Owner-managed radiological practices in particular are confronted by a dilemma in selecting a new RIS and/or PACS: From the purely functional viewpoint, they would be happy to decide on the solution of two different providers. From the purely practical viewpoint, their personnel resources are hardly capable of working with two manufacturers. How good would it be if the manufacturers of RIS and PACS were to cooperate closely enough that one company is able to act as general contractor for both solutions? And how much better would it be if the company were a provider of market-leading solutions? The answer: It could hardly be very much better. And that's exactly why the long-lasting partnership between medavis and VISUS has had such great success – as demonstrated, for example, by the Gladbeck and Kirchhellen radiology project.
The fact that the practice with its two sites has now been working for approximately three years with medavis RIS and JiveX Enterprise PACS is primarily the result of a structural change. "Since 2010, our practice has been domiciled in St. Barbara Hospital in Gladbeck. Since then, we have taken over the radiological services for the hospital – and for the purpose we have long been using RIS and PACS of the hospital, both of which were also operated by the IT department of the hospital. Both of those solutions were provided by one manufacturer. Some years ago, the decision was then made to establish IT in our own practice. In this connection, the question arose of which solutions were to be used in future," explained Stephanie Thiel, chief medical assistant of the radiological practice.
A persuasive combination
The decision to use RIS of medavis in combination with PACS of VISUS was based on the very good experiences achieved with both systems. On the one hand, JiveX was already being used in the context of mammography screening. On the other hand, the new partner, Dr. Arne Holstein, an enthusiastic user of medavis RIS and VISUS PACS, had now joined the Gladbeck team.
But even the rest of the team, and especially Stephanie Thiel and Moritz Thiel, a staff member of IT and RIS-Admin, did not need much convincing: "The concept that medavis presented to us, and above all the seamless cooperation of the two systems accompanied by high functional capability, was simply superb. Especially in day-to-day patient management and administration, completely new capabilities opened up for us," according to the medical assistant.
A further important factor that ultimately favored the switch was that medavis took the lead throughout the complete project: "We have been cooperating with VISUS very well for years, we are familiar with the product and we have good relationships with the product manager and support. In joint projects such as that in Gladbeck, we are therefore able, in the background, to put together an RIS/PACS package that is perfect for the customer, while the customers have only us as their contact. This is a service that certainly not many companies are able to offer in this depth," according to Dirk Moser, Regional Manager at medavis and responsible officer for the project.
And it is precisely this service that the owners of the practice in Gladbeck appreciate. Since it keeps the personnel, time and financial expense low but at the same time offers the functional and procedural added values for which the two solutions are respected in the market.
"All processes have become faster, more well-rounded and simpler."
Chief Medical Assistant
Faster workflows, secure communication
Since the introduction of medavis RIS and of VISUS PACS, the workflows in the radiological practice have greatly improved. For example, because the informed consent forms can be filed in RIS and printed out directly with patient-specific barcode, thus saving much time. Or because retrieval of images from RIS represents a significant simplification for the findings. Even billing goes faster, because the respective figures are already filed and so only the services have to be recorded. That's a function that the old RIS did not offer. And naturally the radiologists are also pleased with the functional diversity of the PACS, which offers then considerably more capabilities, for example for special measurements. Handling, monitoring and operation of the software are very simple, and corrections to examinations can be made quickly and without problems. The hanging protocols have proved to be particularly helpful. Certainly it took some time to set them up, but during everyday work they have proved to be the best – for example for perusing images and comparing them with previous records. Automatic assignment of CDs or tickets saved by third parties is also ensured.
But even data exchange with St. Barbara Hospital takes place smoothly despite our own IT. The orders are generated directly from the CIS and sent to the RIS. Once the examination is completed, the radiological images are automatically delivered by the JiveX server to the server of the hospital's PACS (if the request came from the institution). If no request was received but a transfer is being made, the image data are simply sent to the hospital via DICOM Send. This is possible because both the practice and the hospital are part of the connectMT teleradiology network.
"In total," according to the conclusion of the medical assistant, "all processes have become faster, more well-rounded and simpler. We are now very happy that we made the change. Especially since the products of the former provider have developed in a direction that cannot adequately meet our needs."
Gladbeck & Kirchhellen Radiology
The Gladbeck & Kirchhellen radiological practice is represented at two sites:
At St. Barbara-Hospital in Gladbeck and at St. Antonius-Hospital in Bottrop Kirchhellen. In Gladbeck, the team works with the three partners, Dr. Hermann-Josef Müller, Dr. Arne Holstein and Dr. Florian Hoffmann, to provide radiology 24/7 for the hospital. For this purpose, a medical technologist for radiology is on duty round the clock and the radiologists are provided on site with fully equipped diagnostic workstations.
The medavis company of Karlsruhe is a market leader on the German RIS market and owes its success to solutions based on efficient processes that optimize the workflows in radiology labs. VISUS and medavis have already cooperated closely for more than 20 years. Their two systems complement one another perfectly and are also technically interfaced seamlessly with one another. By virtue of the close cooperation of the two companies on the operative level, projects with both systems can be offered and managed from one source, which is of enormous benefit to the clientele.