Top 10 Connected Healthcare Facilities

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Taking the lead in healthcare IT is all about executing on a vision to create seamless connectivity of all imaging and patient information systems to enable comprehensive, well-organized patient data to flow to the caregiver, whenever it is needed. That's a tall order, but here you'll learn more about 10 healthcare facilities and networks that are succeeding. They have invested in digital imaging, IT and the technical and human infrastructure to connect devices, physicians and referring physicians - and then get information back to the patient for quick diagnosis and treatment.

This year's nominations were accepted from June 10th through July 22nd. Two hundred and eighty nine qualified forms were received, representing more than 550 healthcare facilities. 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. Believe us, the competition was furious. And here are the winners - plus a series of honorable mention facilities broken down into six categories: Heart Hospitals, Children's Hospitals, IDNs, Imaging Centers, Municipality-Owned Hospitals and Small Hospitals.

Brigham and Women's/Faulkner Hospitals (BW/F), Boston, Mass.

This 755-bed non-profit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School is a member of the Partners HealthCare System. Every day, on average, some 1,654 people have outpatient visits, 112 people are admitted, 148 people visit the ER, 78 people have surgery, 266 patients seek care in the community health centers and 27 babies are born. The BW/F Medical Imaging IT program is multi-institutional and includes Brigham and Women's Hospital, Faulkner Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and multi-disciplinary including all radiology disciplines, cardiology, anesthesia and vascular medicine. The program is focused on systems thinking and design to implement integrated information tools at the point of care.

Departments/modalities that send images to PACS Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Cath Lab, DR, CR, PET, PET/CT, Echocardiography, Vascular Medicine, Anesthesia and Vascular Surgery

Departments/modalities that utilize images from PACSRadiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology, Dermatology, Enterprise Physicians including ICUs, ORs, Surgical and Rehab

Info Systems & Software Vendors

  • HIS: Partners Information Systems - BICS
  • CPOE: Medicalis, Partners Information Systems
  • Storage: EMC
  • Servers: HP, Dell, Sun & Compaq
  • RIS: IDX
  • CIS: Medicalis
  • LIS: Partners Information Systems
  • PACS: GE, Stentor, Siemens, Agfa & Amicas
  • Voice/Speech Recognition: Dictaphone, Escription
  • CAD: R2 & CADx
  • 3D: Vital Images, GE Healthcare, Siemens
  • Echocardiography: Siemens

Facility Stats

  • 885 licensed beds
  • 11,000 employees
  • 580,000 annual imaging procedures
  • 90% or more procedures that are digital
  • 90% or more of the facility is filmless
  • 15,000 physicians have online access to digital images
  • 90% or more physicians have access to digital images
  • 90% or more referring physicians have access to digital images

INTEGRIS Health: Baptist Medical Center & Southwest Medical Center, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Oklahoma's largest state-owned health system runs not-for-profit hospitals, rehabilitation centers, physician clinics, mental health facilities, independent living centers and home health agencies through much of the state. Integris has placed great emphasis on integrating patient EMR and digital imaging. Substantial investments have been made in infrastructure to allow high speed access to patient information in redundant format. This includes local LANand wireless access from all patient floors, ER, ICU, OR and related treatment areas. Reports and access to imaging studies are available online, real time via web browser access.

Departments/modalities that send images to PACS Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology, Dermatology, X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Cath Lab, Digital Radiography, Computed Radiography, PET, PET/CT, C-arm and Cystography

Departments/modalities that utilize images from PACSRadiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology and Dermatology

Info Systems & Software Vendors

  • HIS: Cerner, Siemens
  • CPOE: Cerner
  • Storage: EMC, Plasmon, StorageTek & Pioneer
  • Servers: Sun, Dell & HP
  • RIS: Cerner
  • CIS: Heartlab & Camtronics
  • LIS: Cerner
  • PACS: Agfa
  • Voice/Speech Recognition: Dictaphone
  • CAD: R2 & CADx
  • 3D: Vital Images

Facility Stats

  • 500+ licensed beds
  • 1,000+ employees
  • 200,000-299,000 annual imaging procedures
  • 90% or more procedures are digital
  • 90% or more of the facility is filmless
  • 1,000+ physicians have online access to digital images
  • 90% or more physicians have access to digital images
  • 90% or more referring physicians have access to digital images

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, Mass.

