Watch the interview with SimonMed.
Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, SimonMed is one of the fastest-growing imaging groups in North America. Founded just over ten years ago by interventional radiologist Dr. John Simon, the organization operates under the principal that radiology services can be provided in a manner that is both patient-focused and cost-effective.
Abiding to this philosophy, SimonMed has grown immensely over the past decade – from a single imaging center to 68 locations in multiple states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Nebraska and Nevada. In addition, the organization oversees the work of 19 sites that are branded as part of the SimonMed family, and provides radiology services for hospitals and other outpatient networks.
A unique success story in today’s industry, approximately 100 radiologists operate under the SimonMed umbrella, reading between 800,000 and one million studies per year.
Using IntelePACS to Facilitate Expansion
A rapidly-growing organization, SimonMed is particularly adept at finding areas of opportunity in the market where individual- or multiple-center operations can be easily integrated into their larger network, providing economies of scale and cost efficiencies that wouldn’t be available to smaller organizations.
Playing a key role in SimonMed’s continued expansion has been Intelerad’s IntelePACS solution. Coupling IntelePACS’ scalability and performance in geographically-dispersed networks, IntelePACS enables SimonMed to leverage a single, centralized PACS that can be easily extended to new sites. This allows new acquisitions to leverage existing infrastructure, which greatly reduces IT costs and improves margins right away.
“Intelerad and IntelePACS have played a large role in our growth,” says Chris Diehn, PACS Manager, SimonMed. “The robustness of the PACS, and the scalability in particular, has allowed us to expand a lot quicker than we would be able to otherwise.”
By enabling high performance, such as rapid case-routing and image pre-fetching regardless of location or bandwidth, IntelePACS has also provided SimonMed with a great deal of options when expanding their business.
“For SimonMed, one of IntelePACS’ strengths is that it doesn’t impede our acquisition process,” says Joe King, Director of IT, SimonMed. “The fact that we do not have to worry about whether or not we can deploy the PACS into geographically disparate areas provides us remarkable freedom in who we decide to acquire.”
Using IntelePACS to Manage a Multi-State Operation
Committed to delivering high-quality patient care, SimonMed’s deployment of IntelePACS to newly-acquired imaging groups allows the organization to leverage new staff members’ subspecialties, essentially making them a large teleradiology network.
At the same time, using a single instance of IntelePACS provides a bird’s-eye view of the entire organization, allowing it to easily manage all of their imaging centers and regions together. This is true not only for management and benchmarking, but from a case routing perspective, as the solution allows SimonMed to maintain a central worklist and filter orders that need to be read immediately or route to subspecialists.
“The unification of the system has allowed us to do a lot better job of managing all of our companies and regions,” says Diehn. “It allows us to see things that are happening in each place –where radiologists need more work, or where they may be getting a little overwhelmed.”
Driving the Performance of Radiologists
For SimonMed’s radiologists, IntelePACS drives performance through its speed of image transfer, functionality, and collaboration tools, allowing them to significantly raise their productivity while rapidly delivering high-quality reports.
“The success we’ve had with IntelePACS is demonstrated by the volume and velocity at which our radiologists can read while maintaining a high level of patient care,” says King. “In terms of productivity, we had a region with 11 radiologists using a competing PACS who were being out-read by one radiologist using IntelePACS.”
King attributes these productivity gains to a number of items, most notably IntelePACS’ user experience. He notes that with IntelePACS’ ease of use toolset, radiologists have everything they need at their fingertips, and don’t have to work between various applications or live in their email.
“In my experience, the difference between IntelePACS and the competition is that it’s faster. It’s easier to use, easier to support, and radiologists enjoy it,” says King. “The fact that a radiologist can read more studies in less amount of time with a higher rate of success tells me it’s an effective tool.”
A Strong Business Relationship Helps Drive Success
Having used IntelePACS for over a decade, Intelerad and SimonMed share a strong relationship, one that both sides see continuing for years to come.
“The business relationship that SimonMed and Intelerad have today is a very positive one for both organizations,” says King. “I think that Intelerad provides SimonMed with a product that we can use to meet our objectives as an organization – growth, provide quality patient care – and do it in such a way that is both cost effective and gives us the opportunity to open new markets.”