CVIS and PACS at the Heart of Improving Cardiac Care Workflow

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A nurse sits in a cardiac cath lab control room at Genesis Medical Center.From its humble beginnings in 1869 as one of the first community hospitals west of the Mississippi, Genesis Health System has come a long way to now utilize the latest in healthcare technology. Serving the Quad Cities region of Iowa and Illinois, Genesis includes three medical centers in Davenport and DeWitt, Iowa, and Silvis, Ill., the Heart Institute in Davenport, nursing homes and hospice care.

Currently there are 675 beds between the three locations with patient care provided by 600 physicians and 5,000 staff members. There are two groups of radiologists totaling 27 system-wide that each year perform approximately 210,000 imaging procedures. About 13,000 of those are cardiac. With an annual IT capital expenditure of $5 million to $9 million across the enterprise, Genesis is committed to bringing the best technology to its care, which includes Agfa HealthCare’s IMPAX PACS and Heartlab Cardiovascular Information Management Suite solutions. How Agfa’s technology works in cardiac care is an example of seamless integration across the enterprise.

Leading cardiac care

For more than 29 years, Genesis Medical Center, Davenport has been leading cardiac care services for Genesis Health System. The number of cardiologists has grown to 27 (20 staff) from two in 1988. At the lead facility, there are eight cardiac cath labs, including six interventional labs and two electrophysiology (EP) labs, where in 2006 more than 9,900 cardiac and peripheral vascular procedures were performed. In the echo lab, some 4,800 adult and pediatric procedures are performed annually.

Genesis Medical Center In 2002, the cath lab made the move to a digital image management environment with Agfa IMPAX 4.5 and web-based image distribution solution. Agfa Healthcare’s Heartlab Cardiovascular Information Management Suite was added in November 2005. The Heartlab solution connects cath imaging, echo imaging for adult and pediatrics, results management for echo, and results outbound reporting (via HL7). More upgrades are planned for the second quarter of this year.

Following in the footsteps of the cath lab, the echo lab installed IMPAX and Heartlab in May 2006, doing away with outdated VHS tapes. While the results outbound reporting is in full swing in echo, structured reporting using results management for echo will go live after training is complete this summer.

With digital image management, the enterprise has realized improved patient care, efficiency and workflow, as well as time and cost savings, and reduced archive space. It also has provided a means to easily connect departments and facilities with images and reports ready to review at the physician’s fingertips.

A roundtable discussion on cardiac image management
Providing a look into how cardiac care at Genesis Medical Center has benefitted from integrated Agfa HealthCare IMPAX radiology PACS and Heartlab Cardiology Information and Results Management solutions are three employees whose cumulative experience in radiology and cardiology is more than 70 years: Diane Young, RT, supervisor of implementations, information technology, oversees all IT/PACS for Genesis Health System; Karen Butler, RT, is cardiac cath lab PACS coordinator at Genesis Medical Center in Davenport; and Brenda Brown, RDCS, is an echo tech in the cardiac echo lab at Genesis Medical Center.


With the introduction of PACS, what goals were set by Genesis and how have they been met?

Young: The goal for the PACS project was to provide clinical imaging services across all clinical specialties, medical education, and medical research. These services provide quantifiable improvements, which create operational efficiencies and productivity gains, allowing the organization to remain financially viable and competitive. It allows us to serve our patient and clinical customers with systems capable of storing, transporting and displaying all radiology and cardiology images throughout the organization in support of improved patient care. The exams are now readily available for viewing by staff and physicians as needed. Film and film processing costs have been eliminated and in-house storage space has been reduced.


Butler: For the cath lab, a primary goal is to establish a more streamlined process for the archiving and retrieval system. The goal has been met with IMPAX [PACS] and Heartlab [CVIS] solutions by reducing the amount of time involved in processing, archiving and retrieving procedures, which in turn offsets some of the cost of implementing IMPAX and