Integrated RIS/PACS Offers Efficiency, Accuracy and Speed


Maria Parham Medical Center Integrated PACS/RISWith 800 physicians and support staff, multiple remote facilities, and an image and information volume of a hospital twice its size, it might seem unlikely that a medical center could go live with an integrated RIS/PACS in less than 45 days.

But with efficiency, accuracy and speed, the staff at Maria Parham Medical Center and the McKesson implementation team were able to accomplish just that.

In May 2009, the hospital in Henderson, N.C. officially implemented the Horizon Medical Imaging Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS). The system is part of a larger healthcare IT investment and lays the foundation for an Electronic Health Record (EHR). In addition, the hospital is live on the Paragon HIS from McKesson and is implementing the Paragon suite of clinical systems and a McKesson document imaging system for electronic patient records.

It’s appropriate that the implementation team worked with efficiency, accuracy and speed to take the system live—because that’s exactly what the integrated RIS/PACS is providing for physicians and staff today.

The system allows quick access to patient images and reports at multiple remote-care facilities, as well as throughout the 102-bed acute-care hospital.

Before implementing the PACS, the hospital had several requirements. It needed:

  • A way to streamline difficult and inefficient processes
  • A flexible, scalable PACS that could meet the demands on a constantly evolving market
  • A system that would provide the highest level of physician and patient satisfaction

The new integrated RIS/PACS has improved efficiency, accuracy and safety at the hospital by ensuring:

  • All information needed to give an accurate diagnosis is provided, including patient history, previous images, surgery, contrast and route.
  • Physicians can view a patient’s history prior to his or her radiology exam, which is crucial for patient safety.
  • Technologist, radiologist and physician workflow is quicker and more efficient.

PACS Efficiencies: A Before and After Snapshot

Before: Radiologists had to retrieve archived images and load them to various workstations to compare and report studies.

After: The hospital now has access to all medical images and reports as part of an enterprise-wide EHR. With access from any location, physicians no longer have to wait on patient information to make a diagnosis. They are able to provide diagnoses more quickly and efficiently.

Before: Radiologist productivity and workflow was stifled. As a result, physician satisfaction was negatively impacted.

After: Physician referrals are up. The hospital reports that patient care and safety have been enhanced, as well.

Suggest additional case studies to appear on the McKesson Medical Imaging Blog below.

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