Altmark clinics in Salzwedel and Gardelegen to select the VEPRO PACS system

Pfungstadt 20 October 2004For modern hospitals and practices the step into the digital future with a strong cost reduction in film consumption and a more efficient work flow in all specialized divisions has become indispensable. Especially in the radiology department digital image management (PACS) systems, which are individually structured, inexpensive, reliable and state-of-the-art, are not to exclude any more. For these reasons the Altmark clinic GmbH with locations in Salzwedel and Gardelegen decided to introduce a PACS solution and selected the progressive technology of the VEPRO AG. After the Altmark clinic in Salzwedel during a short time live operation could convince itself of the advantages of the VEPRO PACS for the image/film acquisition, processing, archiving and findings, now also the clinical centre Gardelegen is equipped with the innovative VEPRO PACS. Over 90 percent of film saving after only a small running time, a sensational price-performance ratio, the realization of all promises and the smooth work flow corresponding to the IHE guidelines in the clinical centre Salzwedel constituted the best references for the clinical centre Gardelegen. with the decision for VEPRO.

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As an international manufacturer and provider of medical IT management systems, VEPRO offers the crucial advantages, which are of importance to both the Altmark hospitals by realizing such comprehensive projects. With competent consultation and project planning, all-comprehensive service as well as the holistic quality certification of the VEPRO PACS as a medical device of the class IIb and according to ISO 9001, EN ISO 13485 and FDA, VEPRO guarantees the legal and competent basis for the successful implementation of individual and safe IT solutions.

Because of the IHE and HL7 compliant system implementation of a VEPRO PACS in the hospital Salzwedel the past analogue work flow could be digitized within the shortest time and all existing analogue working modalities such as ultrasonoscopes, C-Bogen, video towers and other devices could be integrated without interface restrictions with the DICOM Modality Worklist management. VEPRO is focusing on proprietary economical solutions such as diagnostic stations with parallel video acquisition to connect the analogue non-DICOM modalities. Even the not DICOM compatible CT was economically connected with the help of the intelligent VEPRO components.

To perfect the work flow the information systems RIS (GAP) and KIS (SAP) became completely integrated. New information or data changes in one information system (IS) are transferred via HL7 interfaces independently to all other IS and to the PACS. All acquired data are stored in the medical DICOM standard format in the PACS archive. The advantage of this standardization is obvious: the VEPRO PACS is able to exchange data with all already existing IT systems or modalities, which are available across departments and systems in the clinical centre. Each authorized physician cannot only retrieve images and films from the PACS, but also download pertinent findings, laboratory reports or other case referred information from other IS clinic wide.

In addition a linkage between images and findings from different information systems is provided automatically and presented to the user as a unity by this intelligent IT technology. Thus all important patient information is available in seconds to the authorized persons in the entire hospital on all hospital PCs unrestrictedly. VEPRO is focused on proven data security technologies, which guarantee the highest security with the greatest user-friendliness.

The chief radiologist of the hospital Salzwedel, Mrs. Dr. Lang, expressed herself enthousiastically about the successful PACS decision: "The VEPRO company with its PACS promised us not too much. This integrated, digital information transfer today offers a smooth, digital and safe work routine with immense work time saving to the hospital Salzwedel, all to the benefit of the patients. Within the shortest time we could reduce our film costs by 90 percent thanks to the VEPRO PACS, which means that no more film must be used hospital-internally. From the saving of the high x-ray film costs, which can be between two and four euro per patient, both the patient and the hospital benefit."

"All modalities and subsystems were integrated by the unrestricted interface compatibility of the system and the clinical centre through the system standardisation enjoys the best possible manufacturer independence. In summary, I can only say that all conditions from the contract specifications are fulfilled to our absolute satisfaction", concluded Dr. Lang.

Now that the entire hospital in Salzwedel already works successfully with the PACS, the implementation of a VEPRO PACS is also planned as the next step in the radiological department of the hospital Gardelegen, combined with a telecommunication solution for the MRT area. For the hospital Gardelegen especially the clearly defined data exchange oriented at the work flow, the open architecture, the long life cycles of the system components and the rapid cost savings through the film reduction were convincing arguments.

"Salzwedel was the perfect example of a successful PACS implementation. We too are highly satisfied with the work and the product of the VEPRO company. Our expectations were more than fulfilled with regard to simplicity, functionality and cost reduction. Therefore we decided to use the VEPRO concept also for Gardelegen. On the short term, we therefor plan a cost reduction for both hospitals, faster work flows and an effective, mutual support of both hospitals via telecommunication within the area of the radiology", explained the president of the Altmark clinic gGmbH, Dr. Burghard.

Starting from Janurary 1, 2005 the PACS also in Gardelegen will go into live operation. The MRT is jointly used by both hospitals. To guarantee a smooth connection and data transmission of the two hospitals over a distance of 45 km, VEPRO created the connection of a multi-client-enabled PACS solution to the GAP-IT RIS, used by both hospitals and will realize the planned bi-directional telecommunication solution by means of a 2MBit dedicated line. Thus all data are always there, where they are needed. For example, if a patient of Salzwedel comes to Gardelegen to undergo an MRT examination, then the entire patient history is already present in the KIS, RIS and if necessary in the PACS.

After the examination and acquisition of the results the images of the MRTs are not only stored in the PACS in Gardelegen, but also sent in fully automatic way by modern auto-routing-mechanisms to pre-defined departments in Salzwedel. If the patient, after the examination in Gardelegen, now needs to be operated in Salzwedel, then the images of the MRT investigation are sent self-contained from the PACS to the Salzwedel operation room and are there already in seconds available to the surgeon.

"The implementation of a PACS in the emergency care of two hospitals of this size with analogue work flow is an exciting challenge for each IT manufacturer. We are pleased that we could fulfil all requirements in the Altmark clinic hospital Salzwedel and now in the second phase also are able to equip the hospital Gardelegen with a VEPRO solution. We will solve the tasks encountered there just as successfully", according to the VEPRO AG.

More company news is available in this VMW issue's article Hospital Munich Perlach starts being digital with VEPRO.


Leslie Versweyveld

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