Technology | June 16, 2014

Carestream’s Smart Link Real-Time Monitoring Achieves Better Uptime Levels for Healthcare IT, Imaging Systems

June 16, 2014 — Carestream’s Smart Link helps ensure optimal system performance and uptime by continuously monitoring operations of its healthcare IT and digital imaging systems at healthcare providers across the globe. Smart Link is provided as part of Carestream’s customer service maintenance agreements.

Carestream Smart Link personnel remotely monitor more than 100 activities for Vue RIS+PACS systems to ensure they stay within customized threshold levels established by each healthcare provider. The service offers tiered alert levels that direct the Smart Link support team to take immediate action to prevent a disruption in service. Critical alerts, for example, show up as red on the dashboard, and an email notification and phone call alarm are sent to the Smart Link team.

“Our staff can log into the user’s system, diagnose the problem and take the necessary action to resolve the issue anywhere in the world,” said Mike Romansky, Carestream’s HCIS cloud security and operations manager for the Americas. “Correcting critical problems is urgent because some situations may cause a RIS (radiology information system) or PACS (picture archiving and communications system) to shut down and prevent diagnostic imaging studies from being ordered, accessed, transmitted to a PACS or stored in an archive.”

Romansky said a problem can usually be detected and corrected before the customer knows it has occurred. “Smart Link personnel are able to resolve 99 percent of incidents involving Vue RIS+PACS operations, which ensures maximum uptime for our customers,” he reported.

Smart Link also provides monitoring of Carestream’s CR (computed radiography) and DR (digital radiography) imaging systems and digital print solutions. Carestream personnel use advanced diagnostic tools to assess and correct problems when conditions indicate that a system component may have failed, or a system is not meeting specified performance levels.

“We can fix a majority of software application and configuration issues for imaging systems, and we can also detect and correct some performance issues with DRX detectors. In cases where hardware needs to be replaced, we are able to pinpoint the problem so that a service engineer can bring the right parts and restore the system to normal operation as quickly as possible,” said Mark Hagen, Carestream’s worldwide operational excellence manager for customer care solutions.

“Our goal is to resolve issues using our remote Smart Link technology and the in-depth knowledge of our Smart Support resource network. For the customer, this means expedited resolution for unexpected interruptions to their daily business operations,” Hagen reported.

“Sometimes we cannot correct an issue when an imaging system, CR cassette or DR detector is involved, since the replacement of a hardware component may be required. However the ability to use Smart Link to diagnose a problem before we arrive at the site is invaluable to our customer, since it minimizes downtime and restores their imaging workflow faster than ever before,” he explained.

Carestream customer support personnel record their activities for each service event and an audit log is maintained for every remote connection made to a customer’s system. Carestream uses several secure methods to link to healthcare providers’ locations including a hardware-based VPN solution that supports a variety of network configurations or a direct connection via the Internet that involves secure, encrypted communications with SSL, multi-level authentication, role-based authorization and digital certificates.

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