Expand Your Cardiology Business Through the Use of Image and Information Technology: Agfa

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DOI
https://doi.org/10.15420/ecr.2005.1r
Developing New and Additional Business Opportunities by Using and Promoting the Benefits of a Cardiology Image and Information System

Hospitals utilising information technology (IT), such as a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) or hospital/departmental information systems (IS) are aware of the benefits this technology can provide - namely, improved access to images, reduced diagnostic report turnaround, increased examination capacity, improved control over business processes, by allowing for visibility of quality and administrative parameters, and financial savings due to the elimination of film and chemistry-related costs. As an additional benefit, PACS and IS give staff more time, allowing them to focus on patient care rather than managing film archives or similar administrative tasks. Furthermore, a digital system can be used to promote your hospital's services within your local community and to attract external specialists and their referrals. The key lies in promoting how technology can help physicians to integrate their practices with your facility, in that way enabling them to share the efficiencies, convenience and clinical benefits of your technology investment.

PACS began in radiology and has branched out into other departments incorporating clinically-specific tools and features to meet their specific needs. With more than a century of experience providing imaging solutions and over 900 PACS installations worldwide, Agfa has a unique understanding of how physicians and medical specialists use imaging and information management in their daily routine and are now delivering this expertise to cardiology. With IMPAX® for cardiology, Agfa's cardiology image and information management solution, technology can be used to its full potential by providing access to all the information the cardiologist needs, even coming from multi-modalities or across hospital departments, all accessible from a single point of access - the cardiology workstation.

Current cardiology departments face a number of issues - an ageing population, increased demand for services, ever-increasing volumes of data and a shortage of cardiologists and support staff. Agfa's IMPAX for cardiology is an enterprise-enabled image and information management solution designed to meet the image review and reporting needs of your cardiology department. Combining Agfa's integration expertise with the market-leading cardiology solution provided to them by Heartlab, Inc., IMPAX for cardiology is a feature-rich cardiology image review, departmental information system and reporting solution that independently connects with modalities and enterprise information systems. It is the premier cardiology solution currently available providing the required image acquisition, storage, review and reporting capabilities.

Efficiencies

IMPAX for cardiology accesses multiple imaging modalities, including cardiac catheterisation, electrocardiogram (ECG), computed tomography (CT), cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CVMR) and chest X-rays to provide an integrated cardiac image record. Cardiologists can review all relevant images from any location with one single logon and search. Cardiologists can view images whenever and wherever it is convenient for them, from the intensive care unit (ICU), to surgery, to the accident and emergency (A&E) department, a remote clinic and even from their desks. The cardiologists can also generate the procedure report immediately as part of the same session. IMPAX for cardiology assists cardiologists to streamline workflow and improve report turnaround times. Images and reports are immediately available throughout the healthcare enterprise, thus improving the efficiency of the care process.

In addition, IMPAX for cardiology offers an integrated, multi-modality structured reporting solution. Examination data and measurements can be imported from devices to avoid duplicate, error-prone, data entry. Structured reporting enables the administrative and clinical staff to efficiently generate clinical and management reports such as utilisation statistics. This comprehensive core data set supports a variety of reports, such as charting or registry submission; as well as communicating back to the referring physician.

IMPAX for cardiology verifies ordered examinations with your hospital information system (HIS), thereby assuring accurate data and enabling reliable access to all of a patient's diagnostic reports and relevant images. Physicians can access current and prior images quickly and view a more accurate, complete patient record without having to search through image master folders.

Communication

With IMPAX for cardiology, cardiologists gain remote access to images and information through Agfa's web-enabled cardio-remote workstation. Furthermore, their departmental integrated clinical information system (ICIS) facilitates communication among physicians and staff and provides connectivity tools for related systems. By providing intelligent connections throughout the hospital, pertinent patient information is made available where and when it is needed. By simply manipulating schedules with the click of a mouse, the patient worklist information is redirected to the appropriate devices in the new location without the need to re-enter patient data.

This foremost device connectivity, combined with their whiteboard-style workflow solution instantly communicates this change to physicians, staff and everyone with a need to know. Remote access capabilities allow cardiologists and their staff to review works lists, schedules and examination status updates as well as view images and diagnostic reports from an office location.

Clinical Benefits

Multi-modality image review, immediate availability to image data and reduced report turnaround time provide a cumulative clinical benefit. Cross-departmental access to image and report data and the ability for remote consultations enables cardiologists to gain a more comprehensive view of relevant images and reports, resulting in a higher degree of confidence in the diagnosis. Valuable human assets will be freed up from the time-consuming tasks of locating tapes, films and patient charts, allowing more time to focus on patient care.

The IMPAX for cardiology solution is compatible with virtually every major capture and output device, as well as HIS, radiology information systems (RIS) and electronic patient record (EPR) systems, so your current technology investment is optimised instead of made obsolete. Although IMPAX ensures easy access to information for authorised care providers in your network, patient confidentiality will be maintained. The system's security features, such as user authentication; encryption, transaction login and audit trail, help users meet patient privacy and security requirements.

Every IMPAX solution includes Agfa;s professional support services to provide the means to integrate cardiology information exactly how it is needed, whether with on-site staff, other departments or even remote facilities or campuses. Complete training for clinical and technical staff, including consulting and referring physicians is provided. The Agfa team also works with your organisation to create a workflow analysis to map out efficiencies and a network validation that balances budgetary constraints with patient volume and institutional goals. These resources and many more allow your cardiology patients to be cared for more effectively and efficiently than ever before.

Facilities with IMPAX for cardiology can demonstrate efficiencies and clinical benefits, for example reduced report turnaround time to improved physician satisfaction. Referring physicians will appreciate the tangible benefits IMPAX for cardiology can offer, thus providing competitive advantage.

Agfa, the Agfa-Rhombus and IMPAX are registered trademarks of Agfa-Gevaert NV or its affiliates. All rights reserved.