Heartlab's Encompass for cardiac image and information management selected by Trillium Health Centre and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System

New Orleans 08 March 2004Trillium Health Centre, a Canadian health care provider in Mississauga and Etobicoke, Ontario, has selected Heartlab's Encompass Cardiac Network to manage the enterprise-wide cardiology image and information management needs of its two sites. Implementing a cardiology image and information management system is part of a larger initiative by Trillium Health Centre to implement fully electronic health records. In addition, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston, Texas, has selected Heartlab's Encompass Cardiac Network to manage the enterprise-wide cardiology image and information management needs of its eight hospitals. The order marks a continuing trend for multi-hospital independent delivery care networks to purchase enterprise-wide cardiology image and information management systems.


"The transition to electronic health records will enable Trillium to realize clinical benefits, manage resources more effectively, and provide greater integration of patient data. It increases access to information which facilitates improvements in patient care", Wayne Mills, Vice President of Information Services, explained.

Trillium Health Centre is one of Canada's largest providers of cardiac care. In 2005, it is estimated to perform 7200 cardiac catheterization, 27.000 echocardiography, 6000 vascular and 5000 nuclear medicine exams. The Encompass system will enable exams from 2 cath labs, 6 ultrasound units and 4 nuclear cardiology systems across two sites to be accessible anywhere on the enterprise network, and will provide the most advanced cardiology information management available for digital patient data.

"Encompass offers a single patient-centric database that will give our physicians and staff fast access to critical information from a single workstation, saving time and easing communication", Director of Cardiac Services Lina Rinaldi, RN, BSCN, MN, stated.

The Encompass system will interface with an Agfa IMPAX system giving physicians access to radiology images and as well as cardiology information from a single workstation. The cardiology and radiology studies will be archived on a single enterprise-wide EMC Centera long-term storage system. "Heartlab's ability to store cardiology data on our EMC system enables us to utilize our existing data management infrastructure", stated Project Manager EIM Cris Gresser, RN/RDCS/FASE.

The Trillium Health Centre installation will include Encompass Web, a component of the Encompass network that supports a three-tier solution that gives users remote access to images over the organisation's secure Internet virtual private network (VPN). Heartlab's Results Management modules will enable physicians to create reports digitally while reviewing studies on-line.

The Encompass implementation at Trillium Health Centre will be completed in several phases with installation of the multimodality image management systems for both hospitals slated to begin in the second quarter of 2004. "Trillium Health Centre is on the leading edge of a new vision for health care information management. While cardiology PACS was previously viewed as a department-level solution, now it is seen as an important component of the overall enterprise-wide IT solution. Encompass is the one solution built to meet the sophisticated cardiology requirements of the new enterprise-wide information paradigm", stated Heartlab CEO Robert Petrocelli.

Trillium Health Centre is one of Canada's leading community hospitals, with expanding tertiary care programmes in Cardiac Care, Stroke, Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery. Serving over one million residents in Mississauga, South Etobicoke and from other communities across the province, Trillium has redefined the boundaries of community health care delivery. Housing a model ambulatory care centre, the busiest Emergency service in the country, and the largest free-standing day surgery centre in North America, the two-site facility is attracting international attention for its innovative approach to the provision of health care services.

Memorial Hermann Healthcare System currently performs 12.000 cardiac catheterization, 31.000 echocardiography, 5000 vascular and 3000 nuclear medicine exams annually. The Encompass database will manage information for over 500.000 patients from 17 cath labs, 26 ultrasound units and 3 nuclear medicine systems at eight hospitals, making it the largest and most comprehensive cardiology network Heartlab has developed to date.

"The ability of the Encompass System to connect all eight of our hospitals in a single patient-centric database will allow physicians and staff to easily gain access to critical information. It will provide a central point for data collection and reviewing of cardiac-related information. In addition, it will support the research needs of our facility", Manager of Non-invasive Cardiology for Memorial Hermann Hospital David Hileman stated.

The Encompass system will interface with a G.E. Centricity system giving physicians access to radiology images and as well as cardiology information from a single workstation. The cardiology and radiology studies will be archived on a single enterprise-wide EMC Centera long-term storage system. "Heartlab has been willing to work with Memorial Hermann Healthcare System to ensure that Encompass is a good fit for our technical infrastructure architecture", IT Architect Mike Romero explained.

