Current trends in healthcare call for an image handling strategy for all medical disciplines. Although medical images are used in numerous medical specialities, they are often not stored and distributed in a way that is efficient for the healthcare enterprise. Images constitute an important decision support with a huge cost-savings potential; when handled efficiently, the gains become even clearer.
In this article two customers that has invested in Sectra Image Central for efficient image handling across departments borders shares their experiences and visions.
Sörmland County Council in Sweden, benefit since 2010 from an enterprise-wide solution for non-radiology images. “We always strive to build an efficient workflow around the patient, from when treatment begins to when it’s completed. Images are taken within a large number of disciplines, but it’s only in the radiology department that most hospitals and clinics have a common system for storing and handling them. With Sectra Image Central we have increased transparency between different departments and avoid the problem of having images stored in several different systems or in the physicians’ computers, says Cecilia Halvardson, Manager healthcare systems at the IT department at Sörmland County Council.
This patient centered vision is shared by Lars-Olof Almquist, Medical Technical Manager for Region Skåne, another of Sectra’s customers who recently invested in Sectra’s solution for multi-disciplinary image management“. My long-term vision is access to all images everywhere throughout the region for all authorized personal who is involved in the treatment of the patient. This would enhance work efficiency and security, ultimately benefiting the patients.”
Since the implementation of Image Central, Sörmland County Council has experienced significant gains both from the clinician’s perspective and from a patient perspective. “The clinical gains have been obvious,” says Cecilia Halvardsson. Images stored in Sectra PACS are accessible for all authorized users which contributes to improved referral documentation (primary care) and referral results (specialist care). The images can also be used as a complement or for comparison on multi disciplinary team meetings and offer the possibility of teleradiology. Improved referral documentation and results are also beneficial from the patient’s perspective. It is also an advantage that image documentation is available for insurance companies, legal certificates, etc.
Sectra Image Central ensures that all relevant images are accessible when needed, regardless of format or where in the enterprise they were generated. The application can easily be launched from a HIS or EPR system, and automatically displays the images available for the chosen patient. It also allows authorized users to conveniently add additional images to the patient’s folder. This way the user does not need to log in to several systems or search for images, which will ultimately lead to improved, more effective patient care.
Sectra Image Central uses the existing PACS infrastructure when deployed, and thus both Sörmland County Council and Skåne University Hospital leverages the investments they already made in Sectra PACS.
“These two interviews confirm the picture I get talking to customer around the world. Expanding the use of their imaging IT solutions to include other disciplines clearly brings clinical gains,” says Hans Lugnegård, Product Manager at Sectra.
Hans Lugnegård is product manager for Sectra's diagnostic imaging solution and is eager to discuss current trends such as enterprise image management, the data explosion or how to achieve efficient workflows that span across department and hospital boundaries.
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