Rochester RHIO goes live with eHealthConnect Image Exchange to automate community-wide access of radiology studies

Rocheser 12 March 2009Rochester RHIO, the area's regional health information organisation, implemented eHealth Global Technologies' (eHGT) eHealthConnect Image Exchange service to automate access to patient images across the participating health care institutions. The service integrates with Rochester RHIO's Axolotl Corporation's Elysium health information exchange (HIE) system and connects to the PACS imaging services at eight radiology providers. Lakeside Memorial Hospital is the first health provider integrated into the eHealthConnect Image Exchange.


"Early on in the RHIO development, we recognized the importance of including imaging as an integral part of shared patient data across the Greater Rochester region to provide improved patient-centric care", stated Ted Kremer, executive director of the Rochester RHIO. "The Image Exchange from eHealth Global will improve access to patient images, including CT, MRI, X-Ray, and Ultrasound exams; it will reduce duplicate procedures which add unnecessary health care costs and exposure to radiation; and it will reduce the associated costs of managing and distributing that data across the region."

eHealthConnect Image Exchange utilizes a unique approach to sharing images that simplifies IT deployment, keeps ownership of imaging with the Radiology providers, and is more cost-effective than a centralized deployment. In addition to automating access to images, the Image Exchange will cache 30 days of exams as well as providing the ability to pull older exams on-demand. eHGT's eHealthViewer, a single viewer with full diagnostic quality viewing, image processing and measurements, will be used by clinicians to view the radiology exams selected from within the web-based Elysium HIE system.

"We are excited to be at the forefront of implementing an image exchange that allows us to share images with all participating clinicians throughout the Rochester RHIO", stated John Schrenker, chief information officer of Lakeside Health System. "Providers connected to the Rochester RHIO can now enhance their referral process with Lakeside Health System by being able to access Radiology reports and images from Lakeside, immediately upon their availability, regardless of the location of the clinician. As a result, our patients are assured that their care providers will have all the information needed at the point-of-care to either diagnose or provide treatment. The eHealthConnect Image Exchange is a cost-effective method of distributing patient images throughout the community that will also help us raise the standard of care, reduce costs associated with duplicate exams, and lead to a more efficient patient care delivery model."

The Image Exchange servers and data storage are housed in a tier-1, HIPAA-compliant data centre, and all information is distributed via a virtual private network (VPN). At each radiology provider site, eHGT deployed an "edge server" that communicates with the provider's PACS via DICOM query/retrieve and does not impact user licenses or Web performance of the PACS. Health care standards and web services are fundamental to the architecture.

"This is the first image exchange of its kind in the country, and as a result it will enable participating facilities and physicians to provide a higher standard of care by ubiquitous sharing of patient images across an entire health care community", stated Ken Rosenfeld, president and chief technology officer, eHealth Global. "This level of access to images will help reduce duplicate testing and the risk of mistakes, and enable participating facilities to better utilize radiology resources. Rochester RHIO is a benchmark for RHIOs and HIEs across the country for exchanging of images in a useful and functional manner."

eHGT is medical record retrieval and electronic delivery service provider, currently serving 20 percent of the United States' top 100 hospitals. eHGT's services eHealthConnect, eHealthConnect Image Exchange, eHealthConnect for Clinical Trials, and eHealthRetriever help patients, medical centres, clinical departments, communities, and clinical trials organisations improve productivity, reduce waste, and improve patient care. Each service utilizes innovative information technology to retrieve medical records and images of all formats and securely deliver them to health care providers or an individual's Personal Health Record. eHGT's world-class clinical customer support team collects and manages patient data regardless of the source and format of the data.

Rochester RHIO, the regional health information organisation, is a secure electronic health information exchange available to authorized medical providers in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties. The service allows a medical care team to share records across institutions and practices, making patient information available wherever and whenever needed to provide the best care. Patients benefit from fewer repeated tests, easier second opinions, a reduced risk of mistakes caused by poor handwriting or incomplete records, and more informed care during office visits and emergencies.

Lakeside Health System in Brockport, New York, a 181-bed health care system serving residents in western Monroe, eastern Orleans and northern Genesee counties, is comprised of Lakeside Memorial Hospital, Lakeside Beikirch Care Center, Lakeside Child Care Center, Lakeside Foundation and the Daisy Marquis Jones Family Wellness Center. Lakeside Memorial Hospital is a JHACO accredited facility and a designated New York State Stroke Center. The Health System is consistently recognized for its quality practices and its focus on patient satisfaction and safety, and continues to expand its wide range of specialty services.

Source: eHealth Global Technologies

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