Improving Image, Data Access Via Web-based Cardiac PACS

Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The need to improve integration between medical equipment and healthcare systems is an increasing issue in the increasingly interconnected medical field. This is particularly the case about U.S. healthcare reform requirements and the requirement for meaningful use and new regulations that require integration of software to get reimbursement by CMS. The doctors are trained to treat patients rather than tackle IT integration issues. Moreover, many are concerned about accessing the information they require on the Internet from any location on their smartphones or personal computers. In the past, this degree of connectivity was impossible for healthcare IT systems. In the last couple of years, companies have addressed this problem by launching Web-based software systems that allow access from anywhere using secure, encrypted HIPAA Internet connections.

The popularity of Web-based software first emerged with radiology image archiving and communication systems (PACS). However, the trend has been extended to cardiovascular information systems (CVIS — also known as heart PACS). Web-based software offers several benefits over conventional thick-client servers-based systems. They include:

The system can be accessed available from any device, computer or mobile using Web access.

Eliminates the requirement for hard drives on every computer to keep versions of the program since the software is stored on a central server, accessible via the Web.

Easy to maintain because software updates are made via the central server, eliminating the requirement to install new software on each computer used as the cardiology workstation.

  • Allows for more accessible external links to images and data outside the cardiology department and provides access to the data within a patient’s electronic medical records (EMR) or remote access for doctors who refer patients to external clinics or offices and health information exchanges between other institutions.
  • Provides doctors with access to information, images report waveforms, and other information remote from their workstations to achieve more efficiency.
  • Allows innovative ways of working by allowing reports to be prepared during patient visits or other procedures, no matter the doctor’s location. It also provides tablet devices instead of a clipboard or to connect to computers during rounds.
  • Web-based platforms help to unify multiple software systems in one unified CVIS with a single access point.

Improving Access

Southern Regional Medical Center (SRMC) is a 331-bed full-service hospital managed through Emory Healthcare, located in Riverdale, Ga., a suburb within Atlanta that was able to implement Agfa Healthcare’s Impax CV12 in August 2013. The hospital went live with a brand new Meditech EMR just a month later, and it included links to the latest cardiology CVIS. The unique combination has dramatically improved the compatibility between these systems. The hospital had previously used Agfa to manage its radiology PACS but sought to increase compatibility using the Agfa cardiac Web based PACS. The system allows the cardiology team at the hospital comprised of more than 80 personnel to gain access to the entire history of a patient’s cardiovascular health. For more information about fashion, click to fubar news that would be the right place for you.

“For the first time our cardiovascular department can seamlessly consult a patient’s medical history alongside images generated within cardiology and radiology to get a complete, real-time picture of the person’s condition,” said Marcia Frye, director of cardiovascular services at SRMC. “Though less than a year since going live, we are already realizing significant improvements in clinician workflow efficiency, standardized reporting and overall patient care management; all of which we anticipate will translate into a cost savings of $700,000 over the next five years.”

Frye added that the system decreased the IT support required to support regular software updates. “The benefit of a Web-based system is to make it more available to users, reduce the compatibility issues, and not have to load software on each individual computer,” she added.

It also allows access to the system from anywhere with mobile devices. “The physicians like the ability to access the system anywhere using a mobile device,” said Melissa Bergmann, cardiac business support analyst at SRMC. “We now have a couple of doctors who use tablets to perform their work instead of a computer.

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