Enterprise medical imaging solutions are the only way out for healthcare organizations confronted with an older PACS system. As reported by HealthIT Executive Forum, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH), a Memphis, Tennessee-based healthcare system of eight hospitals, faced just such a dilemma. They were concerned about being able to gear up for an enterprise medical imaging platform and vendor-neutral archive (VNA).
“I wanted our selection committee to consider that since both our cardiology and general PACS were put in place eight years ago, had the marketplace moved on to a higher level of maturity and integration with general and cardiology PACS?” recalls Alastair MacGregor, MB ChB, chief health information officer at MLH.
The Challenge to Meet All Enterprise Needs
Since hospitals work in multi-vendor, heterogeneous environments surrounded by disparate systems, designing an enterprise medical imaging solution compatible to everyone is a demanding test for most healthcare IT professionals. “It was going to be challenging enlisting all the users who saw their needs, from the clinical and service perspectives, as being greater than the enterprise needs,” MacGregor noted. “We didn’t know if there was a vendor that could meet everyone’s functional requirements.”
McGregor explained that their team issued a very detailed RFP. Tactical enterprise medical imaging considerations for cardiology, in particular pediatric cardiology, were at the top of their list. “The complexity in cardiology at MLH is that we have a cardiology service line, but also a tertiary care pediatric cardiology service line,” he said. “We’re one of the leading pediatric cardiology centers in the Mid-South, and that service line is growing and will continue to grow as part of our long-term strategic plan.”
McKesson Enterprise Medical Imaging Solution
Enlisting a host of professionals – radiologists, cardiology interventionalists, cardiologists, and pediatric cardiologists – into its selection committee, they chose McKesson for their enterprise medical imaging solution.
“McKesson was the only company that could offer us the integration we were looking for,” said MacGregor. “They have a single solution that meets the needs of general PACS, as well as the specific needs of cardiology and radiology.”
Offering a specific example, MacGregor explained that the McKesson enterprise medical imaging solution will facilitate the automation of reporting and dose tracking in pediatric cardiology, while giving radiologists, for the first time, web-based access to PACS. In addition, MLH recently reached an agreement with McKesson for some of their outpatient services. “We’re really going through a whole transformation of our radiological services, of which the McKesson contract is one phase.”
Commenting on how their enterprise medical imaging challenge was met, MacGregor stated, “I’ve been thrilled with the leadership and open-mindedness of our medical staff as they came together to reach a consensus on a single enterprise PACS solution.”
What has your healthcare organization’s experience been in transitioning to an enterprise medical imaging solution?