Heartlab's Encompass system to deliver filmless imaging at Indiana's top cardiac centre

Westerly 20 October 2000St. Vincent Hospital, a top cardiac centre in Indiana, successfully has installed Heartlab Inc.'s Encompass Cardiac Network. The Encompass system at St. Vincent's provides filmless data management for cardiac x-ray examinations, providing physicians with immediate access to data needed to diagnose cardiovascular disease. The Encompass system utilises Heartlab's state-of-the-art DVD Image Archive, enabling the hospital to store more than 28.000 examinations in a space which is no larger than a small refrigerator, and retrieve an archived examination in less than 30 seconds.

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The new Encompass Cardiac Network creates a central cardiac image repository for the entire St. Vincent Hospital. The network connects eight catheterisation labs, which are representing a mixture of Toshiba and Philips equipment, and enables doctors to access patients' angiograms from diagnostic review stations on the hospital's local area network (LAN). The installation at St. Vincent includes a Windows NT server which can provide immediate access to 1800 on-line cases, as well as a 42.300-case DVD image archive for long-term image storage.

Eighteen network-connected review stations are strategically placed across the hospital to increase physicians' access to patient data and improve the work flow for the operation. St. Vincent Hospital's 87 cardiologists and 22 cardiovascular surgeons perform more than 12.000 cardiac catheterisation procedures per year. The institution is recognised by the U.S. News & World Report as having one of the top cardiology programmes in the nation, and has been named by HCIA Inc. as one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. for interventional cardiology.

"Heartlab's Encompass system is an essential advance, which allows instantaneous access to visual information in a new nationally standardised format", stated St. Vincent Hospital cardiologist Charles Orr, M.D. "This will significantly improve our capability for consultation on both local and off-site cases." "The Heartlab system provides rapidly accessible, high-quality visual images in a CD DICOM format", added cardiologist Cass Pinkerton, M.D. "In addition, the availability of on-line Quality Control Assessment could potentially provide a more accurate usage of equipment and perhaps cost savings by decreasing the amount of devices used on interventional cases."

"It is an improvement that we have been longing for", stated Ron Landin, M.D., another St. Vincent Hospital cardiologist. "Heartlab will allow practitioners to share accurate data from great distances, in very short periods of time." Encompass, the leading cardiac imaging network system in use today, connects to all major cardiac x-ray and ultrasound systems using the industry-standard DICOM communications protocol. The system provides instantaneous access to several thousand diagnostic cardiac catheterisation or echocardiography cases, that are stored on the Encompass Enterprise Server, and access in less than 30 seconds to more than 70.000 cases from the Encompass DVD Image Archive. Heartlab's DVD archive is ten times faster than competing technologies.

St. Vincent Hospital is one of dozens of leading heart centres in the United States implementing Heartlab's patent pending DVD technology. This marks a significant trend in the filmless cardiac imaging market to adopt DVD as the standard for long-term image archiving. DVDs provide reliable, secure data storage with a shelf life of more than 100 years. At current capacities, one DVD can store approximately 20 DICOM standard angiograms, and each Encompass DVD Image Archive manages several hundred DVDs. The cases stored on the DVD-R disks in Heartlab's archive can be viewed at any PC, providing a cost-effective, non-proprietary data medium.

Founded in 1994 and based in Rhode Island, Heartlab Inc. specialises in the development of cardiac imaging software and the integration of cardiac imaging network systems. Since 1997, the company has installed more than 800 imaging workstations worldwide. Currently, Heartlab's cardiac archiving network system manages a volume of more than 600.000 patient cases at leading heart institutions around the globe. Ranked at position 145 on this year's Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing firms, Heartlab's growth and success in delivering filmless medical imaging networks are unparalleled within the industry.


Leslie Versweyveld

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