MGH is the third oldest general hospital in the U.S. and the oldest and largest in New England. The 893-bed facility, a member of Partners HealthCare System, which offers diagnostic and therapeutic care in virtually every specialty and sub-specialty of medicine and surgery admits more than 44,000 outpatients annually and handles almost 1.5 million visits in its outpatientprograms at the main campus and its four health centers. MGH claims the largest hospital-based research program in the U.S. with an annual research budget of more than $450 million. It is the oldest and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Departments/modalities that send images to PACS Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Cath Lab, Digital Radiography, Computed Radiography, PET, PET/CT, 3D Imaging and Bone Densitometry

Departments/modalities that utilize images from PACSRadiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology and Dermatology

Info Systems & Software Vendors

  • HIS: in house
  • CPOE: in house
  • Storage: Sun, IBM & Winchester
  • Servers: HP, Dell, IBM & Sun
  • RIS: IDX
  • LIS: Misys
  • PACS: Agfa & Amicas
  • Voice/Speech Recognition: Commissure
  • CAD: R2 & CADx
  • 3D: Vital Images, Voxar, TeraRecon & Mercury

Facility Stats

  • 893 licensed beds
  • 19,500 employees
  • 500,000+ annual imaging procedures
  • 90% or more procedures are digital
  • 90% or more of the facility is filmless
  • 1,000+ physicians have online access to digital images
  • 90% or more physicians have access to digital images
  • 90% or more referring physicians have access to digital images

Meritcare Health System, Fargo, N.D.

This integrated health system serves nearly two million people a year across its 250-mile service area stretching from Jamestown, N.D. to Bemidji, Minn. - having begun as a small doctor's office in downtown Fargo in 1905. It is the largest group practice, largest hospital in North Dakota and largest private employer in the state. Each year, MeritCare's two hospitals - MeritCare Hospital with 380 beds and MeritCare South University with 203 beds - together admit more than 21,000 patients, log 43,000+ ER visits and provide for 17,000 surgeries and 2,000 births. In total, 73 medical specialties are represented.

Departments/modalities that send images to PACS Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Cath Lab, Digital Radiography, Computed Radiography, PET, PET/CT, 3D Imaging and Bone Densitometry

Departments/modalities that utilize images from PACSRadiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology and Dermatology

Info Systems & Software Vendors

  • HIS: Siemens
  • Storage: IBM
  • Servers: HP
  • RIS: IDX
  • CIS: GE
  • LIS: SCC
  • PACS: Philips
  • CAD: R2
  • 3D: Barco-Voxar

Facility Stats

  • 583 licensed beds
  • 6,400+ employees
  • 250,000 annual imaging procedures
  • 95% procedures are digital
  • 90% or more of the facility is filmless
  • 300-399 physicians have online access to digital images
  • 90% or more physicians have access to digital images
  • 90% or more referring physicians have access to digital images

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pa.

This 479-bed medical center annually admits more than 25,000 patients, accepts nearly 738,000 outpatient visits, handles 47,000+ patients in the ER and provides for nearly 22,000 surgical procedures. The facility utilizes an integrated electronic medical record that is available at all times to care providers both on-site or remotely. Utilizing 350+ order sets, some 10,500 orders and 6,000 forms are used in automating workflow. All orders and nursing documentation on all inpatients and emergency department patients are entered directly, electronically by the clinician. Availability to all results, including radiology and laboratory, can be accessed via an internal wireless network.

