The Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (USA) took the bold decision to make care records and images from all their patients accessible across the care continuum. To realise their vision, a team of experts worked together with Agfa HealthCare to expand knowledge across the organisation and support high-impact care. 


Their vision was to build two towers: EMR and Imaging, and link all information. The hospital’s Radiology IT department came up with this idea hoping that staff across the organisation would buy into the concept. By including imaging experts in the team, they had a full complement of skilled people who could drive the change management. This gave rise to their IT vision of “Going All In”.


The Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital already had a Radiology IT department. By including skilled experts from an imaging team, their vision for implementing a single consolidated platform slowly became a reality. When the decision was taken to roll out the new system across the organisation, certain governance issues had to be considered and all departments had to be included in the enterprise solution. With the support of Agfa’s specialists, who understood the process of change management, the hospital was ready to implement the one patient record system.


The advantages of having only one platform are numerous: cutting cost, reducing IT complexity, improving disaster recovery and aiding business continuity. Tight interoperability means that all data would be tied to the information system to give universally available imaging information and medical records of a patient


Agfa’s Gold Standard workflow-based configurations offered practice efficiency to provide optimal care. The new system was introduced to clients, and based on their feedback, it was adjusted and finetuned to meet their needs. As the platform offers rule-based workflows, the user can see all the information he needs to maximise productivity and ensure care continuity. 


Enterprise Imaging enables the hospital to create the order themselves. Previously, they had different workflows for different departments, therefore, they had to collapse numerous engines into the Enterprise Imaging system. As they move towards a unified system, all orders will end up in that unified EMR. They will have a single order placer that will work with a single imaging repository. Thus, all patient data will be linked via the two towers, resulting in a seamless process for the end-user.


A challenge is storing images in a verified, fully identified way that typically raises the question of order entry, which could give the technician exact information about the date, type and the order in which they were taken. This continuity is important for referring physicians to see the status of the patient and other relevant data. As every report goes straight into the Enterprise system, it can save time and resources. A patient can be treated on the same day in different parts of the hospital through generic medical record and imaging.


At first, they experienced some challenges with ED imaging ultrasounds. However, as the staff grew in competency, they started doing this at the bedside in the emergency room. When they became licensed to do so, they sent images to the IT department to check quality and procedure. Over time, the staff realised they had to place an order and connect that to an event on the patient, which could be retrieved at a later stage. If a patient returned after some time, the staff would be able to consult records to see if the patient has the same problem. They could pull up reports and images through Enterprise Imaging that would save time, thus offering the benefit of having all patient-centric records to hand. 

Overall, Enterprise Imaging offers one patient record that leads to continuity of care in a fast and efficient way.

Source: Agfa Healthcare


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IT, Radiology, Agfa Healthcare, enterprise imaging, Radiology IT department The Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (USA) took the bold decision to make care records and images from all their patients accessible across the care continuum.