If you were tasked with replacing your enterprise’s medical imaging systems, where would you begin? Are there certain aspects of a system that you would prioritize over others? What would be your rating criteria for the systems you evaluate?
by Randall Oka, President and CEO, Intelerad
This month marks Intelerad’s 15th anniversary as a company – a significant milestone which we’re all quite proud of.
For those unaware of our company’s history, Intelerad was founded by our CTO Chris Henri, CIO Robert Cox and Chief Engineer Rick Rubin. The three of them were the core team behind a couple of Canada’s earliest large-scale PACS deployments, which took place at the two largest university teaching institutions in Montreal and Toronto in the mid-to-late 90s. I joined the team shortly after they made the decision to move to the private sector.
A lot has changed since our first days as a company. When Intelerad first opened in January 2000, it was made up of a small team of five, based in Montreal and intent on making a difference in the world of medical imaging. Today, we’re a multi-national enterprise with nearly 275 employees, based in North America, Oceania and the UK, with a proven track record of developing innovative solutions and providing industry-leading support.
In terms of our customer base, we’ve partnered with leading medical imaging providers around the world, across all market segments. This includes large public and private hospitals, innovative ambulatory providers and massive teleradiology organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Teleradiology Program.
Developing long-term relationships with our customer base has allowed us to work in a collaborative manner to ensure their needs are always met. In fact, customer influence has played a role in the the development of Intelerad solutions that users enjoy and depend on each day.
While it’s nice to reflect on our achievements of the past 15 years, there is still a lot of work to do and we are by no means getting comfortable. In an industry that is constantly changing, now more than ever we need to ensure that we are developing the best solutions possible, so our customers can continue to thrive and deliver the highest quality patient care. We look forward to the challenge, and to serving our customers in the years to come.
by Paul Atkinson, Marketing Community Manager, Intelerad
Congratulations to Progressive Radiology on the recent acquisition of five imaging centers in the Chicago area. An Intelerad customer since 2009, the newly-acquired centers will focus on providing MRI services, increasing the total number of MRI procedures they perform by 17%.
The largest radiologist-owned and operated medical imaging practice in the Maryland and Washington D.C. area, Progressive is built upon a principle of providing accurate, precise results on which patients and referring physicians can depend. With this new acquisition, Progressive’s operation now includes 15 centers and 19 board-certified radiologists.
Like their Maryland and D.C.-based imaging centers, Progressive’s Illinois-based centers we will be using IntelePACS® as their technological backbone. Designed to facilitate enterprise-wide viewing, the solution enables Progressive to maintain a central archive in Maryland, where images are routed and stored, while their Chicago-based radiologists are using InteleViewer™ for reading and reporting on studies.
According to Dominic Mezzanotte, Progressive’s Director of Information Systems, deploying Intelerad’s solutions to the new centers went smoothly, and the new radiologists are quite happy with the transition to InteleViewer.
“Transitioning these five new imaging centers to IntelePACS has been almost seamless,” said Mr. Mezzanotte. “Thanks to the solution’s ease of use, we haven’t missed a beat. Our radiologists up to speed only required a couple of hours’ training, and since that time have really embraced the solution. In fact, they love it.”
A case study on Progressive Radiology, and their use of Intelerad solutions, can be found here.
If you’re interested in learning more about our enterprise viewing offerings, or would like to book a demo with us at RSNA 2014, please visit rsna.intelerad.com.
By Paul Atkinson, Marketing Community Manager, Intelerad
Intelerad is proud to support VM Medical’s 20th Anniversary Breast Cancer Conference, which will be taking place on October 23-24 at the Ritz Carlton in Montreal. The theme of this year’s event is progress in prevention, detection, management and survivorship and features an impressive list of speakers.
Those attending VM Medical’s half-day symposium will have the chance to hear from surgeons, gynecologists, oncologists, family physicians, pathologists, radiologists, residents, nurses, technologists and allied healthcare givers. Patients will also have a unique opportunity to review the relative merits of the latest modalities and strategies that are contributing to the progress in breast cancer prevention, detection, management and survivorship.
As stated on VM Medical’s website, the number of breast cancer cases has increased by more than 50% over the past three decades. Thankfully, during this same time period, the disease’s mortality rate has dropped to its lowest level. This is in part due to the focus of multidisciplinary teams of breast experts integrating new strategies regarding risk assessment, fitness, screening, imaging and tissue harvesting, to promote prevention and earlier detection.
At the same time, the introduction of genomic testing, improved treatment protocols, new hormonal and targeted agents, local and intra-operative radiotherapy and immediate reconstruction following mastectomy have favorably impacted on both quality of life and survivorship.
More information regarding VM Medical’s 20th Anniversary Breast Cancer Conference can be found here.
