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Cover Story


period, radiologists still needed access to prior fi lms for can conveniently access PACS from any PC on any
comparison, and the library staff needed to manage PACS desktop.
images on CDs. Extensive training was conducted for radiologists,
The Centricity PACS was deployed in stages: radiol- staff technologists, ED physicians, referring physicians
ogy department in 2006; migration of existing cardiol- and fi lm library staff. The training emphasized tools and
ogy image data to the PACS followed by going live in techniques specifi c to the person’s job functions, along

2008; and conversion to a paperless requisition system with test runs with actual images. Referring physicians

in 2008. PACS access was deployed to staff as well as were invited to visit a dedicated viewing room at the
physicians. hospital for training any time, day or night.

A “fi ltered” modality work list and multidepartment/ Support was provided by trained super users and
multisystem storage-area network (SAN) are critical to representatives from GE Healthcare IT applications.
Olathe’s PACS, Craig says. Olathe fi ltered each modality Users also had access to instant support via a dedicated
by department and location, so each technologist would PACS help line.
receive only the orders that are pertinent to their imaging
system, without scrolling through a large master list of
all orders. For example, ultrasound receives only those
At the staff level, workstations in imaging
orders, and the emergency room receives orders only areas allow technologists to verify exams
for the ER patient.
rapidly before sending them to interpreting
Olathe realized in 2009 that the SAN solution, origi-
nally deployed for PACS, could play an important role in
physicians. A key strategy, Craig explains, was
helping the health system virtualize servers and applica-
to place adequate numbers of workstations in
tions across the enterprise. “The SAN solution actually
promulgated our vision for virtualization,” says Craig. “As
locations consistent with the work fl ows so as
we virtualize our servers, we are using the SAN as storage
to minimize technologist waiting.
for servers across departments and facilities.”
Workstations in interpreting physicians’ offi ces enable
fast, convenient, comfortable reading with attention to A critical component of the transition to PACS was
ergonomics and environment. In the emergency depart- management of fi lm-based images. “The fi lm library’s
ment, rapid access to images expedites emergent care. involvement was predicated on the fact that we would
Cart-based workstations make images available in the not be able to immediately shut off the manual-labor
operating rooms and ICU. process of retrieving prior images,” says Craig.

Prior images were pulled from storage and delivered to
Access to images from anywhere physicians, who placed them on view boxes if required.

For hospital staff physicians, a Centricity PACS Web Eighteen months after going live, demand for fi lm-based
application provides access to images in the offi ce or off prior images had decreased to about two to three cases

SHOWLINE site via Internet connections. The hospital supplied a ca- per day, greatly reducing manual labor and increasing
ble connection, and the physicians installed the necessary radiologist effi ciency.

routers and PCs. Adoption was quick and universal. Another challenge to PACS implementation was ac-

“Shortly after we deployed PACS Web, we had a commodating foreign PACS exams brought to the hospi-
case where a neurosurgeon was downtown celebrating tal on CDs. To ensure consistency in the imaging record,
the birthday of one of his children,” Craig says. “He the hospital implemented a process of having all CDs
took his laptop along. During the birthday party, he got delivered to the radiology department, where the data
a call requesting that he report to the hospital for a head is loaded on a utility workstation and simply reburned
trauma case. Instead, he was able to view the patient’s with the Olathe exam and medical record data and the
images on his laptop and determine that surgery was GE viewer everyone is familiar with.
Nelson Publishing
not called for.” Craig credits much of the hospital’s successes to
At the staff level, workstations in imaging areas allow the rigorous work-fl ow analysis on the front end and to
2500 Tamiami Tr N
technologists to verify exams rapidly before sending them comprehensive staff support before and after going live.
Nokomis, FL 34275
to interpreting physicians. A key strategy, Craig explains, “A detailed analysis of imaging-related work fl ow gets
was to place adequate numbers of workstations in loca- everybody on the same wavelength,” she says. “It was an
tions consistent with the work fl ows so as to minimize emotionally draining and painful process, but the bottom
technologist waiting. Meanwhile, PCs throughout the line is that it cleared the obstructions from the road ahead
hospital were upgraded to meet Centricity PACS Web as we went through the work-fl ow analysis and proved
specifi cations. Now, nurses and physicians on the fl oors what the benefi ts of PACS would be.” HMT
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