Departments/modalities that send images to PACS Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Dermatology, X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Cath Lab, Digital Radiography, Computed Radiography, PET, PET/CT, Digital Fluoroscopy and Endoscopy

Departments/modalities that utilize images from PACSRadiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology and Dermatology

Info Systems & Software Vendors

  • HIS: Cerner
  • CPOE: Cerner
  • Storage: HP & IBM
  • Servers: HP & IBM
  • RIS: IDX
  • CIS: Heartlab & ProSolv
  • LIS: Sunquest
  • PACS: IDX
  • Voice/Speech Recognition: ScanSoft
  • CAD: R2 & CADx
  • 3D: TeraRecon

Facility Stats

  • 479 licensed beds
  • 7,700 employees
  • 200,000-299,000 annual imaging procedures
  • 90% or more procedures are digital
  • 90% or more of the facility is filmless
  • 1,000+ physicians have online access to digital images
  • 90% or more physicians have access to digital images
  • 90% or more referring physicians have access to digital images

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), New Brunswick, N.J.

This principal hospital for UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Health System & Network treats more than 100,000 patients annually. Its centers of excellence include specializations in pediatrics, cancer, digestive diseases, clinical neuroscience, cardiology, advanced heart failure and cardiology transplantation, kidney and pancreas transplantation, trauma, thoracic and vascular medicine and women's health. RWJUH launched into PACS in 1997, and continues to invest to allow physicians to have online, remote access to images from radiology, cardiology and oncology. Wireless connectivity and mobile computing also are priorities.

Departments/modalities that send images to PACS Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Cath Lab, Digital Radiography, Computed Radiography, Mammography and PET

Departments/modalities that utilize images from PACSRadiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy and Nuclear Medicine

Info Systems & Software Vendors

  • HIS: Eclipsys
  • CPOE: Eclipsys
  • Storage: HP
  • Servers: HP & IBM
  • RIS: Cerner
  • LIS: Cerner
  • PACS: Agfa
  • Voice/Speech Recognition: Dolbey

Facility Stats

  • 570 licensed beds
  • 3,800 employees
  • 300,000-399,000 annual imaging procedures
  • 90% or more procedures are digital
  • 90% or more of the facility is filmless
  • 1,250 physicians have online access to digital images
  • 90% or more physicians have access to digital images
  • 90% or more referring physicians have access to digital images

Sentara Healthcare, Norfolk, Va.

Sentara Healthcare is the largest integrated healthcare provider in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, serving more than 2 million residents. It operates six acute-care hospitals and one extended stay hospital and more than 70 sites of care, 43 primary-care practices and six imaging centers. Sentara installed RIS, PACS, voice recognition and web image distribution between December 2002 and July 2005. Prior to PACS, Sentara had radiology report turnaround times from 41 hours to 7 hours. Today, the average radiology report turnaround is 7 hours measured from exam start to final report authorization. Film expense has dipped as web image access by physicians has surged.

Departments/modalities that send images to PACS Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Nuclear Medicine, X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Cath Lab, DR, CR, PET, PET/CT, Non invasive US (Cardiac)

Departments/modalities that utilize images from PACSRadiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology, OP Centers, VOA, TCI

Info Systems & Software Vendors

  • HIS: HBOC
  • Storage: EMC, StorageTek
  • RIS: Cerner
  • CIS: Siemens
  • LIS: Cerner
  • PACS: Agfa
  • Voice/Speech Recognition: Talk Technology
  • CAD: GE
  • Radiation Oncology: Impac

Facility Stats

  • 1,500 licensed beds
  • 15,000 employees
  • 720,000 annual imaging procedures
  • 90% or more procedures are digital
  • 90% or more of the facility is filmless
  • 1,225 physicians have online access to digital images
  • 90% or more physicians have access to digital images
  • 90% or more referring physicians have access to digital images

Sutter Novato & Marin General Hospitals, Novato and Greenbrae, Calif.

