Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi is a private hospital in Milan dedicated to orthopedic procedures. They perform approximately 100,000 examinations and 15,000 surgeries annually. As a production-oriented hospital, a high-performance PACS and a digital templating tool for the orthopedic surgeons was a prerequisite to meet their high demands on efficiency.
At the end of 2006, Galeazzi realized that they needed to reduce their costs and increase productivity to remain competitive. At that point, the hospital’s radiology department and surgery were analog and the obvious choice was to adopt a completely film-free workflow. The aim was to provide efficient tools for their radiologists and surgeons, as well as to increase the quality of care by shortening the waiting time from request, image acquisition, studies reporting and delivery of this information to surgery.
With high production and customer care in focus, a stable PACS solution with proven up-time, smooth integration capabilities and a dedicated solution for orthopedic procedures was the only option.
“For a hospital such as ours, productivity is everything. We needed a PACS that could cope with the pace and support our vision of an efficient hospital-wide workflow,” relates Dr. Franco Perona, Chairman of the Radiology Department in Galeazzi Hospital.
Moving from an analog to digital workflow in just five months placed high demands on finding a vendor that really understood the complete workflow of a hospital as well as the radiologists’ working environment. Someone who could not only deliver a PACS but was also able to understand Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi’s needs.
In June 2007, Galeazzi installed Sectra PACS throughout the radiology department and operating rooms, integrated with Italian speech recognition software as well as TrakHealth RIS.
“I know from other hospitals’ experience that the integration with TrakHealth can be really complex. However, thanks to Sectra PACS’s open platform and the competence of the Andra SpA staff, Sectra’s official partner in Italy, the integration has been extremely smooth and really allowed us to reap the full benefits of our digital workflow,” says Dr. Perona.
In the orthopedic surgery department, Sectra also installed its orthopedic solution, which enables digital pre-operative planning for all procedures – hip, knee, shoulders and trauma. Today, Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi performs approximately 2,000 hip and knee arthroplasty procedures annually.
Being digital since September 2007, Galeazzi is really seeing the benefits of their investment. Sectra PACS has allowed them to save money by eliminating film cost and to increase their productivity and reduce patient waiting time.
With images instantly available, radiologists can produce their report immediately using speech recognition, approve and have the report available in the integrated RIS/PACS without delay. This speeds up the radiologists work, but also allows the patients to move through the hospital much quicker.
As recognition of their achievement, Galeazzi was rated as the fourth largest hospital in the Lombardia region in terms of production in 2008.
“Sectra PACS has proven to be a rock-solid solution with minimum down-time during daily use as well as during upgrades,” says Dr. Perona.
Sectra PACS is being continuously developed and enhanced in close cooperation with customers throughout the world. Functionality and user interface are created with the radiologists workflow in mind. This is one of the reasons most of the radiologists and surgeons in the hospital were able to adapt to their new tools and workflow practically overnight, despite a lack of previous experience of a digital workflow.
“It is obvious that Sectra PACS is developed based on a true understanding of how our radiologists work and what tools they need to accomplish an efficient workflow,” continues Dr. Perona.
Sectra Orthopedic PACS was well received in the orthopedic department as well. Sectra’s templating tool has proven extremely accurate and time saving. The orthopedic solution includes a large and constantly growing template library that allows the surgeons to plan their surgeries with their prosthesis of choice. Sectra Orthopedic PACS allows Istituto Orptopedico Galeazzi to track the preoperative planning and digitally display the results directly in the surgery theatre.
Dr. Perona and the Galeazzi Hospital continue to look forward and to find new ways of improving efficiency and patient care. In addition to Galeazzi, there are 21 more hospitals in the same healthcare group and in the future Dr. Perona hopes they can work together in a distributed workflow, sharing workload, expertise and meeting their patients’ need for more flexible healthcare. He is also hoping to connect referring physicians to the hospital’s RIS/PACS, thus creating a truly film- and paper-free workflow.
“We face a challenging future as radiology continues to develop at a rapid pace. Sectra is an ideal partner for us, offering an open architecture, scalability and upgradability, as well as being a member of our team providing advice on how to meet current and future needs.”