Children’s Radiology Department Relies on a PACS to Treat the Tiniest Patients

2009-10-21
 

Children's Radiology DepartmentIt’s the responsibility of all hospitals and healthcare organizations to ensure patient safety and comfort. But as physicians and staff at children’s radiology centers can attest, treating the smallest patients requires an entirely new level of care.

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center of Omaha in Nebraska understands the unique challenges of treating young children: the inability to verbally describe symptoms, the difficultly of remaining still for an extended period of time and the general trepidation of medical procedures. To put their tiny patients at ease, the children’s radiology department uses a mix of simple techniques and advanced technology, including a state-of-the-art Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS).

To create an unintimidating environment, the radiology department decorates its rooms and medical equipment with colorful lights, stuffed animals and decorations. But to calm patients’ fears and get them home more quickly, it relies on advanced medical imaging technology to provide faster evaluations and results. The children’s radiology department recently implemented a PACS, along with other radiological imaging advances, that allow physicians to deliver exam results within 4 hours—30 minutes in emergency situations.

The Children’s Radiology Department’s Road to PACS
The need for a PACS was evident:

1. Children’s Hospital of Omaha is the only pediatric specialty healthcare center in Nebraska. It accepts patients from an expansive region, from Iowa to Kansas.

2. The hospital had a large number of remote clinics—25 specialty clinics and 8 outreach clinics—that lacked access to the main hospital’s radiology department.

3. Referring physicians had no access to patient images and records throughout the vast region.

Children's Hospital & Medical Center of Omaha

Children's Hospital & Medical Center of Omaha

The hospital chose a system consisting of the McKesson HorizonWP® Physician Portal, Horizon Medical Imaging™ and Horizon Rad Station™ for its children’s radiology department. It offers a single sign-on gateway with:

  • Secure access to inpatient and outpatient information
  • The ability to personalize views based on a physician’s preferences
  • Immediate access to patient results

The implementation team was able to shut off all film in less than 2 weeks, and within 2 months, the facility was 100% filmless. While putting patients and their parents at ease is one immeasurable benefit of the system, the measurable gains include:

  • A significant decrease in radiology report turnaround times to less than 30 minutes
  • A 40% increase in imaging study volumes within 6 months

Best of all, the system has been able to expand with the hospital’s growing needs. Since initial implementation, new studies have been made available on the PACS, including 3-foot scoliosis images from digital radiography. In the future, voice recognition and OrthoView orthopedic pediatric templates may be added to the PACS, as well.

Learn more by reading a full case study of this PACS implementation.

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