance with timeliness and record keeping, according to a study in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Portal images are used to verify the positioning of patients during daily radiation treatments to improve the accuracy of the radiation field placement, to reduce exposure to normal tissue and to deliver accurate dose to tumor volumes.

"The benefits of the implementation and utilization of an EMR have been well documented. Other studies have shown that the use of EMR's improves the quality of care, saves time and decreases cost," said Andre Konski, MD, MBA, MA, co-author of the article. Konski is chief of at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center; and professor and chair of the Department of at theWayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit.

The use of an EMR to review portal images was initiated at the investigators' institution in March 2010. Before this, portal images were reviewed on either radiographic film or printouts from machines equipped with electronic portal imaging. Patients who were treated by attending physicians present before and after the switch to the EMR were randomly selected for review of their portal images from 2009 for radiographic film and March to June 2010 for portal images in the EMR. The images were reviewed for their with proper verification per departmental policy.

A total of 411 portal images were reviewed. Results showed that there was a statistically significant improvement in compliance with portal image review policy with the advent of using the EMR to review portal images.

"The use of an EMR for reviewing portal images dramatically improves compliance with timeliness and record keeping. More timely review of portal images is critical because it allows for higher in the treatment of patients with ," said Konski.

"Given this study's findings, in accordance with a nationwide push for transitioning the EMR's, reviewing portal images via an EMR should be standard of care," he said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Networking: Portals for medical care

Jun 26, 2006

A patient refills her prescription for Diuril online, a high-blood-pressure medication, without having to walk down the street in the summer heat and wait for the local pharmacist to fill out the prescription.

Vatican to launch Internet news portal next week

Jun 25, 2011

(AP) -- The Vatican is taking a leap into the world of new media next week with the launch of a news information portal that Pope Benedict XVI himself may put online with a papal click.

Recommended for you

Key element of CPR missing from guidelines

19 hours ago

Removing the head tilt/chin lift component of rescue breaths from the latest cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines could be a mistake, according to Queen's University professor Anthony Ho.

Burnout impacts transplant surgeons (w/ Video)

Jul 28, 2014

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a new national study on transplant surgeon ...

User comments