Christiana Care Health System Improves Physician Access to Medical Imaging
- Posted by Joe Crandall
- On November 9, 2015
- Solution: Change Management, Solution: Healthcare, Solution: Implementation, Solution: Process Improvement, Solution: Project Management
Greencastle partners with Christiana Care Health System to improve patient care by streamlining physician access to diagnostic medical imaging.
Christiana Care Health System is one of the nation’s largest health care providers and is ranked 22nd nationally for hospital admissions. A non-profit health system headquartered in Wilmington, DE, Christiana Care is also a major teaching hospital with a staff of over 10,000 employees.
In 2004, Christiana Care sought to consolidate department-specific medical imaging systems to eliminate a physician’s need to sign-on to different programs to access medical images such as CT Scans, X-Rays, ECHO, etc. Effectively, the idea was to create a single archive that eliminated the islands of information that occur from disconnected departmental image storage systems.
The elimination of interfaces that are difficult to build, support, maintain, and which can rarely supply the full functionality of a more integrated approach proved a significant challenge to Christiana Care’s objectives. Another challenge came from the implementation of a system enabling economy of scale and cost reduction, such as workflow efficiency, enterprise storage efficiency, multi-hospital and department expense consolidation, and consolidated support. In order to overcome these challenges, this effort required the use and leverage of previous imaging investments with existing equipment. Additionally, the enterprise medical imaging system vision was to be realized with the minimum number of systems and system components to improve system reliability, stability, and continuation of care for the patient.
To overcome these challenges, Greencastle assisted in the installation of the Phillips IntelliSpace PACS, a leading enterprise-wide medical image and information management system. This replaced all general radiography units that produced film with either CR or DR machines at all Health Services locations and fully integrated the radiologists’ business process with the enabling of filmless general radiographic studies. Greencastle also helped to create an improved technology infrastructure by installing the necessary hardware and software for program operation, training program users on the new system procedures, and identifying numerous improvement opportunities.
Greencastle’s efforts resulted in significant positive impact to Christiana Care’s operating cost, reducing or eliminating film and collateral film support consumption, increasing the number of images processed with lower cycle times, and limiting errors related to finished image processing and distribution. These reductions in operating costs also resulted in an increase to the quality of care for Christiana’s patients.
In addition, communications improved when referring physicians could locally and remotely share and print images, and all physicians could rapidly retrieve accurate patient history through a unified physician viewing portal with single sign-on access. Patient safety was also increased by reducing the generation of images with radiating equipment, accelerated diagnosis and treatment due to faster image turnaround, and a 15% reduction in patient record errors caused from multiple keystroke entries.
Through its project implementation methodology, Greencastle laid a foundation to expand imaging capability and accommodate current and future needs of the Christiana Care Health System. With increased simplicity and flexibility to keep up with industry standards, and a system simplified from four separate platforms to one, Christiana Health is better equipped to provide safe and effective care to their network of patience.