September 19, 2008

New Gannett X-Rays Serve Patients Faster

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In a move to smooth the transition to having fully electronic health records, Gannett Health Services recently implemented a state of the art radiography system. The Radiology Information System/ Picture Archiving and Communications System for managing medical images is providing faster service and more efficient doctor-patient communication.
The transition to the Kodak DR 3500 occurred after three years of research and planning to seek the best value in replacing outdated technology and to streamline radiologic images with other fully electronic health records. Following a period of renovations to the radiology suite and training for radiographers and clinicians, the system came into use
in January.
[img_assist|nid=31919|title=Doctor, doctor|desc=New radiology equipment at Gannett is part a program to transition to fully electronic health records.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]The recently installed Kodak DR 3500 captures radiology images within 10 seconds. The results can be viewed within minutes using the RIS/PACS system, synchronized with Gannett’s medical information so the status of radiology reports and exams are available as well. Patient data and exam order information from the physician are downloaded from the RIS database to systematize data and eliminate redundancies.
“We believe this radiology solution is an excellent value for the institution,” said Kathy Crown ’87, ancillary services and finance manager at Gannett. “We strive to be careful stewards of Cornell’s resources. In this case, we believe we have implemented a solution that delivers better service to our patients while delivering an excellent value to the University.”
Under the previous analog system, processing time for medical imaging exams could take up to 20 minutes, as treating clinicians had to wait for films to be processed. The availability of the results of the radiologic exams on CDs also mitigates the cumbersome process of mailing the 14-inch by 17-inch films to students’ physicians at home. In
addition to reducing the patient wait time, the efficiency of the new X-ray system allows for the elimination of one X-ray room and storage facilities for hard copies of film.
Pam Arsenault, Gannett Health Service’s radiology supervisor, emphasized the added convenience, “When students come to Gannett for treatment, they want to make one efficient trip. The new system allows us to meet their expectations.”
The DR 3500 system also smoothes communication between medical care providers. Before the new technology allowed for the rapid transfer of images, radiologists traveled to campus once a day to read exams. Now, Gannett clinicians and off-campus radiologists can concurrently access medical information by employing the Picture Archiving and Communications System and consult from different facilities.
“With the new digital solution, images are sent electronically from Radiology to the ordering clinician’s office, often by the time patients leave the radiology suite,” Arsenault said.