Greenville Health expects better efficiency, image access from new PACS

A recent go-live at Greenville Health System consolidated the enterprise on a single picture archiving and communications system.

The platform is to connect more than 400 imaging modalities across 50 provider facilities, giving doctors access to all of their patient’s medical imaging data. The South Carolina system operates eight hospitals and 35 ambulatory care sites.

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The organization spent four days bringing physicians live on the new PACS, a process that required considerable coordination to swap out multiple older PACS and install the new one while physicians were working, says Richard Rodgers, CIO at Greenville Health.

The swaps went relatively smoothly, as most primary physicians had done their training during the summer and were ready for the changeover, Rodgers recalls, although some specialist physicians needed more help adapting.

“Doctors who look at the image but don’t interpret it struggled, and we should have provided more training to orthopedics, hospitalists and others who don’t work in the PACS system,” he acknowledges. “They needed more help on viewing images in the new PACS.”

The bulk of the training, however, focused on radiologists and cardiologists, who are the primary users of the PACs from Agfa Healthcare.

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The impetus for the enterprisewide PACs implementation resulted from Greenfield inheriting PACS systems from acquired hospitals. This also included a variety of toolsets that a Greenville-employed radiology and oncology group used to read all the images for the delivery system, and over time, it became apparent that these clinicians needed a common tool set. Thus, it made sense for all go get a common toolset, Rodgers says.

“As care moves to at-risk models it is important that all providers of a clinically integrated network have access to existing studies in the archives,” he adds.

Other benefits that Greenville Health has realized include specialists now able to read for community hospitals from one location and sharing information with other community hospitals, with two hospitals quickly accepting the services, Rodgers said.

Further, the delivery system is moving deeper into image sharing by adding other images that are not part of the PACS, such as wave forms and digital photos.

Greenville Health System’s application suite on the PACS Platform includes the following:

  • Enterprise imaging for cardiology, intended to improve clinical productivity and reduced application overload by using a single user interface supporting all cardiology clinical workflows.
  • Enterprise imaging for radiology, a highly customizable diagnostic workflow tool designed to help radiologists achieve efficiency in reading radiological studies.
  • Standardized departmental workflows that enable all image-producing service lines, including point-of-care ultrasound, dermatology, ophthalmology and wound care to capture and associate imaging studies with an episode of care and drive enterprise-wide efficiency through standardization.
  • Enterprise imaging vendor neutral archive that consolidates all imaging data from multiple systems, departments, facilities and vendors into a central clinical data foundation.
  • Web-based XERO, a universal image viewer that provides secure access to DICOM and non-DICOM imaging data from different departments and multiple sources, available in one view from anywhere.
  • Enterprise imaging exchange that enables fast, secure and reliable transfer of patient imaging studies inside and outside the health system.
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