For more information regarding Intelerad’s Breast Imaging module, which features full support for tomosynthesis direct from the radiologist’s primary workstation, can be found here.
As the radiology industry continues its conversion towards a value-based model, imaging enterprises are under increasing pressure to simultaneously raise their levels of quality and efficiency in order to remain competitive. In fact, regardless of how well they may be performing today, they must continually refine and improve so they can retain customers and attract new business in the future.
Central to knowing where you can improve and evaluating which new strategies and processes are most effective are metrics pulled from within an organization. In the case of radiology organizations, this can be accomplished using an enterprise analytics module. Built into your PACS, these solutions feature automated dashboards and reports that relay key business intelligence metrics over selected periods or in real time. This includes metrics surrounding:
- Radiologist productivity (RVUs, study volumes; turnaround times)
- Quality assurance (peer-review and image quality review metrics)
- Departmental workflow (patient journey/time-line)
- System level data (study volumes; data volumes; performance metrics)
With these metrics in hand, imaging enterprises can easily determine where bottlenecks are occurring and where performance is lagging, so adjustments can be made. In the case where real-time metrics are available, executives can analyze performance and make any necessary adjustments on the spot to ensure operations are running smooth on a daily basis.
From an internal perspective, this includes insight regarding overall operational performance, such as how many radiologists need to be available at a given day and time. Some solutions also allow organizations to evaluate statistics regarding individual performance so you know who your key performers are, and can identify if there is anyone struggling to meet any internal benchmarks.
In terms of client satisfaction and ensuring retention, analyzing metrics from your PACS also enables you to quickly verify that your service level agreements are maintained.
Furthermore, compiling data that clearly demonstrates your organization’s capabilities to prospective customers can play a key factor in attracting new business.
So what should you be looking for in an analytics module for your imaging enterprise? For more information on that, I recommend downloading the ebook Five Tools to Drive the Success of Your Radiology Practice.
As part of Frost & Sullivan’s ongoing analysis of the latest trends impacting healthcare, future changes, and connected healthcare concepts, their principal analyst Nadim Daher recently conducted an interview with Intelerad founder and CTO, Chris Henri.
A former assistant professor of diagnostic radiology and medical physics at McGill University, Chris first became involved in developing radiology solutions in 1995, working alongside Bob Cox (Intelerad founder and Chief Information Officer) and Rick Rubin (Intelerad founder and Chief Engineering Officer) to design, develop and deploy one of Canada’s first large-scale filmless PACS at the Montreal General Hospital.
In this interview, Chris speaks at length in regards to Intelerad’s values, practices and philosophies; developing innovative radiology solutions; providing industry-leading customer support; the company’s role in the ambulatory and hospital markets; and more.
An excerpt from the interview can be found below. If you’d like to read the complete interview, it can be accessed here.
Nadim Daher: Intelerad has traditionally catered mostly to ambulatory providers, but has had some big wins recently in the hospital space. What can you tell us about the reasons behind this move up-market and how this new market opening up bodes for Intelerad?
Chris Henri: Indeed, we are recognized more for what we have accomplished in the ambulatory market, but we didn’t set out originally with this market in mind. In fact, we developed our expertise in a couple large-scale university hospital environments before entering the commercial world. We learned quickly that a small company would have a hard time competing against the large modality vendors for PACS business in hospitals, particularly at the time when hospitals were purchasing PACS for the first time. Fortunately, the ambulatory market found us. But as we grew, we still accumulated some hospital customers and several other types of businesses, too.
Intelerad now has approximately 260 employees and is still growing. We aren’t considered “small” any more, but we are still able to be nimble and responsive to our customers. We have also established some credibility and a good reputation, particularly for delivering robust, large-scale solutions. We have a good story to tell and a very strong referral base.
The timing in the market looks good for solutions which can overcome current challenges in the hospital space. Purchasers of first-generation systems are reflecting on their experiences and reassessing their options. We are hearing people express significant dissatisfaction. We are hearing of broken promises, unfulfilled efficiency gains, high costs, an inability to keep up with evolving changes in business needs, etc. Buying from a big name has proven to not always be the safest (best) choice.
In some ways, we find hospitals to be simpler to implement than what we have faced in the ambulatory market, at least from a technical perspective. And from what we have seen of workflows within hospitals, the bar is set very low. Integrations are often limited or even absent in many cases. Communications between users is poor and inefficient, and a great deal of effort goes into dealing with exceptions or seeking missing information – all signs that the existing solutions are not keeping up with the hospitals’ needs. Integration and interoperability solutions are in high demand by hospitals and are among the things we excel at.
All this to say, I think that this market will respond well to what we have to offer, and likewise, we relish the challenge.