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INFINITT Cardiology PACS Cuts Costs, Turnaround and Patient Wait ... | 2010-9-10

INFINITT Cardiology PACS Cuts Costs, Turnaround and Patient Wait Times at Warren Hospital, New Jersey

When Angela Collins was promoted to the position of Administrative Director of Radiology and Cardiovascular Services at Warren Hospital, she had a daunting task in front of her. The hospital had recently contracted with INFINITT North America for the INFINITT Cardiology PACS, a web-based suite of clinical and reporting tools for Cardiology,

Warren Hospital is a 214-bed, not-for-profit community hospital located in Phillipsburg, NJ, and an INFINITT customer since 2002. Radiology made the move to digital image management withS mart PACS and upgraded to INFINITT’s G3 PACS in 2007, so Angela witnessed the conversion from a film and paper-based environment to a filmless and mostly paperless one. But Cardiology has different workflow issues, not to mention monthly reporting and stringent accreditation requirements. They also had cardiologists and vascular surgeons that liked their cine loops on analog video tape, and were none too eager to make a change.

But all’s well that ends well. INFINITT Cardiology PACS went live in the summer of ’09 and, by Angela’s account, has had a profoundly positive impact on the entire hospital -- for the medical staff, the technical staff and for patient flow.

Clinicians can now view a patient’s radiology and cardiology images from the same workstation with a single sign on. They can compare vascular studies with CT Angiography, for example, or pull up multiple modalities at the C-PACS workstation. The technologists can see from the worklist if other types of studies have been done, and then assess a previous exam to locate regions of interest. Advantages like these reduce exam and patient wait times, and boost throughput to help generate additional revenue.

The system has also resulted in significant cost reductions, eliminating the cost of video tape, reducing offsite storage costs and saving $30,000 annually by eliminating transcription. Report turnaround time, which had been as long as 3-4 weeks for vascular studies, is now less than one day. Electronic signature has helped streamline workflow, and sophisticated report templates with auto-population of data have reduced errors and vastly improved data management.

One cardiologist, Arthur Popkave, MD, commented on how impressed he was with the ability to access and read studies while vacationing in Utah. From an administrative viewpoint, Angela most appreciates being able to pool data and analyze it for resource management, staffing and budget decisions.

“We now have monthly statistical reports tracking exam volume, number of exams per technologist, and other things we used to count manually,” says Angela. “The INFINITT Cardiology PACS has cut the time it takes for accreditation/re-accreditation drastically. I‘m able to pull together the data I need for ICAVL accreditation more quickly, and I’m now planning to apply for first-time Echo Lab accreditation through ICAEL.”

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