Professor Bart Sijnave, Chief Information Officer at UZ Gent, explained: "Like many global health care providers, the push is to reduce the duration of stays, increasing the focus on the chain of information and ensuring that patient care is enhanced through good communication and the appropriate level of care provided by the right professional."
Professor Sijnave continued: "We've worked with PACS in Radiology for the last five years, and now there is no film used anywhere in the hospital - even surgery is completed using digital imaging. We decided we needed a central storage system, one where all multimedia could be deposited, easily accessed, and shared, regardless of the department from which it originated."
As the largest single campus university hospital in Belgium, UZ Gent employs six thousand people, housing 1062 patient beds. The hospital focuses on the number of patients cared for and the throughput of day patients - in 2008 the hospital completed more than 101.000 procedures. The continuation of this upward trend will rely on optimised care being provided at every stage of patient recovery.
UZ Gent wanted the ability to store multimedia and emerging imaging technology. Professor Sijnave needed a hospital-wide system that was more than just a bolted together jumble of software; it needed to be able to communicate with every caregiver, to be able to share information using a vendor-independent platform and the system it chose had to support that efficiently, moulding itself to the working practices at UZ Gent.
Carestream Health has designed a renowned data work flow engine that is now at work in some of the biggest health maintenance organisations and hospitals in the world. This made it the obvious choice for Professor Sijnave. At UZ Gent the PACS will hook up over 40 different departments to one clinical archive. The enterprise-wide system will simplify IT administrative functions and reduce cost, delivering a multi-tier repository for industry-standard data such as XDS, XDS-1, DICOM, HL7 as well as other non-DICOM objects.
Carestream started the project by setting up five pilot departments and built from that to enable all 40 departments access to the Clinical Data Archive (CDA). The archive will provide a single access point to clinical images and other stored clinical information including images, video clips, laboratory results and biopsy results.
UZ Gent is building a truly unique care model. Networked to 12 other hospitals, all able to access the technology platform, it has created a secure information and image exchange that has no reliance on geographical location. This efficient system is open and yet incredibly secure, supporting the best methods of patient care.
Professor Bart Sijnave describe his vision: "Patient care will increasingly involve a multi-discipline approach, with teams working together to provide the most comprehensive care package possible. The theory sounds easy but in practice has traditionally broken down due to poor information exchange, particularly with the sharing of patient records."
Having worked through the various issues associated with sharing information, UZ Gent is well placed to head up the move to a national and international platform where patient care can be completely transformed through the use of fast and efficient data sharing.
The Indian Health Care Resource Center (IHCRC) is converting from film and paper to an all-digital work flow as part of an expansion that will nearly double the size of the main clinic to 52.000 square feet. IHCRC houses 130 health care professionals including 47 licensed providers comprised of physicians, dentists, optometrists, dieticians, psychologists, social workers and others that handle more than 100.000 patient visits a year.
"The new digital imaging system and RIS/PACS will allow us to improve our on-site work flow and communicate electronically with remote radiologists. Imaging studies can be easily accessed at on-site workstations and radiology reports will be available within a day instead of the lengthy process required to courier film images", stated Carmelita Skeeter, Chief Executive Officer of the IHCRC.
A DR 7500 system provides high-resolution images in seconds, speeding the exam process and eliminating the delay required to process film. "Since the Bucky comes out of the table, we will gain enhanced positioning for a variety of exams including extremities, standing feet and patella exams, as well as decubitus views of the chest to check for fluid in the lungs", reported Karen McAhren, AART, radiology supervisor at IHCRC.
In the past, film studies from the centre would be driven across town each day for reading by Diagnostic Imaging Associates' radiologists at Oklahoma State University of Tulsa. Now digital imaging studies and radiology reports will be communicated electronically.
"After evaluating several RIS/PACS systems, we selected Carestream Health's solution because it combines highly advanced features with ease of use", stated Eddie Hathcoat, the centre's Chief Operating Officer. "The RIS will improve the efficiency of patient scheduling and clinical access to patient information, while the PACS will enable physicians to view reports and imaging studies from multiple workstations."
The clinic previously had a single reading room, which made it difficult for physicians to view film studies simultaneously due to space constraints. IHCRC also ordered a CARESTREAM DRYVIEW 5850 Laser Imager to allow patients to carry their film exams to health care providers that do not have digital display capabilities.
The Indian Health Care Resource Center of Tulsa Inc. (IHCRC) provides quality, comprehensive health care to Tulsa area Indian people. IHCRC is a comprehensive not-for-profit health care facility, governed by a local volunteer Board of Trustees. It provides medical, health education, dental, optometry, behavioural health, chemical dependency, HIV/AIDS prevention and pharmacy services directly to the Tulsa Indian community. Quality health care is provided on a sliding scale fee basis. Members of any federally recognized tribe and their children under the age of 18 are eligible to receive care. No one is refused services due to inability to pay.
Carestream Health is a worldwide provider of dental and medical imaging systems and health care IT solutions; molecular imaging systems for the life science research and drug discovery/development market segments; and x-ray film and digital x-ray products for the non-destructive testing market. More company news is available in the VMW May 2010 article Carestream Health to play active role in molecular imaging and radiography.