Automated Radiology Data and Information Transfer (ARDIT): A Pilot Study at Emory Healthcare in Conjunction with the American College of Radiology (ACR) Open Access

Farooki, Shella (2013)

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Background: Data exchange between clinical healthcare and public health is vital to improving outcomes. As electronic medical records (EMRs) become more prevalent, this vast and valuable data source will be increasingly leveraged in order to gain more insight into population health.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to create an automated method of radiology data transfer from Emory Healthcare to the General Radiology Improvement Database (GRID) registry for quality improvement at the American College of Radiology (ACR). Automated radiology data and information transfer (ARDIT) would allow Emory Healthcare's participation in GRID without requiring numerous, repetitive, manual, monthly web-based data manipulations.

Methods: Workflow analysis of Emory's current data extraction procedure was performed. De-identified turnaround time (TAT) data in hours by modality was chosen as the metric of interest and extracted from RadNet, Emory's radiology information system (RIS). TAT was defined as the time from radiology exam completion to the time of radiologist final signature on the report. Data transformation utilizing Excel files from Emory's structured query language (SQL) output, GRID's data measures and data dictionary for TAT was performed. We designed a new database query using SQL to extract TAT data from the external database sourced from RIS. The output was formatted as an Excel file allowing import into GRID.

Results: An ARDIT model for TAT data sharing was created using an external database server that transformed Emory's current TAT data into a format that can be transferred directly to GRID via Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). ARDIT has functional capacity to share TAT data with the ACR and can be expanded to incorporate other GRID measures and metrics for seamless data transfer.

Conclusions: EMRs are an important source of data for public health informatics platforms such as registries. The ARDIT model created has functional capacity for sharing TAT data between Emory Healthcare and the ACR. Additional SQL code will be required to share the remaining GRID measures. The technology for facile health information exchange between EMRs and public health platforms does exist, but rapid implementation is limited by resources and human factors.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction. 1

Examination of Context and Background. 1

Problem Statement, Purpose, and Research Question. 6

Theoretical Framework. 8

Significance. 9

Method and Rationale for Target Journal Selection. 9

Chapter 2: Review of the Literature. 10

Chapter 3: Methodology, Approach, and Solution. 23

Methodology and Approach. 23

Figure 1. 24

Solutions. 28

Figure 2. 30

Table 1. 30

Table 2. 31

Table 3. 31

Chapter 4: Discussion. 32

Figure 3. 36

Chapter 5 - Journal Article. 39

References. 40

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