JiveX in Georgia Healthcare Group
This sounds unusual, but it’s true: Anyone interested in future-oriented and efficient supply structures should take a look at Georgia. This is where Georgia Healthcare Group (GHG), the largest provider of medical services, is currently designing a central radiological diagnostic hub for the approximately 18 hospitals in the Group. The project is being carried out with the JiveX Enterprise PACS – which truly lives up to its name here.
With the centralization of radiological reporting, GHG did not principally intend to play a pioneering role but instead make the best out of a challenging situation. This is because the country’s geography, which is just as mountainous as that of Switzerland as well as the motivation to further improve system efficiency and quality of service urged the need to provide uniform, comprehensive diagnostic care on the highest level and around the clock. The implementation of the centralized and fully integrated PACS was a critical step towards the Group’s clinical strategy of centralizing the radiology services through a central radiology analytical hub located in capital: “GHG covers the entire spectrum from ambulatory care in outpatient clinics to basic inpatient care in so-called community clinics to full-service, referral hospitals in the major cities. All of our inpatient facilities are very well equipped with imaging technologies, including large radiology devices such as CT and MRI machines. And at each site, the necessary technical staff is available to perform examinations. What is missing are the resources needed to quickly and easily report radiological image data because a radiologist is not available around the clock in every facility. This is why, with the introduction of a PACS, we also wanted to organize reporting centrally,” explains Gregory Khurtsidze, Chief Clinical Officer at GHG. The rationale behind such central hubs is an ultramodern approach and is often described nowadays by the term “virtual hospital.”
PACS brings more quality to care and management
Before the introduction of JiveX, there was no central structure at GHG hospitals for managing and archiving radiological data – neither via a RIS nor a PACS. Images generated at site A also stayed there. If no radiologist who could interpret them was on site, it was necessary to wait until one arrived. Or the data were made available via an external upload portal which could take several hours. Providing care to patients in rural, mountainous regions was problematic if, for example, weather conditions made it difficult for a radiologist to travel there.
Also with regard to providing care to returning patients or to those who switch between the facilities of GHG, the processes were suboptimal prior to the introduction of the PACS, as Gregory Khurtsidze explains: “If information, for example from previous examinations, is not available promptly or at all, then the quality of care as well as efficiency suffer as a result.”
Before the introduction of a PACS, the directors at GHG accordingly had high hopes with regard to increasing quality and productivity. “Our clear objective was to establish 24/7 radiological care at all sites. To achieve this objective, we are establishing a central hub for radiology reporting in our hospital in Tbilisi (capital). Here radiologists are already working around the clock and we are utilizing their capacities to assess image data from other sites. In addition, we want to make our radiologists’ daily work routines even easier, for example, by enabling them to report findings from home,” says the GHG Chief Clinical Officer.
„Our clear objective was to establish 24/7 radiological care at all sites. To achieve this objective, we are establishing a central hub for radiology reporting in our hospital in Tbilisi (capital). Here radiologists are already working around the clock and we are utilizing their capacities to assess image data from other sites. In addition, we want to make our radiologists’ daily work routines even easier, for example, by enabling them to report findings from home."
Chief Clinical Officer GHG
High performance and good scalability
In the selection of an appropriate PACS partner, GHG emphasized two aspects in particular: Excellent performance to ensure quick availability of large quantities of data within the network, and the possibility of also using the network and the archive in areas outside of radiology. “During a multi-week test phase, we were able to demonstrate that the JiveX Enterprise PACS is virtually predestined for this task. The system is stable, high-performing and of course also suitable for managing data outside of radiology,” explains Jochem de Lange, director of Iomed, the Georgian VISUS partner.
However, before ECGs, documents, etc. can run in JiveX and before a Healthcare Content Management (HCM) System can be made from the PACS, all GHG sites with their radiological modalities first have to be integrated in JiveX.
And with regard to integration: JiveX is integrated well into the entire IT architecture of GHG, above all in the HIS. And the facilities have a high degree of digitization after the executive management declared the watchwords of digitization, harmonization and con- solidation several years ago. By now, a large amount of medical information is transmitted in an in-house digital patient file – which now also includes radiological image data. “With the digitization of radiological processes, we have taken a large step in the direction of fully electronic patient files. And we are happy to have found partners in VISUS and Iomed who will continue to accompany us on the path to digitization and opti- mize our processes with their solutions,” Gregory Khurtsidze is pleased to explain in closing.
About the Georgia Healthcare Group
Georgia Healthcare Group PLC is the UK incorporated holding company of the Group and is listed on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange. GHG is the largest provider of medical services in Georgia, with 18 full-service, multi-profile hospitals and 19 community clinics, with total 3300 beds. GHG also operates 15 outpatient centers, 296 pharmacies, country’s largest laboratory and private medical insurance business with c.236,000 insured. The Group is harmonizing processes and technologies in order to achieve maximum synergy effects. Digitization plays a crucial role in this on all levels.
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