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Traditionally, picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) have been used primarily in large institutions. Expensive hardware and complicated solutions have kept smaller facilities from being able to enjoy the benefits of a digital workflow. Due to the lack of radiologists in remote locations, hospitals, imaging centers and physicians' practices located in non-metropolitan areas are often in need of a complete radiology solution that provides the facility with access to radiologists 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Upon its opening in October 2006, the Monroe Hospital in Bloomington, Ind. teamed up with an Indianapolis-based PACS and complete radiology coverage provider to supply the new facility with subspecialty radiologists who are available around-the-clock to interpret medical images. The PACS provider's scope of services covers all of the hospital's general and subspecialty radiology services through both on-site and remote radiologists. The radiology network includes local radiologists who provide on-site services, including interventional procedures, coupled with radiologists in Indianapolis and other cities who are available to provide rapid, high quality interpretations for all hours of the day. The teleradiology provider also delivered the complete turn key PACS solution that assisted Monroe Hospital in its opening.
"As both a small and new facility with 32 total beds, working with the Indianapolis enterprise PACS vendor enabled us to open on time with a high-quality PACS solution and very acceptable radiologist coverage to provide timely readings," said Karla Kenefake-Hymans, director of Diagnostic Imaging at Monroe Hospital. "Being a brand new hospital, this also afforded us the wonderful opportunity to have no films to manage. It would have been foolish to create a file room with digital imaging and the electronic record now becoming commonplace and more reliable than ever before."
The comprehensive technology platform that facilitates all of the image transfer and storage allows Monroe Hospital to benefit from advanced capabilities to securely transmit, interpret and store radiological images without having to install or manage a complex set of technologies. The PACS system enables the facility to operate in a filmless environment, which has proven to enhance the level of care delivered to their patients while lowering expenses. The teleradiology provider partnered with Philips Medical Systems to integrate the iSite PACS solution that delivers on-demand diagnostic-quality images to a network of radiologists.
On-demand diagnostic-quality images can be taken at Monroe Hospital and then delivered virtually to an alliance of radiologists. Monroe Hospital has only one on-site radiologist. When he is not available, all other hours of coverage are provided by the alliance of radiologists distributed around the globe.