This posting is the last of a 3-part series about bone density reporting and how BoneStation can make a difference compared to common practices. Part 1 focused on costs reduction and part 2 on time savings. In this article we discuss three specific areas that BoneStation addresses in regards to quality:
- The Report – components that comprise a good bone density report
- Review process – facilitating a sound interpretation
- Workflow – improving communications between staff
The International Society for Clinical Densitometry defines the minimum requirements for a bone density report. Some items that should appear on a report include: patient demographics, BMD values for each site measured, DXA manufacturer/model, and significant change.
BoneStation automates report creation. Manual data entry is eliminated. BoneStation extracts all appropriate DXA data and places the data in a report. In addition, changes in BMD and determination of significant change are automated. A final bone density assessment is even suggested.
The Review Process
While DXA bone density scan images should not be used for diagnostic purposes, they are instrumental in determining the consistency of serial measurements. Is the patient positioned properly? Are the regions of interest (ROIs) consistent with prior scans? What is the technical quality of the scans?
BoneStation’s review process is designed to highlight key aspects for interpretation. Prior scans are easily visible. ROIs may be viewed both visually and numerically. Technical quality of scans must be specified and may also appear on the report.
In most situations, the technologist and reading physicians are in different locations. Scans are not typically read in real time either. Improved communications among bone density staff can lead to increased quality.
- BoneStation allows technologists to pass information to reading physicians via “scan comments”, which are entered on the DXA and appear in BoneStation.
- BoneStation may be configured to “validate” patient information for consistency. Is data missing, is patient demographic info consistent, etc. For example, if a female patient is 62 years old and is designated as pre-menopausal, BoneStation is able to provide a warning that this information may not be valid.
- When a reanalysis is required, BoneStation facilitates communications between the reading physician and technologist. The reason for reanalysis is described to the technologist. The scan is also tracked as awaiting reanalysis – so staff will not lose track of it.
BoneStation is designed specifically for DXA based bone densitometry. It increases efficiency and quality simultaneously. Much of the mundane handling of bone density scans is automated. It facilitates a review process designed for bone density, and enables easy communication among bone density staff.
BoneStation has produced more than a half million reports and has proven to be reliable solution for BMD reporting. Customers such as Mass General Hospital, Swedish Medical Group, Emory and others enjoy higher throughput and quality at lower cost.