Sutter Novato Medical Campus and Marin General Hospital are members of Sutter Health Network that delivers care to more than 100 Northern California communities. Together, the hospitals represent the dominant healthcare institutes serving Marin County. The facilities store all diagnostic images on a unified PACS database with distributed servers. A common patient database service allows imaging studies to be viewed at any of the sites of service. Images from ICU patients are available at the San Francisco-based "eICU" - a centralized 24-hour ICU surveillance system staffed by nurses and intensivists.

Departments/modalities that send images to PACS Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology, X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Cath Lab, Digital Radiography, Computed Radiography, Mammography, PET and PET/CT

Departments/modalities that utilize images from PACSRadiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine and Pathology

Info Systems & Software Vendors

  • HIS: Siemens
  • Storage: StorageTek
  • Servers: Sun
  • RIS: Misys
  • CIS: Heartlab
  • LIS: Misys
  • PACS: Siemens
  • CAD: R2
  • 3D: TeraRecon

Facility Stats

  • 200 licensed beds
  • 400-499 employees
  • 100,000-199,000 annual imaging procedures
  • 90% or more procedures are digital
  • 90% or more of the facility is filmless
  • 200-299 physicians have online access to digital images
  • 90% or more physicians have access to digital images
  • 90% or more referring physicians have access to digital images

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at University of Texas, Houston, Texas

This world renown cancer center, which has increased in size by 50 percent in the last five years, now includes an in-patent pavilion with 475 beds, clinical research building, outpatient clinic building, a faculty office building and a patient-family hotel. This year, more than 70,000 cancer patients will be treated here, 25,000 of them being new patients. An in-house EMR, with medical images as its cornerstone data source, enables integration of medical images directly into institutional workflow. To this end, more than 220,000 imaging studies are viewed by clinicians a month along with 1.3 million patient electronic chart reviews and 600,000 radiology report reviews.

Departments/modalities that send images to PACS Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, X-ray, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Digital Radiography, Computed Radiography, PET, PET/CT, Pathology and Dermatology

Departments/modalities that utilize images from PACSRadiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology, Dermatology and Enterprise

Info Systems & Software Vendors

  • HIS: Siemens
  • CPOE: ClinicStation (in house)
  • Storage: Stentor
  • Servers: Compaq/HP & IBM
  • RIS: Siemens
  • CIS: Philips
  • LIS: Cerner
  • PACS: Stentor
  • Voice/Speech Recognition: Dictaphone
  • CAD: R2
  • 3D: GE Healthcare & Vital Images
  • Pharmacy Information Systems: GE Healthcare
  • Pathology Information Systems: Tamtron
  • Electronic Medical Record: ClinicStation (in house)
  • Anesthesiology, PACU, ICU System: PICIS

Facility Stats

  • 400-499 licensed beds
  • 14,000 employees
  • 380,000 annual imaging procedures
  • 90% or more procedures are digital
  • 90% or more of the facility is filmless
  • 1,430 physicians have online access to digital images
  • 90% or more physicians have access to digital images
  • 90% or more referring physicians have access to digital images

University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics (UWHC), Madison, Wis.

This 471-bed facility is recognized as a national leader in fields such as cancer treatment, pediatrics, ophthalmology, surgical specialties and organ transplantation. UWHC offers more than 80 outpatient clinics, six intensive care units, seven satellite locations and Level 1 trauma status. They are a member of UW Health, a comprehensive academic health system of healthcare providers comprised of the University of Wisconsin Medical School, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and the University of Wisconsin Medical Foundation. PACS has been in place for eight years and enterprise imaging is a top-down priority with the goal of more efficient healthcare.

