Impact of an epic-integrated point-of-care ultrasound workflow on ultrasound performance, compliance, and potential revenue

Am J Emerg Med. 2021 Jun 7;49:233-239. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2021.06.009. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe the design and impact of a point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) workflow integrated into the electronic medical record (EMR) on PoCUS utilization, documentation compliance, and resultant revenue potential.

Methods: This was a single-center retrospective study at an academic center. The study period spanned from December 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 (pre-implementation) to August 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020 (post-implementation). The implementation date was July 11, 2019 at which time a PoCUS workflow was integrated into the EMR in the emergency department without the purchase of middleware. Prior to this new workflow, a non-automated workflow was in place. PoCUS scan data were extracted from the EMR and archived examinations. The mean number of PoCUS examinations performed per month per 100 ED visits before and after implementation of the new workflow were compared using an unpaired t-test, stratified by all health care professionals, and attending physicians alone. The rate of documentation compliance before and after implementation of the new workflow were compared using a chi square contingency test. Potential revenue was calculated for each period by multiplying the number of eligible examinations by the respective 2020 Medicare conversion factor Relative Value Units.

Results: Utilization of PoCUS from pre-implementation to post-implementation increased 28.7% from 5.01 to 6.45 mean examinations per month per 100 ED visits by all health care professionals (p = 0.063), and 75.1% from 2.01 to 3.52 by attending physicians (p = 0.0001). Examinations in compliance with workflow requirements increased from 153 (14.7%) to 1307 (94.0%). The rate of workflow compliance improved from 14.7% to 94.0% of examinations (p < 0.0001). Potential revenue increased from $546.01 to $22,014.47.

Conclusions: The implementation of a middleware-free PoCUS workflow at our institution was associated with increased PoCUS utilization, documentation compliance, and potential revenue.

Keywords: Billing; Information technology; Point-of-care ultrasound; Workflow.