Partners aims to streamline imaging with single radiology system

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Partners HealthCare is taking steps to streamline its imaging systems by implementing an integrated enterprise imaging platform.

The move will reduce a multiplicity of radiology platforms that have been in use at Partners facilities, its executives say.

Partners has signed a contract with Visage Imaging, a San Diego-based vendor that’s a wholly owned subsidiary of Pro Medicus. Partners was formed in 1994 through the combination of Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Under the contract, Partners will first implement the Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform at the system’s two flagship hospitals; then, the system will be expanded to other Partners network hospitals in a second phase.

Planning for the rollout has begun, with Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s scheduled to be implemented in mid-2019.

Under the plan, Visage 7 will become the central component of the Partners Radiology Enterprise Platform (PREP), which is intended to be a central component of the plan to eliminate multiple legacy PACS; it will enable Partners radiologists to have immediate access to all prior patient imaging studies, no matter where they have been conducted.

Partners institutions use the Epic electronic health records system, but hope to gain efficiencies from moving to a single radiology platform, executives say.

"We are providing our radiologists with a diagnostic viewer and common radiology platform that will transform our practice and accelerate our ongoing efforts to improve the care we provide to our patients," said Stephen Ledbetter, MD, medical director of medical imaging IT at Brigham Health. "Moving to this enterprise platform will require enhanced collaboration, but we know that it is only by working together to scale our best practices across the system that we are able to extract value and realize the full potential of this effort."

"The new platform and our efforts to improve workflows will provide radiologists with dramatically better functionality and make it easier and more efficient for clinicians to read images and access information about their patients -- whether they're in the office or the operating room," said Tarik K. Alkasab, MD, radiology service chief of informatics and IT at Massachusetts General. "We believe that the new platform will truly elevate the ways that we use imaging in the delivery of care, and we see enormous potential for future collaboration with our radiology colleagues across the system."

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