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How to boost operational effi ciency in the enterprise radiology environment

Until a few years ago, many of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System’s radiology departments continued to operate partially or entirely on paper-based documentation systems.


everal years ago, North Shore-LIJ Health System, which cares for people of all ages throughout Long Island, Queens and Staten Island, estab- lished a strategy for information technology to implement enterprise solutions allowing for sharing of patient information across hospitals. In radiology, that has led to the installation of highly integrated, multi- vendor products which provide a robust and highly redundant technology environment.

That, in turn, provides clinicians with seamless avail- ability to patient images and reports across the health system. At the core of this enterprise solution is the integration of Siemens’ Novius RIS, Nuance’s Power- Scribe dictation system, GE’s Centricity Enterprise PACS system, and EMC’s enterprise storage solu- tions. This combination has been successfully imple- mented at most North Shore-LIJ hospitals, with the remaining sites sched- uled for completion this year. Integration points also have been established with the Eclipsys Sunrise clinical information system for inpatients, while similar integration is being devel- oped with the Allscripts EHR for ambulatory and outpatient environments. The nation’s third larg- est, non-profit, secular healthcare system, the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s service area en- compasses more than 5 million people. The winner

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26 July 2010

of the National Quality Forum’s 2010 National Qual- ity Healthcare Award, the health system consists of 14 hospitals, 17 long-term care facilities, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, three trauma centers, fi ve home health agencies, a hospice network and dozens of outpatient centers. In addition, North Shore-LIJ has partnered with Hofstra University to develop a new medical school. North Shore-LIJ’s owned facilities house about 5,000 beds, employ more than 9,500 nurses and have affi liations with more than 7,500 physicians. Its workforce of about 38,000 is the largest on Long Island and the ninth largest in New York City.

By moving to PACS, multiple physicians and allied health professionals throughout the health system can now access a patient’s study at any given time, eradicating the issue of many individuals vying to share one document.

The pain points

Until a few years ago, many of the health system’s radiology departments continued to operate partially or entirely on paper-based documentation systems. There was a collection of disparate, site-specifi c systems with no automated sharing of patient information. Hospitals were still printing fi lm, and technologists continued to handle paper requisitions, prescriptions, consent forms and intake forms.

As only one copy of a patient’s exam was generally printed and multiple physicians might be referencing that copy, oftentimes a search was needed to locate it. When radiologists interpreted the study, they dictated


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