3 Must-Ask Questions about Imaging CDS SolutionsWhen considering a clinical decision support solution to meet the PAMA mandate 

As Radiology Departments review options for imaging clinical decision support (CDS) solutions to align with the PAMA AUC program, going into effect Jan 1, 2022, many often neglect to ask these three questions:

  1. How does the solution impact the ordering physicians’ workflow?
  2. Does it target specific practice areas for improvement?
  3. How flexible is the implementation strategy?
physician burnout in USA quote

A comprehensive CDS approach to Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) may sound like a good idea. However, providers often don’t realize the full impact of this approach until they’ve deployed the system. Under this type of CDS solution, ordering physicians may be prompted on every potential order placed and not focused only on the orders for the Priority Clinical Areas (PCAs) applicable under the PAMA mandate. Ongoing alerts cause frustration among referring physicians and lead to provider disengagement.

With Medicalis Clinical Decision Support (CDS), ordering physicians will only be notified if the order does not match the AUC guidelines. The software is designed to be non-intrusive and work seamlessly with the EMR. If an order is deemed appropriate, the process is automated, and the ordering physician does not need to take any additional action. This process can help to minimize alert fatigue by having fewer additional “clicks” and alerts to manage. 

table showing difference of targeted approach

Sample of average distribution of imaging orders

The above calculation is informational only, intended to provide a directional understanding of potential impact from the CMS/PAMA Mandate.

Some CDS solutions include guidance for numerous modalities, indications, and clinical areas—without considering the type of exams for cases where the potential for positive impact on patient care is high, thus increasing the quality of service and providing added value without discouraging the ordering physician. By not aligning with Quality Initiatives, broad content solutions can lack the focus necessary to efficiently optimize clinical operations.

A targeted approach that aligns with Priority Clinical Areas (PCAs) for content delivery can help ensure physicians are only engaged on cases where there is high potential for positive impact and in return can increase quality and provide value. Medicalis CDS uses a targeted approach, and its mechanism enhances the quality of order entry within the EMR by improving indications capture and aligning strong evidence with local best practice. 

3 entry points to CDS

The point of imaging order entry may vary based on the physician location and system access—some may have access to the EMR, while others may be externally affiliated or a non-affiliated partner. Understanding these different methods of order entry and how to effectively engage with varied ordering physicians with or without access to the EMR is key to a successful strategy. The CDS solution should offer flexible implementation strategies for all physician settings.

The Medicalis CDS solution supports multiple delivery methods. It can be:

  • made available as an EMR-integrated solution for physicians with EMR access.
  • made accessible within the Medicalis Referral Management portal, providing a seamless solution at the point of order entry Order Entry for non-EMR ordering workflows.
  • accessed via a cloud-hosted solution for non-affiliated providers.
Medicalis CDS workflow

Learn more about how to successfully choose and implement a CDS solution before the January 2022 PAMA mandate. Read the 10 Commandments for Effective Imaging Clinical Decision Support.

Medicalis CDS is a qualified CDSM by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that can be implemented to meet the PAMA mandate and streamline your workflow, while reducing delays in care and improving physician-to-physician communication.