The Radiological Institute Dr. von Essen in Koblenz has been working with JiveX Enterprise PACS for more than 15 years. Since then, the scope of PACS has not only expanded from mammography screening to cover the institute's entire spectrum in radiology and nuclear medicine. Over the years, new locations were also added, and others were expanded or relocated. The fact that this growth process could be accompanied successfully and without upheavals, is for one due to the continuous further development of PACS. But also due to the strong partnership between vedisys as general supplier and VISUS as software manufacturer as well as between both companies and the responsible persons at the institute.
The radiological institute Dr. von Essen in Koblenz looks back on a long and successful history: founded in 1951 by Dr. Alex von Essen to supplement the only radiological care available at the time in the municipal hospital Kemperhof, the private practice developed over the years to become a "first mover" in terms of the radiological achievements in its respective times. For example, in 1968 the institute installed Germany's first remote-controlled X-ray machine; in 1977 the region's first computer tomograph was put into service. In keeping with this tradition, the practice participated quite early in the mammography screening program which was rolled out in 2005.
Digitization of mammography as a starting point
In the year 2007, Dr. Toni Vomweg, a radiologist with an affinity for IT, joined the practice team to establish mammography screening in the Middle Rhine region as the physician responsible for the program. "There were numerous developments in terms of digitization during this period. When screening began, the findings were still in part based on analog mammograms. However, this changed quickly because radiology as a whole underwent an enormous digitization push during that time. "From my time at the University Hospital in Mainz, I was already familiar with the JiveX Enterprise PACS and had some experience with radiological IT. After joining the practice, I helped to set up the IT and IT structures and immediately introduced JiveX together with digital mammography in the practice Dr. von Essen. Today, we use VISUS PACS for all radiological and nuclear medicine reports across all locations," Toni Vomweg explains the beginnings of his work at the facility.
The partnership with vedisys, who were on board right from the outset in setting up the IT structure, has also developed steadily. Over the years, the three partners - Institute Dr. von Essen, vedisys and VISUS - have developed an ideal complementary division of tasks. While the radiological institute's three-person IT team provides first-level support in addition to project planning, operation and basic configurations, vedisys handles the implementation of all IT projects as well as second- and third-level support. The latter in close cooperation with the VISUS team in Bochum. "The exchange with VISUS is very important in this constellation to enable the necessary developments - be it new functions or also requirements for the network structure - to be coordinated and implemented in short time lines. This was the only way we could master the many technological leaps and organizational challenges over the years, which also resulted from growth," explain Verena Kersting and Christian Thomasberger from vedisys.
Old virtues are never out of date
In the opinion of Dr. Toni Vomweg, it is not only the technological advancements, but also the old VISUS virtues which still distinguish the system after so many years: "Yesterday as today, JiveX impresses with its extremely high interoperability. Other manufacturers have caught up over the years, but I think VISUS is still ahead in terms of integration capability. This is especially important for our institute as we are not tied to one or only a few equipment manufacturers."
Another plus point that both the radiologist as well as the IT manager Markus Brückner emphasize, is the excellent configurability of the system, which allows adjustments and customizations to be carried out in-house and implemented correspondingly quickly. "We highly appreciate this freedom and regard it as a hallmark of VISUS but also of vedisys, who support us unbureaucratically in cases of doubt during configuration", stresses Markus Brückner.
Apart from this, the main issues at the Institute Dr. von Essen are scalability (for example, the connecting of new sites as well as meeting the growing storage needs) and high availability (to guarantee fast image retrieval from the central server at all sites). Dr. Vomweg: "Due to the addition of new business areas at the turn of the year 2022/2023, the data volume in the PACS has once again increased significantly and we notice that we are now approaching performance limits with our concept of access via WAN to a central server. We are now facing the next step in development here."
This could lie in the use of the VISUS Multi-Site-Query - the well-practiced team of three is currently working on the best possible solution. It can be strongly assumed that such a solution will be found and that the cooperation of the three-member dream team will also master this challenge.