Case Study | February 05, 2008

Oregon Medical Group Goes Digital to Support Continued Growth

Group practice selected Carestream Health for RIS/PACS/CR solution.

Oregon Medical Group’s growth was both a blessing and a curse.
The Eugene/Springfield-based group practice is rapidly expanding and now includes more than 13 clinics and 118 physicians that collectively perform 58,000 imaging procedures a year. Director of Diagnostic Imaging Dawn Adell, BSRT (R) (CV), decided it was time to establish an integrated digital infrastructure.
“Our workflow was extremely complicated due to the high volume of studies we conduct, and the number of different locations where images were captured. In addition, we lost two of our four radiologists. I began to investigate how we could use digital technology to improve the efficiency of our workflow and the level of service we offer physicians,” she explained.
The results of the practice’s conversion to KODAK CARESTREAM Radiology Solutions from Carestream Health Inc. are impressive: staff and radiologist productivity increased by 20 to 25 percent; and radiology reports are ready in as little as 30 minutes and can be accessed from the PACS Web server or by clicking a hyperlink on the electronic medical record (EMR) system.
Single Click Delivers Imaging Studies
“Physicians can read the radiology report on our EMR and then click on an icon to immediately view the imaging study. It couldn’t be easier. Radiology reports and images are available at workstations in reading areas and every exam room and remotely from homes or offices via the Internet,” Adell reported.
She wanted a vendor that could supply CR, RIS and PACS as part of a completely integrated solution, and she also wanted the vendor to provide a smooth interface between the new RIS/PACS and existing information systems. “It quickly became apparent that Carestream Health’s approach to re-engineering our workflow transcended the scope and level of performance offered by traditional RIS/PACS/CR offerings.”
The practice’s Digital Imaging Committee evaluated 13 vendors prior to selecting Carestream Health. The firm’s sales and project management team carefully designed an automated workflow with an implementation plan that involved the staged installation of CR, RIS and PACS during a six-month period.
The practice first installed six KODAK DIRECTVIEW CR 825 Systems. “These CR systems provide the excellent image quality valued by our radiologists, while also offering the ease of use and productivity needed by our technologists,” she reported.
In terms of the RIS, Oregon Medical Group’s team wanted a scalable system that offered fully automated functionality from order entry to the distribution of results to physicians. In addition, the RIS needed to be adaptable to the practice’s multisite operations and be able to integrate with the group’s 10-year-old practice management system as well as EMR and billing systems.
RIS Communicates Well with Other Information Systems
“The KODAK CARESTREAM RIS is exceptional because it follows the patient from the scheduling process through report delivery and billing and facilitates the import and export of information with other systems. It also acts as a mini-EMR system. With a single click, our staff and physicians can find out
anything they need to know about a patient, from lab results or allergies to
insurance information and billing status,” she noted.
The staff also appreciates the flexibility of the RIS. “We outlined all the data that needed to go into and out of the RIS, and Carestream Health engineers tailored the platform to perform these functions. So we have adapted this RIS to meet the specific needs of our multispecialty group practice.”
On the imaging side, Oregon Medical Group’s new PACS acts as a central hub for collecting, reviewing, managing, storing and distributing images and related information. The KODAK CARESTREAM PACS earns rave reviews from Adell and her team for its user-friendly design, time-saving tools and integrated third-party applications.
“Our staff and physicians find CARESTREAM Radiology Solutions very intuitive. This platform also delivers productivity-enhancing tools, including the ability to generate a “normal” radiology report and a final signature for each radiologist in seconds with the click of a button. This negates the need for transcription and greatly improves the reading efficiency and turnaround time of our radiologists,” she noted.
PACS Delivers Integrated 3D Tools, Orthopedic Templating
Oregon Medical Group purchased optional integrated 3D reconstruction tools and ORTHOVIEW Orthopaedic Digital Imaging software. “This fully integrated templating solution supports our new orthopedic surgical center. The surgeons are extremely pleased with the functionality of the templates and the responsiveness of the PACS system.”
The CARESTREAM PACS platform’s native, real-time 3D capabilities include MIP, MinIP, MPR, volume rendering, tissue definition and vessel tracking functionality. These tools deliver enhanced clinical information as well as convenience. “Having integrated 3D capabilities delivers better diagnostic information to radiologists, in addition to being more convenient,” Adell explained.
The feature-rich functionality of the RIS/PACS solution not only serves Oregon Medical physicians but also delivers a higher level of service to referring physicians.
“The Web-based functionality of this solution is unmatched, which is a tremendous competitive advantage. In addition, the CARESTREAM RIS/PACS platform offers remote users access to the same toolset they use at our clinics, which earns praise from surgeons, specialists and other physicians who view imaging studies from their home or office.”
With this ambitious conversion behind her, Adell is pleased with both the process and the results. “This conversion touched every OMG physician and every member of my team. We encountered some challenges, but Carestream Health’s team worked with us to design an efficient digital workflow that provides more detailed and timely information to our physicians, and ultimately, delivers a higher level of care to our patients.”

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