Maximizing Imaging Value
Has your facility undertaken a Hospital Information System (HIS)/Radiology Information System (RIS) conversion project in the past? If so, you understand the complexities of this type of project and the interdependencies that exist between the HIS/RIS and the other downstream radiology systems. So what is the best course of action to ensure a successful project? Many facilities set themselves up for success by starting the planning and testing process early. This article will help guide you through the HIS/RIS conversion project as it specifically relates to the downstream enterprise medical imaging system. This will help you plan for the required changes and allow you to focus on the new HIS/RIS, not the other downstream systems.
When an injured child comes into the ED, no one wants to wait a minute longer than necessary for the radiology report, especially if there’s a suspicion of child abuse. At Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, NE, such cases regularly present themselves, yet radiology studies often took an hour or longer from exam completion to report dictation.
When I joined Children’s radiology department in 2009, I was tasked with decreasing that turnaround time to 15 minutes. My team and I knew such a drastic reduction would require a strategic approach rather than a tactical one. Simply upgrading equipment or eliminating bottlenecks would not be enough — every process and system would have to be optimized to the highest level to meet the goal.
Just as a car needs a tune-up to run well, complex systems like picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) need frequent adjustment. Unfortunately, many facilities neglect to perform periodic system reviews after the initial installation, other than required software updates and upgrades. That can be a missed opportunity in terms of efficient workflow and optimized storage.
You have a working disaster recovery plan for your diagnostic imaging department that you revisit often, don’t you? An informal poll taking during a recent McKesson Enterprise Medical Imaging webinar showed that four out of five respondents did have a DR plan that included radiology and cardiology systems. So that’s a great start.
But does the plan cover what it needs to cover? Keep in mind these five issues as you develop a disaster recovery plan for the first time or revisit an existing plan.
Although the financial impact of downtime certainly is important, in the eyes of executives it often pales in comparison to the potential for negative publicity and possible community impact.
That’s one of the three surprising keys to healthcare disaster recovery that Robert Giffin, CBCP, CISA, noted during the recent McKesson webinar “Resiliency Services – Disaster Recovery in Healthcare.”
“People obsess most about the financial impact, but ultimately, estimating the financial impact of downtime results in a series of estimates and guesses,” says Giffin, director and co-founder of Avalution Consulting, a provider of business continuity and IT disaster recovery consulting services. “Most decisions to invest in DR at the executive level are made based on a gut feeling for the reputation and community impact risk involved.”