Departments/modalities that send images to PACS Radiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, X-ray, CT,MRI, Ultrasound, Cath Lab, Digital Radiography, Computed Radiography, Mammography, PET and PET/CT

Departments/modalities that utilize images from PACSRadiology, Cardiology, Oncology, Orthopedics, Surgery, Critical Care/ICU/CCU, Radiation Therapy, Nuclear Medicine, Pathology and Dermatology

Info Systems & Software Vendors

  • HIS: Siemens
  • CPOE: Epic
  • Storage: HP
  • Servers: HP
  • RIS: Siemens
  • LIS: McKesson
  • PACS: McKesson
  • Voice/Speech Recognition: Dictaphone
  • CAD: R2
  • 3D: GE Healthcare & Vital Images

Facility Stats

  • 400-499 licensed beds
  • 1,000+ employees
  • 300,000-399,000 annual imaging procedures
  • 90% or more procedures are digital
  • 90% or more of the facility is filmless
  • 1,000+ physicians have online access to digital images
  • 90% or more physicians have access to digital images
  • 90% or more referring physicians have access to digital images

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Heart Hospitals

The Heart Center of Indiana (THCI), Indianapolis, Ind.

The Heart Center of Indiana features a four-story, 189,866 square foot structure that includes 60 beds - with an expansion to 80 beds coming in December. Ownership is divided evenly between St. Vincent Health, a community-based healthcare ministry serving Indiana, and a premier group of heart care physicians.

THCI implemented a one-stop information system that allows staff anywhere in the facility, or via PCs linked to the network, to access patient information. More than 90 percent of both in-network physicians and referring physicians having access to digital images. The facility also is more than 90 percent filmless and digital in terms of procedures.

And the data are compelling: Actual medical errors have been reduced by 37 percent; the mortality rate has been lowered from 2.4 percent to 0.9 percent; the average length of stay has dropped from the national benchmark by more than 25 percent; and the percutaneous coronary intervention success rate is 97.9 percent (6.5 percent better than the ACC benchmark).

Nebraska Heart Institute Heart Hospital, Lincoln, Neb.

Nebraska Heart Institute Heart Hospital is a 63-bed hospital (52 in-patient and 11 out-patient beds) that is part of an integrated delivery network (IDN) including Nebraska Heart Institute, St. Elizabeth's Hospital and Bryan Hospital. Nebraska Heart Hospital (NHH) opened and began performing heart procedures May 2003. Annually, physicians perform more diagnostic, interventional, and surgical procedures than any other cardiac program in Nebraska including more than 7,000 cardiac catheterizations, 2,500 interventions and 1,100 open-heart procedures. Altogether, the facility employs between 200 and 299 people.

NHH utilizes an EMR, CPOE, RIS, CIS, LIS and speech recognition software as well as having PCs in all patient rooms for electronic charting. Some 70 to 79 percent of the facility's imaging procedures are digital, while 80 to 89 percent of the facility is filmless. Among the departments that send images to PACS are radiology, cardiology, surgery, critical care/ICU/CCU and nuclear medicine. Access to patient images is a priority with more than 90 percent of physicians in the network have access to digital images.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Children's Hospitals

Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas

Part of the Texas Children's Hospital Integrated Delivery System, this 750-bed pediatric facility operates the largest pediatric emergency center in South Central Texas. Technologies such as PACS, computerized bedside registration, time-saving lab testing procedures and a centralized communications center have improved and advanced care at the facility.

Annually, between 100,000 and 199,999 imaging procedures are performed at the facility. In total, more than 90 percent of the exams are digital - which translates into more than 90 percent of the facility being filmless. The departments sending images to PACS include: radiology, cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, surgery, critical care/ICU/CCU, nuclear medicine and dermatology, while the modalities sending images to PACS include x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, computed radiography, nuclear medicine and PET-CT. At Texas Children's, more than 90 percent of physicians within the network and referring physicians have access to digital images.

Primary Children's Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah

This 232-bed hospital that is part of Intermountain Health Care is a Trauma 1 tertiary care center for pediatric imaging studies for the state of Utah. It is the pediatric center serving five states in the Intermountain West - Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada and Montana. In addition, it is affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, integrating pediatric programs, research and training for childhood problems. It offers more than 40 pediatric specialty clinics, and more than 60 medical specialties and subspecialties.

Each year, the facility logs about 61,895 inpatient days from 11,223 inpatient admissions