Supported images include:
Anesthesiology, Cardiac Surgery, Dermatology, Gynecology, Gastroenterology, Intensive Care, Pediatric surgery, Nephrology, Neurology, ENT, Pulmonology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Plastic surgery, Radiotherapy, Urology, Blood vessal lab, Obstetrics, …
Efficiency and compromise: a delicate balance
The team started by connecting the ENT (ear, nose and throat), ophthalmology and gastroenterology units, and the vascular lab. Varsha explains, “These departments all had paper-based workflows, which we wanted to eliminate, so they had the highest priority.
Next we connected the radiology images to the VNA, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, pulmonary diseases, emergency care, intensive care and pediatrics.” While the new workflows require users to adapt some of their work habits, the team also strives to find ways to compromise.
Toon comments on the issue of exam ordering, for example: “Ophthalmology is now working with requests (or orders), which it didn’t do in the past; the orders are displayed in the modality worklist.
But for gynecology, we know that 95% of all pregnant women visiting the department get an ultrasound. So, based on the type of visit scheduled, we automatically create an order in the background for an ultrasound. If it isn’t performed, it is removed from the worklist at the end of the day, and after five or six days, the order disappears from the system.”
Evolving modalities and devices
The number of modalities to connect continues to grow, though, and the teams have defined procedures for adding them.
“OCT (optical coherence technology), originally used in ophthalmology, is now being used in cardiology as well, so we will connect two OCTs in cardiology. And when we acquire new devices, a crossdepartmental process in the two hospitals makes sure the purchased modalities can be easily connected to the Enterprise Imaging solution.”
AGFA HealthCare’s support has been very important to the success of the project, the colleagues agree: “When we started designing the workflows, we usually had one or two AGFA HealthCare people in our hospital for functional support.
They helped us with migrating the old image archive, which was extremely complex and extensive, and with integrating the Enterprise Imaging platform with the EMR, as well as delivering training to the key users.
We continue to receive on-site support from AGFA HealthCare about one day every two weeks, to help solve current issues and configure new things,” explains Ernest.
Delivering reliable care and reducing errors
There are now around 5,000 users of the system at VUmc, and AMC is getting ready to roll-out the Enterprise Imaging solution as well. “In general, most people find it easy to use, although it was easier for certain users or modalities to make the switch than for others,” comments Varsha.
Toon agrees: “Overall, everybody is happy that the data is digitized and centrally available through the EMR.
The basic idea is to work more efficiently, to deliver reliable care and to decrease errors. Having all the images available on one system for multidisciplinary meetings and boards offers a great advantage in attaining good patient outcomes, too. And finally, with centrally available images, we reduce duplicated exams.
We have also sped up certain exams, for example in ophthalmology a specific modality transferred images of each eye individually, which took quite a while. We adapted the system to transfer the images of the two eyes simultaneously, saving time.”
He concludes, “What I like most about my job now is that I know we are working on something that is very important to the hospital, and ultimately, the patients.”