A Large Urban Integrated Health Network Realizes Productivity from a Unified Worklist
When Rochester General Health System was planning updates to their older multi-site, multi-archive distributed PACS, the IT department recognized an opportunity to implement an enterprise architecture across their eight clinically integrated affiliates. The IT department identified unnecessary redundancy across multiple departmental archives, including network demands and additional maintenance and support costs. Current clinical workflow needs were being minimally addressed, but were not sufficient to support the organization’s evolving needs and growing imaging volumes. The IT department implemented a best-of-breed solution by leveraging existing relationships with their IT hardware and virtual machine (VM) vendor. A single, unified Rad/Card PACS was implemented, with a virtualized Vendor Neutral Archive providing long-term online storage for 230,000 studies annually, from two hospitals and four outpatient imaging facilities. The VNA implementation accommodates future plans to store non-DICOM clinical information in addition to the current DICOM image data. Operational and cost benefits for the IT and support departments also enabled reallocation of resources to other projects.
Consolidation of the Rochester Health System infrastructure occurred in conjunction with an assessment of enterprise clinical viewing needs across the enterprise. Clinical viewing consolidation was achieved using a zero-download viewer for enhanced access to the information stored on the VNA. This unified approach also leveraged other enterprise security measures, such as LDAP, which were already in place. Clinical information on the VNA is also available for viewing via the system-wide Electronic Medical Record (EMR), so clinicians’ decision-making and productivity benefit from ready access to required clinical-imaging information. Clinicians can also access key images, reports or the entire imaging study, from a single, familiar clinical viewer, enabling faster responses to clinical needs and greater focus on delivering high-quality care. Chuck O’Brien, RIS/PACS Administrator at Rochester General Health Systems, reported, “Our unified approach to IT system consolidation and simplification enabled our radiologists to more quickly access historical studies on PACS, as all information is now online. Radiologist productivity, decision support and clinical learning have all benefited from easy access to historical information.”