MOSAIQ SmartClinic takes clinic operations to the next level in Latin America
Department’s digital transformation represents a new era in radiotherapy
As one of the top three private hospitals in Mexico, Centro Médico ABC recently became the first radiotherapy center in Latin America to go paperless by implementing MOSAIQ® SmartClinic, Elekta’s mobile oncology workflow management solution.
Dr. Dolores De la Mata, Chief of the Radiotherapy Department at Centro Médico ABC, recalls visiting hospitals across the United States and Europe and seeing how digitization could streamline cumbersome processes and improve patient care. She envisioned integrating all of the activities performed by her department’s physicians, nurses and other staff into a single platform that housed patients’ complete records for easy access.
Though no other center in Latin America had yet gone paperless, Dr. De la Mata believed her department was ready for the digital transformation. “I saw the potential of SmartClinic to automate workflows,” says Dr. De la Mata. “When it was time to replace one of our linacs, we decided to make the move to a paperless environment as well. We were ready to get the job done.”
“I saw the potential of SmartClinic to automate workflows.”
Many cancer centers in Latin America and other emerging markets lack the resources and infrastructure to adopt new technologies. The perceived learning curve and time commitment of integrating new technologies also prevent organizations from embracing new ways of working. “Sometimes, I think in Latin America we feel like we can’t achieve what they’re doing in other countries, but Dr. De la Mata told us, ‘We can do this!’” says Sandra Lizbeth Huerta Vega, Centro Médico ABC, Medical Physicist.
With varying comfort levels using technology, the team initially responded to Dr. De la Mata’s plan to digitize the clinic with mixed emotions. “When Dr. De la Mata told us we were going paperless, we were a little afraid. We were used to paper and filling out forms by hand,” says Ana Lilia Huerta Santiago, Nursing Assistant Technician for Centro Médico ABC.
But the team also saw the potential of digitization to work more efficiently and prevent physical documents from being lost or misplaced.
“In a single day, we see five to seven patients,” says Maria Fernanda González Osornio, a Hospitalist with Centro Médico ABC. “Each patient had a list of documents we had to handle and coordinate. Previously, the most time-consuming part was the daily control of treatment sessions, having to physically check the simulation sheets and treatment plans and organize everything.”
“To manage a patient’s treatment, we needed to print the medical history and treatment plan. There were too many papers, and each staff member was responsible for a part of the document,” adds Ana Stefany Ramirez Estudillo, Centro Médico ABC, Medical Physicist. “The truth is that there was so much paperwork, and it was very easy for things to get lost.”
“Treatment plans had to be printed and signed by physicists and doctors. Then they would be hand-delivered to the treatment team so they could see the plan specifications,” explains Eduardo Barrera Sánchez, Clinical Radiotherapist for Centro Médico ABC. “That implied a delay in patient care.”
Making digitization a reality
Any initial reservations about digitization were eased when the team saw how user friendly SmartClinic is. “Some staff members weren’t born in the age of technology, so we knew that this change could be hard for them,” notes Ramirez Estudillo. “But we have integrated SmartClinic without any problem because it is so easy to navigate.”
“We have integrated SmartClinic without any problem because it is so easy to navigate.”
A fast and efficient SmartClinic integration was essential to the Centro Médico ABC team. “Once we started integrating SmartClinic, we had about two weeks to go from paper to paperless,” says Huerta Vega. “It had to be quick because patient treatments didn’t stop during implementation.”
Elekta conducted onsite training and implementation over about two weeks. “Dr. De la Mata helped us overcome the challenges of learning how to use the platform with helpful training sessions. We were able to practice and bring forward our questions, which helped us get familiar with the system,” adds Ramirez Estudillo.
A significant step forward for patient care
At Centro Médico ABC, delivering high-quality patient care is a guiding principle. “Patient care will always be the deciding factor when making improvements within the radiotherapy service. In our case, digitization was an important factor in meeting the needs of patients,” notes Estudillo.
Through key learning initiatives, Dr. De la Mata led her team to become early adopters of new Informatics technology, thus paving the way for the future of advanced care in Latin America.
The team’s workflows are now more streamlined than ever, allowing them to check physicians’ documents, notes and treatment plans and complete forms electronically with SmartClinic’s SmartForms feature.
With SmartForms, each question in a given form is based on previous answers with a dynamic design, and staff can customize forms to meet the clinic’s specific requirements. “When the patient comes in, we ask questions and fill in the answers immediately,” says Huerta. “It has made our work much more efficient.” Huerta adds that 90 percent of the staff feel that SmartClinic is more effortless than filling out forms by hand.
Thanks to SmartClinic, Centro Médico ABC has made significant gains in workflow efficiency. Previously, it took about two days to complete workflows so that patients could begin treatment. That time has dropped to one to two hours.
“All of the capabilities enabled by SmartClinic have greatly benefited patient care in terms of waiting time.”
SmartClinic is helping the team save valuable time, minimize delays and optimize patient care – and patients are taking notice. “Patients realize the attention we give them has begun to flow better. It takes less time for registration and to complete questionnaires. All of the capabilities enabled by SmartClinic have greatly benefited patient care in terms of waiting time,” says Ramirez Estudillo.
“When we share with patients the information we have on the computer in our weekly consults, they feel more comfortable,” notes Dr. De la Mata. “They like that I can show them the tablet and explain how radiotherapy works.”
“There’s minimal risk of losing a record or missing a file,” says Sánchez. “With SmartClinic, it’s a simple process. You open the application, and everything you need is just a few clicks away.”
Advancing radiotherapy in Latin America
For Dr. De la Mata, her department’s digital transformation represents a new era for radiotherapy in Latin America. “We were ready to do things the same way they’re doing them in developed countries. With SmartClinic, we can treat patients faster and more efficiently. It’s very powerful and useful in our clinic.”
“With SmartClinic, we can treat patients faster and more efficiently. It’s very powerful and useful in our clinic.”
To learn more about SmartClinic, click here.