Memorial Hermann Health System ordered Heartlab's Encompass system after an extensive selection process during which the independent firm was pitted against cath lab OEMs as well as a handful of independent cardiac PACS vendors. "Memorial Hermann Healthcare System conducted a very rigorous selection process to determine the vendor that would meet the goals set forth for our Cardiovascular strategy. Heartlab consistently met or exceeded all of the requirements that we set forth. In addition, the fact that the cofounder is a practising cardiologist has been a huge benefit in promoting this project among our cardiologists", Sr. Clinical Application Analyst Nicole Follansbee, RN, MSN, reported.

"It was apparent that Heartlab understood their technology from the moment data was entered to the final result. Not only was the solution focused on functionality, it was designed with a technical conscience", Network Solutions Senior Architect Marc Packard added.

"Heartlab was chosen because of their ability to connect to the variety of vendors that are in the MHHS facilities. They offer so much more than just an archival solution", Clinical Manager Cardiology and Neurology Services, and the Outpatient Testing Center for Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital Tracy McDonald, RN, stated. Among the Encompass features that made Heartlab the winner were its ability to handle the latest, 1024 x 1024 resolution high-quality diagnostic images, and its capacity to employ a variety of on-line storage options including SAN and NAS.

Director of Cardiopulmonary for Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital Ann Whiteside summarized: "There were three key reasons for choosing the Heartlab system: the open architecture that allowed for future upgrades and additions to the system without requiring major expense or effort, the ease of the system to allow the physicians to do their reporting and interpreting from remote sites without requiring the physician or us to expend dollars to upgrade current systems, and the ability of the system to allow an improvement of the continuum of care for the patient. During an exam, the cardiologist can notify a surgeon to remotely view the study, which decreases the time between diagnosis and treatment or surgical procedure."

The Memorial Hermann installation will include Encompass Web. Heartlab's Results Management modules will enable physicians to create reports digitally while reviewing studies on-line. "The appropriate staff and physicians can easily and readily access the information from any place and at any time the information is needed", AVP of Operations for Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital and Project Sponsor Shane Spees explained.

Further, with Encompass, Memorial Hermann will submit data electronically to the American College of Cardiology's (ACC) National Cardiac Data Registry (NCDR), saving time and increasing reimbursements. Memorial Hermann will use Heartlab's innovative Disaster Recovery option to create off-line copies of all archived cardiology data in standard DICOM format. Heartlab's unique approach to long-term data archiving on industry-standard DVD-R media will give Memorial Hermann system-independent access to their data. This avoids the need for expensive data conversion and gives the organisation the flexibility to utilize the technology of their choice in the future. Data from two legacy Camtronics Vericis and one Philips Inturis systems will be converted to Heartlab's DICOM DVD-R interchange format as part of the project.

The Encompass installation at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System will be a phased implementation, with the first three facilities, Hermann Hospital, Southeast Hospital and Southwest Hospital, slated to come on-line by summer 2004. The remaining five hospitals will join the system in late 2004 and early 2005.

"For Memorial Hermann Healthcare System (MHHS) the vision for our Cardiovascular programme is a system environment that will provide the management of images and clinical data from all of our cardiology service areas. We require our enterprise cardiovascular information system to be a comprehensive system that will assist in maintaining our high standards of patient care by automating clinical data capture, reporting, and streamlining the cardiac diagnostic and treatment processes across the patients' continuum of care. The Encompass solution offered by Heartlab will provide us with a system-wide, patient-centric image and data storage solution; a common reporting structure for all cardiology modalities; complete Web integration; automated benchmark reporting; and integration with our EMR, HIS, and CV imaging modalities. We are excited about partnering with Heartlab and about realizing the benefits that Encompass will bring to the Memorial Hermann cardiology programmes", David Bradshaw, VP Marketing, Communications, and CIO clarified.

Founded in 1994, Heartlab specializes in the development of cardiac imaging and information management software and the integration of cardiac imaging network systems. Heartlab's networks today are installed in more than 200 of the United States' leading heart centres. More news about Heartlab is available in the VMW September 2002 article Pitt County Memorial Hospital selects Heartlab's Encompass Cardiac Network for multi-modality image management.

Leslie Versweyveld

[Medical IT News][Calendar][Virtual Medical Worlds Community][News on Advanced IT]