Sponsored by NDS Surgical Imaging, LLC
Mission Health System, like many hospitals, was looking for leading edge technology when it upgraded its PACS last year. The Asheville, N.C.-based health system, which is licensed for 800 beds and includes six hospitals and partnerships with four imaging centers, needed a better way to distribute radiology reports and images between its affiliated facilities and among radiologists, specialists and referring physicians.
“We were transitioning from an old system...to a new PACS and with that were a number of new applications to improve workflow and performance,” says John Campbell, chief imaging informatics officer at Mission.
Along with the PACS renovation, Mission needed to upgrade their medical displays to better drive improvements to workflow, efficiency and productivity for the radiologists.
They embarked on a careful search for next-generation displays. Campbell and a few of Mission’s radiologists invited a group of vendors to demonstrate their displays so the radiologists could see them in action, taking them for a “test drive” in their own environment before filling out an evaluation.
“I think the evaluation form, vendor-to-vendor, was very valuable to us when we made the final decision,” says Campbell of the selection process, which lasted about six weeks. “It was a systematic approach to making a decision.”
Ultimately, Campbell and the team chose the Dome E3cHB 3MP display over the competitor’s 6MP and 3MP offerings. “There was some spread between the vendors, not a whole lot, but when we narrowed it down to the final two, it was still a better choice based on all of the other factors to go with Dome,” he says.
“I liked the self-calibration functionality of the monitors,” adds Bryon A. Dickerson, MD, president of Asheville Radiology Associates, referring to the Dome CXtra software that automatically monitors the calibration of the display, remotely alerting staff if the monitor’s levels need adjustments.
They chose a total of 19 dual HD display workstations for St. Joseph and Mission hospitals. Seven additional workstations were installed at Mission’s outpatient facilities and member hospitals.
The staff at Mission surprised themselves with their decision to switch vendors for the new displays. Campbell says that going into the selection process, the early favorite was a high MP, dual display. But once the products were put to the test in the working environment, the radiologists noticed some problems with that model.
“One of the vendors displayed a 6 MP display, and yet, when we really saw it, there was some reflective glass or glare issues,” says Dickerson.
In addition to the built-in software and glare-free surface, the staff at Mission was concerned with the type of warranty each vendor could offer so they could control future replacement costs. The Dome display included a five-year warranty.
“These monitors are [an investment], so they have to perform well over a long time,” Campbell notes. “This five-year warranty period was very valuable to us.”
The new PACS and displays went live at the flagship hospitals on the St. Joseph and Memorial campuses, along with the four imaging centers, in November 2010. McDowell Hospital and Blue Ridge Regional Hospital came online shortly after that, and the installations at the Angel and Transylvania facilities will be completed in the near future.
A major benefit of the hardware refresh is equipment is standardized across all Mission facilities. Repair and maintenance, as well as general day-to-day use, will be the same from display to display, saving time and resources and streamlining workflow for IT staff.
After spending almost a year with the new technology, Campbell says the physician feedback has been very positive. Surgeons were given rigorous training from a PACS OR transition team, and taught how to apply presentation state images to images prior to the start of a case. They also were taught how to position images within the OR suites, which were outfitted with displays on either side of the operating table and on an end wall. The surgeons are very pleased with the OR PACS displayed images, increasing the use of 3D images in the OR and future enhancement software for orthopedics and trauma. And as PACS in the OR has increased, there have been monetary savings as well, with Mission Health cutting their laser film use by a substantial