Tucson Medical Center (TMC) is a locally governed nonprofit regional hospital in Tucson, Arizona. Licensed at 629 beds, the medical center treats 30,000 inpatients, 122,000 outpatients, and over 80,000 ED patients annually in addition to 6,000 infant births. TMC is Southern Arizona’s leading provider for emergency and pediatric care, and includes the region’s first Pediatric Emergency Department with specialized treatment for young patients. Other specialty areas include women’s health, maternity, cardiovascular, orthopedics, neuroscience, hospice care, imaging and senior services. More than 600 physicians are on staff, representing 60 specialties from anesthesiology to vascular surgery.
Cardiology and radiology images were being captured as DICOM files and stored in their respective imaging systems at TMC. IT administrators were surprised to discover that a number of different systems were being used to store non-DICOM images (such as JPEG, MPEG and AVI files) on a variety of media in many other clinical departments. Some images were burned on CDs, others were on optical discs; still others were copied onto DVDs. Aside from the lack of consistency, managing these images was inefficient and limited the ability to replicate the images at TMC’s disaster recovery site.
Additionally, the non-traditional images were not available to all physicians as part of the online patient record. When IT administrators realized that these images, which were patient content and just as pertinent as the data they had spent years transferring to the EMR, they needed to find a way to integrate the images across the continuum.
TMC also wanted to bring all images online to a digital, filmless system with appropriate support and oversight. It needed to develop a strategy to integrate, manage and store all imaging through a central system that would provide privacy and allow accessibility for important patient data through the EMR.
In an effort to bring a higher level of service to its physicians, TMC expanded the capability of the PICOM365 platform previously implemented by ScImage that consolidated five cardiology workflows (cardiac catheterizations, echo cardiograms, ECGs, and vascular imaging) onto a single platform. TMC found this to be a cost-effective, efficient and seamless way to add non-DICOM images.
- All cardiology and non-DICOM images are displayed in a single patient folder, improving clinician access and patient care
- Images can be viewed directly from PICOM365 from anywhere, or through the EMR
- Staff productivity is improved
- Departmental resources and space are freed up
- Images are managed, secure and in compliance with the TMC Disaster Recovery Plan