AMICAS this week announced it has acquired the exclusive licensing and worldwide distribution rights to RadStream, a software product designed to accelerate radiology workflow, improve radiologist soft-copy reading productivity and improve and fully document communication of positive results of radiology studies.
RadStream was designed and developed by the Radiology Informatics Research Core at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in collaboration with researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Business.
Cincinnati Children’s has been filmless for more than five years with integrated RIS/PACS across 18 facilities where clinical services are offered. Additionally, they are fully deployed with integrated voice recognition (VR) software and complete self edit workflow for radiologists.
“We built RadStream to improve our existing filmless radiology system,” said Mark Halsted, M.D., associate professor of radiology and chief of the Radiology Informatics Research Core at Cincinnati Children’s. “The PACS, RIS & VR systems provided a good foundation to our operation but we saw a way to significantly improve the overall imaging workflow and communication to referring physicians. The fundamental improvements we made to our workflow could be used to improve the delivery of radiology as a complement to any PACS.”
“The system, which took Cincinnati Children's staff about three years to design and develop, has improved radiology report turnaround by 40 percent, with the department's average for outpatient results down to 36 minutes,” noted Halsted. “Radiologists staffing outpatient imaging centers have increased their productivity by 25 percent.”
RadStream’s modular design improves workflow efficiency and serves as a radiology result communication and documentation tool. Workflow efficiencies also are gained through a multi-factorial prioritization algorithm developed in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati’s School of Business. “Optimal patient care is not first-come-first-served,” Halstead said. “In particular, in busy departments or for decentralized radiology, practices optimizing workflow is mission critical because it affects the quality of patient care. RadStream’s sophisticated patent pending acuity algorithms, business/contract rules and operational metrics allow for dynamic real-time patient prioritization and workload balancing within and across radiology practices.”
The essence of RadStream is to decrease radiologist interruptions and improve report turnaround time while increasing referring physician satisfaction. “It is often difficult and time-consuming for radiologists to reach ordering physicians with important results, but good communication is critical to providing high quality patient care. The system streamlines communication between radiologists and referring physicians so radiologists can concentrate on interpreting cases accurately and efficiently. RadStream brokers communication of critical results to referring physicians without breaking radiologists’ workflow” said Halsted. The need for an automatic communication and documentation system was a primary driver for creating RadStream. According to Halsted, radiologists experienced significantly fewer interruptions during the day, saving roughly 2,000 radiologist hours per year within our department.” Overall departmental productivity increased as though two additional FTE radiologists were working.
Referring physicians benefit as well. “With Radstream, our referring physicians get consistent, final results quickly communicated to them every time they request a call report. All such communications are permanently documented which is another major benefit of the system,” Halsted added.
RadStream is planned to be commercially available by Amicas in the second half of the year. It will be offered as a stand-alone product utilizing Amicas integration capabilities and Amicas Insight Services in cooperation with Cincinnati Children’s team for deployment to any vendor’s PACS. Thereafter, it will be completely embedded into Vision Series PACS for a fully integrated RadStream/AMICAS offering, the company said.
To obtain exclusive licensing and commercial development rights AMICAS agreed to pay Cincinnati Children’s specified royalty fees with each sublicense and make a minimal upfront payment for patent costs. The agreement also provides AMICAS with a short term period of evaluation prior to commencing any licensing activity