Mercy’s IT arm to offer PACS as a service to other facilities

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Mercy Technology Services is packaging imaging solutions to offer small and medium-sized hospitals a cloud-based solution.

The move expands the range of imaging capabilities for smaller healthcare organizations while enabling Mercy Technology Services (MTS) to leverage its technology prowess to offer it to providers outside of itself.

In addition, the move builds on MTS’ other efforts to offer IT services beyond the core Mercy system. An early adopter of Epic’s EHR, it became the nation’s first accredited by Epic to offer EHR solutions to other hospitals, including Epic in the cloud, implementation and optimization. MTS’s full suite of healthcare offerings also includes cloud, managed services, PACS as a service and cloud backup and recovery.

MTS, the IT backbone of St. Louis-based Mercy, has bundled best-of-breed imaging solutions—an enterprise viewer, vendor neutral archive, workflow orchestrator, speech recognition and reporting in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model that is securely hosted in its cloud.

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MTS provides the healthcare IT services for Mercy, which operates more than 40 hospitals across four states. The offering is aimed at smaller healthcare organizations with struggle with multiple disparate aging systems for picture archiving and communication systems. Imaging systems that don’t work together efficiently drain time from radiologists who lose time locating imaging studies, switching between imaging workstations and dealing with system slowness.

The package by MTS will offer:

  • The enterprise imaging platform from Visage.
  • A workflow orchestrator from Siemens Healthineers.
  • Worklist auto-coordination services from Medicalis.
  • The Powerscribe 360 speech recognition and reporting software from Nuance.

The use of the integrated system by Mercy has resulted in a 50 percent decrease in report turnaround time.

“Mercy’s is a solution built by busy radiologists for busy radiologists, and they’re thrilled with it,” says Steve Bollin, Mercy’s vice president of radiology support services. “We were bogged down before. Now, having everything together and instantly viewable with the click of a button—all prior studies, all modalities—means radiologists aren’t waiting.”

Mercy has since expanded use of the solution to its emergency and orthopedics departments to support point-of-care ultrasound.

Gil Hoffman, Mercy’s CIO, believes a PACS model like this also makes good financial sense. “As a healthcare provider, we know how critical it is to use technology resources wisely,” he says. “With this solution, hospitals can forego the upfront infrastructure expense, pay only for what’s used on a per-study basis and supply all the advanced features needed on the frontlines.”

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