Foothill Cardiology & ScImage
Case Study: FOOTHILL CARDIOLOGY AND SCIMAGE
ENHANCING THE PHYSICIAN EXPERIENCE AND IMPROVING PATIENT CARE
Founded in 1997, Foothill Cardiology focuses on providing high quality, comprehensive cardiovascular care to patients, their families and the community, within a compassionate and service-oriented environment.
Foothill Cardiology/California Heart Medical Group is Southern California, San Gabriel Valley’s Largest Cardiovascular Practice with 15 board certified cardiologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Services range from routine cholesterol reduction program to EP Studies, Invasive Coronary Procedures, Structural Heart program, Vascular Services, Nuclear Imaging, and Clinical Research.
Foothill Cardiology, a long time NextGen user, utilized an imaging and reporting solution that was hosted onsite and had limited remote capabilities and limited editing of Structured Reports. Looking for an integrated PACS solution capable of supporting an image-enabled EHR, Foothill
Cardiology was introduced to ScImage at a NextGen Users Conference.
ScImage was able to provide Foothill Cardiology with a comprehensive and robust Hosted Solution that fulfilled the vision of minimal onsite service with a completely remote diagnostic venue for reading and reporting all of their exams, including Echo, Vascular, and Nuclear Images.
According to John Gonzalez, Operations Manager, Foothill Cardiology, ScImage was selected to address these needs due to their innovative software approach, flexible architecture, enterprise Web-Based offering and the company’s willingness and ability to accommodate our specific requirements. “It was really the functionality of the PICOM365 Cloud solution and the ability to integrate with our NextGen EMR. The way that it integrates with the order management process is something that I’ve never seen from any other PACS,” added Gonzalez.
In addition to serving its own patients at three locations, Foothill Cardiology supports six regional hospitals. Secure Cloud-based image sharing capabilities and interoperability built into the ScImage platform, enable Foothill Cardiology to upload and interpret diagnostic cardiovascular studies on patients performed at other facilities and largely eliminate CDs for patients that come from outside referrals. “However, in cases where the patients are sent with image CDs, we can upload them to PICOM365. Not only does this give us a permanent record which can be viewed throughout the treatment process, it is much more efficient than having to hunt for CDs every time someone wants to view the images,” said Alex Durairaj, M.D., FACC, President, Foothill Cardiology.
“Anywhere access has been tremendously helpful – both from a viewing and a reporting standpoint. When I’m at a remote site, it’s nice to be able to see the study and not have to call someone to send it to you manually,” said Dr. Durairaj, who also attributes better workforce management to anywhere access. “Not only does this free our clinicians from being tied to one location to read, but when one office is busy, clinicians from another office can pick up the slack by reading studies from the centralized worklist to maintain proper report turn-around times. This flexibility improves our efficiency with no interruption to workflow and helps me better manage staff utilization.”
ScImage’s high availability PICOM365 Cloud solution delivers constant security and encryption enhancements to balance the need to safeguard Foothill Cardiology’s data with the need for easy and consistent access.
“Web-based is absolutely the way to go,” said Gonzalez. “We had Cloud capabilities before partnering with ScImage; however, service for the onsite server and applications needed to be managed daily by internal staff as well as a contracted IT company, increasing costs and decreasing efficiency. Leveraging Microsoft Azure technologies, ScImage adds a layer of security and protection that we may not have been able to accomplish in-house. This helps ensure that our data is protected, private and HIPAA compliant,”
Integrating ScImage’s PICOM365 Enterprise PACS with native EHR information improves clinical collaboration. ScImage’s open SQL database maintains the quality and liquidity of images and patient data in its native format to access, run reports, pull priors, and customize pre-fetching rules. With optimized structured reporting, the open database also provides the ability for Foothill to explore data-mining and analytics capabilities.
Foothill Cardiology and ScImage have continued to work together to enhance the physician experience and improve patient care through technology and collaboration. ScImage has a close working relationship with the both the clinical and IT department and continues to have regular meetings to stay abreast of the latest technology and ever-evolving clinical requirements that a world class institution such as Foothill Cardiology encounters.