Editor’s Note: This article was recently published by DotMed Healthcare Business News and is reprinted here with permission.
Making the transition to new and better technology can be a difficult process fraught with unexpected problems that can challenge any successful rollout. Through careful planning and an understanding of the possible challenges presented during an implementation, your organization can achieve success.
Radiology Regional Center’s successful implementation of McKesson Radiology Mammography Plus ™ was a case study in how understanding the infrastructure needed to support technology can lead to a successful rollout.
Radiology Regional Center is a busy imaging center performing more than 70,000 mammograms annually out of 300,000 total exams. Our organization has nine satellite offices of which seven perform digital breast tomosynthesis and two are batch reading sites. We have five diagnostic offices and two mobile mammography units.
In 2011 we began the conversion from our legacy specialty mammography workstations to McKesson Radiology with Mammography Plus. We felt the solution was designed to meet the demands of a fast-paced diagnostic environment like ours. It also offered a wide range of advanced radiology workflow protocols, all available to radiologists in a native PACS setting.
As we prepared for the conversion, we recognized the need to upgrade our data storage and bandwidth. This process included increasing our reading station memory to 24 gigabytes of available memory. We also expanded our data storage capacity to accommodate large tomosynthesis images. With large files, data storage space and bandwidth are critical factors. Before implementing tomosynthesis, it’s important to evaluate your own infrastructure and upgrade as needed to accommodate the new technology. Viewing tomo images requires 64 bit workstations – even for viewing by technologists and ancillary staff.
In advance of our rollout we were also ready with detailed hanging protocols. While it was difficult to have our 30 radiologists agree on standard hanging protocols, developing these ahead of time made for a seamless transition for our radiologists and proved to be a significant time saver and was well worth the effort. To us it was important because a set of single site protocols is more easily managed and pushed out to all users at one time. It saves the time and organizational expense of logging into each station and individually adjusting protocols.
We rolled out our new system slowly as each user received training. During that time we kept our legacy viewers until the transition was complete and the breast tomosynthesis objects (BTO) could be read on our McKesson Radiology systems.
Once we were up and running we discovered that reading times were considerably improved with all data and images in one place. Our detailed display protocols ensure the radiologists never have to stop looking at the monitors; they simply press their next stage button to view each study and its related priors.
Our implementation of McKesson Radiology Mammography Plus proceeded without issue and the result was not just greater efficiency and enhanced workflow, but satisfied radiologists and in our opinion, improved patient outcomes. This was one implementation that was a win for everyone.
If you are planning on attending SIIM 2016 in Portland next week and would like to learn more about mammography, join us for a panel discussion on Breast Tomosynthesis: Challenges and Solutions (Thursday, June 30th, 4:15pm – 5:15pm, Portland Ballroom 255) or stop by McKesson booth #309 to talk to our specialists.