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department. For instance, one top informatics engineer came from a local electronics retailer. His background in repair and system analysis was a perfect complement for the clinical leadership in the RI department.

Jeff Hicks, RT, MHSA, is vice president of ancillary services at Baptist Medical Center South, Montgomery, Alabama. For more information on Philips solutions: www.rsleads.com/007ht-208

It is this unique mix of talents that enables the RI department to bridge the clinical and traditional enterprise IT worlds by creating an atmosphere of

clinician-focused communication that facilitates a more- effi cient radiology practice.

The coordination of harmonious IT and RI depart- ments may seem like a delicate balance; however, when the IT and RI teams worked together on their fi rst signifi cant integration (the Winscribe integration into iSite suite), the close cooperation required to complete the project cemented a fi rm partnership that has paid signifi cant dividends to the organization as a whole. As technology becomes an ever-increasing driver to ensuring a smooth and effi cient healthcare environment, a well-run collaboration such as this can hold the key to success.

Baptist Health further maximizes effi ciencies by utiliz- ing the offsite data storage available through the Philips iSite PACS solution which accelerates image access, incorporates clinical applications with proven advanced clinical decision-support solutions, provides back-up studies for disaster-recovery purposes and prevents any unnecessary downtime – even as demand for imaging services grows over multiple work sites, including free- standing independent clinical partners. Again, it is the RI specialists who liaise with the Philips iSite service team whenever there is a need, freeing the core IT staff to manage all non-clinical enterprise needs. Also of great importance to the institution is the seam- less interface between radiology and cardiology PACS solutions, Philips iSite and Philips Xcelera respectively. Baptist Health was one of the fi rst medical facilities to implement such an approach, which is scalable and fl ex- ible enough to grow over multiple sites. This ultimately benefi ts patients by facilitating physician access to all radiology and cardiology images and making related diag- nostic information easily accessible anywhere throughout the Baptist Health PACS environment during offi ce or hospital visits.

Those hospitals with early generation PACS solutions unable to handle the large data sets essential to clinically relevant visualization may also fi nd that their systems are not adequate for broad image management or ideal for facilitating advanced clinical decision making. These common scenarios will almost certainly lead to excessive downtime, continual complaints and frustration, reduced

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quality of care, and the endless expense of hardware and software upgrades.

As previously mentioned, the Winscribe integration has paid tremendous dividends for the organization. Before this integration, like many health facilities Baptist utilized a legacy product that was in need of a substantial and expensive upgrade. It was slow, cumbersome to use and outdated; turnaround times were approximately four to 12 hours to get a report to a referring doctor. Post integration, radiologists enjoy a single sign-on for both systems simultaneously and our turnaround time is measured in minutes instead of hours. Our referring docs are extremely happy with this solution, which has also helped us grow from our original PACS footprint, three hospitals and six imaging centers, to four additional imaging centers and a growing teleradiology system – and we have plans for further expansion.

As hospitals around the world continue to implement digital imaging, many will fi nd that integrated PACS solu- tions managed through a robust collaboration between RI specialists and traditional IT will rise to the top in terms of effi ciency, ease of use and improved quality of care. The PACS solution itself is the foundation for success.

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