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Saving a Bundle of Time on CT Orders in the ED

Baptist Memorial Health Care improves CT turnaround time by 20% using Epic

Patients who get CT scans in the ED typically need a creatinine test before contrast agents can be used, which can delay the procedure if the creatinine test is bundled with other tests. Baptist Memorial Health Care in Memphis sped up turnaround time for CTs by 20% by ordering a creatinine test at the same time as a CT, rather than with other tests.

“We’re saving 15 minutes every time a CT is ordered,” said Dr. Steven Creasy, an ED physician at Baptist Memorial. “The efficiency and flow in the ED is substantially better, which has helped both patient and physician satisfaction.”

To make ordering easy for ED physicians, Baptist Memorial added a panel of CT-related orders to physicians’ order preference list in Epic. By using the panel, physicians ensure that creatinine results are available to the radiology department sooner. Radiology techs can then quickly see when creatinine results are ready using Epic reports instead of repeatedly checking patients’ charts. With the new workflow, patients don’t need to wait for all of their lab results before getting CTs with contrast.

“This was one of the easiest process improvement steps we have implemented, and it made a significant difference in our turnaround times,” said Ashley Dufrene, RN, Baptist Memorial’s ED manager. “The collaboration of the multidisciplinary team and the versatility of the Epic system were key to the success of this initiative.”

Epic community members can learn more in Baptist Memorial’s Clinical Program.