2011 Top 25 Connected Healthcare Facilities: The Science of Practice Management

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Health Imaging & IT’s Top Connected class of 2011 is an illustrious group. Several previous winners have re-appeared and demonstrated their continued commitment to imaging connectivity across the enterprise, reporting ongoing gains in various metrics, such as turn-around time and operating costs. One common theme across our repeat winners? They are leveraging data to inform strategic decisions and monitor results.

It’s a business model to be replicated.

Reading between the lines, there are hints of positive developments. Yes, hospitals, health systems and radiology practices are squeezing every ounce of productivity and innovation from their investments in imaging modalities, informatics systems and staff. Compared with last year, volume is steadier, with most sites showing slight gains.

We considered Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) EMR adoption stages, according to the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model. Our winners are conglomerated at the top of the scale, with most reporting at stage 6 or 7. That means they fall in the top 4.5 percent of U.S. facilities.   

Read on for short profiles of recent imaging connectivity projects at this year’s Top Connected organizations.

Advanced Radiology Consultants

Trumbull, Conn. | www.adrad.com

 In winter 2009, the Trumbull, Conn., practice contracted to provide imaging services to a local teaching hospital. It spun out its IT department into a freestanding business, and negotiated a more favorable PACS contract. Advanced Radiology Consultants estimates that it gained a one-time hardware savings of $90,000 and software discount of $190,000. The practice reaped 25 percent in maintenance savings by implementing server virtualization.

Aria Health

Philadelphia | www.ariahealth.org

 The Philadelphia-based community hospital integrated all clinical imaging and patient data into an acute electronic health record that provides radiologists, cardiologists and clinicians access to medical images and patient data at the point of care.

The system automates workflow and eliminates communication barriers, enabling radiologists and clinicians to collaborate and simultaneously accelerate decision-making and patient care.

Banner Health

Phoenix | www.bannerhealth.com

 Banner Health streamlined the image transfer process for trauma patients referred from rural hospitals by employing a cloud-based image transfer system. The system allows physicians at both the rural facility and Phoenix-based hospital to view and share images. Since launching of the system, transfer patients have not required re-scanning and the system shortens image discovery time for trauma surgeons.

Brigham & Women’s Hospital

Boston | www.brighamandwomens.org

 The academic medical center integrated Alert Notification of Critical Results (ANCR) into its physician authentication database, PACS, email and paging system. When providers receive and acknowledge a critical results alert, they can view images and reports and order follow-up studies without logging into multiple systems. Since implementing ANCR, the hospital reduced critical results acknowledgment time from 12 hours, 17 minutes to one hour, 56 minutes.

Carolinas HealthCare System

Charlotte, N.C. | www.carolinashealthcare.org

 This health system achieved a 75 percent reduction in mammography report turn-around time during the pilot phase of an electronic mechanism to pass ACR BI-RADS codes via voice recognition to the RIS. The model eliminates manual technologist coding review and data entry, and enabled Carolinas HealthCare System to eliminate one FTE. Its average mammography turn-around time is three hours, 50 minutes.

Detroit Medical Center

Detroit | www.dmc.org

 In 2010, the multi-hospital organization improved the continuum of care by eliminating disparate image viewers across the enterprise. The project combines the viewer functionality of GE and Cerner image viewing software by use of Vital Images technology.

The project improves access and enables image viewing on PC devices such as workstations on wheels, laptops and iPads on the clinical floors, in patient rooms or in remote locations.

Ephraim McDowell Health

Danville, Ky. | www.emhealth.org

 The 222-bed hospital in Danville, Ky. deployed cardiology PACS and structured reporting in October 2009, decreasing average report turn-around time from 80 hours to 30 hours and allowed the hospital to eliminate a part-time