A good PACS adapts itself to: the medical challenges, technological change and user requirements. A good PACS is therefore never fully programmed, but always remains in flux. And that should also be true of users. Anyone looking to fully exploit the potential of a high-performance system such as the JiveX Enterprise PACS needs to be up to speed at all times. The best contact partner for this is the VISUS applications team, at your side (not only for new customers but also for longstanding customers) with advice and help.
It need not always be a major update such as the introduction of JiveX 5.0 with a new user interface and many new functions for the applications team to be in demand. Sometimes it is the small things that are forgotten, or that are new and are particularly useful for a special group of users in day-to-day work, that cause the team to become involved. "With our existing customers, the training is aimed at users being able to operate JiveX in the best possible way over the whole period. That sounds obvious, but it's not. That's because not only the system, but also the processes in radiology are changing. New processes are established, new equipment is purchased, new staff arrive, others leave," explains Nicole Zimmermann-Schneider, team leader of the applications team.
Individual, personal, efficient
Accordingly, for VISUS customers the training is never routine and pedestrian, but features individually-created content matched to the respective learning objective. In the case of the Alb Fils hospitals in Göppingen, for example, it was a change in head physician at the Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, requiring extensive applications training on the system that had proven highly effective in-house. Prof. Stephan Zangos, who took over the department in the Göppingen hospitals, was working with another PACS until he changed roles: "The applications training was massively important for me in order to familiarize myself as quickly as possible with the workflows involved. For that, I needed to get to learn the functionalities, which are extensive with JiveX. And - even more importantly - the system needed to be adapted to my way of working, so that I don't need to adapt to the system."
Thanks to the flexibility of JiveX, individualization of the user profiles succeeded effortlessly - particularly with regard to the hanging protocols, which following the adjustment in the user profile by Prof. Zangos can be combined into finding workflows. "My senior physicians are looking at the examinations in another format and in another hanging. The possibility to be able to set up individual user profiles also influences the quality of the diagnostics, as ultimately viewing habits play a large role. With JiveX it is possible without effort - if you simply know how," adds the radiologist.
"It is precisely because JiveX is an extremely flexible system that the training need can be high, depending on the degree of use. We regularly find that a lot of knowledge can get lost in daily routine, which leads to the advantages in terms of functional depth and individualization are certainly not fully exploited. For that reason, it is always sensible to repeat certain themes, so that they feed into the workflow," comments Zimmermann-Schneider, who with her four-strong team is so close to the customer that she has a good feeling for which functions need to be trained in order to provide the best support for the respective processes. To keep up-to-date with the latest knowledge in relation to medicine and technology, the team regularly completes CPD training in radiology.
Training given how the customer wants it
The fact that the VISUS applications team can go into the customer requirements so precisely is down, above all, to the personal contact that employees develop over the years with the managers in a facility. Thanks to this close collaboration, the applications specialists know the history just as well as the people, and know how a facility or a department ticks. Prof. Stefan Müller-Hülsbeck, head physician for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology/Neuroradiology at the Ev.-Luth. Diaconess Medical Center (Diakonissenanstalt) in Flensburg, also appreciates this personal connection: "To use PACS successfully over the years requires a really good relationship to the applications experts, and you need to build that up at the start of the collaboration. The personal contact is massively important in order to be able to ask follow-up questions by phone from time to time. That way, questions and problems can be solved quickly - without interruptions to the daily work."
And that, too, is an important point that is taken into account in the training: Training costs time, and that is a scarce commodity. While more minor questions can readily be clarified along the way over the phone, explanations of the new functionalities following an update are more extensive in scope. But in this case, too, an on-site visit from the VISUS team is not always necessary.
" We place value on regular training of employees. That's because it is only if users know all the functions that they can also use them. On the other side, on-site training is massively costly - in terms of time, the rooming requirements, and ultimately also financially. For us, it therefore proved practical to link the training to our CPD events taking place in any event, not just in terms of timing, but also by providing this training remotely. This guarantees that all radiologists are together and able to fully concentrate on the PACS training. However, this only operates so well because we know the person on the other end of the line very well on a personal level," explains Prof. Müller-Hülsbeck, who is highly satisfied with this form of support.
Knowing which knowledge is wanted
For Nicole Zimmermann-Schneider, it is not just about communicating product knowledge, but considering the use of PACS in the overalls setting: "There are always opportunities that call for a reassessment of the as-is situation and, based on that, adaptations to PACS too. The integration of new medical technology products is one such case. In order for us to be able to cover this area, our employees are extremely well-trained and are familiar not just with JiveX, but also with the radiology processes."
Prof. Zangos also benefited from this process knowledge during the last applications training at his hospital: "We identified that we were not able to get the maximum out of the PACS because the examination trees were not set up optimally in the RIS. So, together with the VISUS applications specialists, we set about adapting the examination trees and setting up the hanging protocols differently. It seems like a banal matter, but if that is not working, then PACS can't operate to its maximum either. Regular applications training is therefore worth it on many levels: to induct new employees, to refresh knowledge or even to question and optimize processes."