Inside the Top 25 Connected Healthcare Facilities

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Top 25 Connected Healthcare Facilities

It’s that time—we present our annual selection of the most connected healthcare facilities. Since health IT and interconnectivity are booming, this year we’ve upped the list from 10 organizations to 25. The winners include large IDNs, community hospitals, academic medical centers, an imaging center and an orthopedic center. They are presented in alphabetical order as they collectively share the designation as one of Health Imaging & IT’s Top 25 Connected Healthcare Facilities.

A seamless path for incoming and outgoing patient information is the goal for all the facilities nominated this year. More have succeeded than ever before. All are more than 90 percent digital and the majority have wireless access throughout their facilities. Business is booming as most have seen a significant increase in the annual number of imaging procedures performed over a year ago. All but one have the ability to access images via the web.

Recent studies predict that spending on wireless technology applications will reach $1.5 billion by 2010, the total IT spending for the electronic health record market will increase to $4.8 billion by 2015, and the U.S. health IT market will hit $47.9 billion this year. This year’s Health Imaging & IT Top 25 Connected Facilities have no doubt contributed to those figures but also have experienced impressive benefits. They have implemented digital imaging and electronic records, installed necessary infrastructure components, and provided the training needed by staff and physicians. Most report they have far exceeded their return on investment. A benefit, for sure, but better, faster patient care is the ultimate end result we all cheer.

The Fine Print

Healthcare organizations that included academic/teaching hospitals, city/county/government-owned hospitals, community hospitals, corporate/for-profit hospitals, integrated delivery networks (IDNs), regional health information organizations (RHIOs), freestanding imaging centers, specialty imaging facilities and physician group practices were invited to submit online nominations for the Top 25 Connected Healthcare Facilities from June 27th through July 21st. Some 575-plus healthcare facilities were represented in the balloting. The ballot included 24 questions which were submitted electronically. Nominations were not considered if required fields were omitted. If certain fields were missing, an automatically generated email was sent to the party nominating the facility.

Among the factors differentiating the winners were percentage of facility that is filmless, percentage of procedures that are digital, the number of modalities and departments that send and utilize images from PACS and the ability of in-network physicians and referring physicians to access electronic images. 

Alegent Health System, Omaha, Neb.
imageAlegent Health includes nine acute care hospitals, more than 100 sites providing healthcare services, over 1,200 physicians on its medical staff and roughly 8,400 employees. Alegent Health is sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems. The high rate of physician rotation among the facilities required an enterprise-wide image distribution system. Alegent also has enterprise-wide HIS, EMR and RIS. The newest facility, Lakeside Hospital, opened in 2004. It is filmless, paperless and has all wireless technology and an all-digital diagnostic center.
Facility Stats
Licensed Beds: 900-999
Annual Imaging Studies: 300,000-399,999
Employees: 7,000-7,999
Physicians: 1,000-1,999
How much of the facility is filmless: 90% and up
Increase in digital procedures: 5%-10%
Total images archived: 10-20 million
How many locations offer imaging services: 5-10
Physicians with online access to images: 90% and up
How referring physicians access images: online and CD
Monthly images viewed by clinicians: 400,000-499,999
Monthly electronic radiology reports: less than 10,000
Technologies that exchange images with PACS
• Advanced Visualization - Terarecon
• C-Arm - Siemens
• Cardiac Cath Lab - Siemens
• CR - Fuji
• CT - Siemens
• CAD - R2
• Data Storage - EMC, Siemens
• Digital Mammography - Siemens
• DR - Siemens
• Echocardiography - Siemens
• MRI - Siemens
• PET/CT - Siemens
• Ultrasound - Siemens
• Workstation (Diagnostic) - Siemens
• Workstation (PACS) - Siemens
• Voice/Speech Recognition - Dolbey
• X-ray (Portable) - Fuji
Information Systems that share images with PACS
• CVIS - Lumedx
• EHR - Siemens
• EMR - Siemens
• HIS - Siemens
• Nuclear Medicine