A look back on the 2013 InteleOne Visionary Forum

by Paul Atkinson, Marketing Community Manager, Intelerad

Given the unique features and functionality of InteleOne®, we’ve always taken a keen interest in  the different ways the solution is being used by our customers. Recognizing that the information that customers have relayed to us could be beneficial to other customers, we introduced the InteleOne Visionary Forum, which brings users together to exchange knowledge and information about the solution, to help everyone get the most from their deployment.

Having held our first Forum last October, we decided to hold our second event last month, with customers from across the U.S. and Australia travelling to Montreal to take part in a range of meetings and discussions regarding InteleOne, features and solutions that we’re currently developing, and the radiology industry in general.

With participants’ job titles ranging from PACS administrator to COO to Diagnostic Radiologist, the Forum brought together a range of interesting perspectives on issues arising in the field. It also served as a platform to discuss common experiences in regards to InteleOne, including how the solution can be used to resolve some of the issues they were facing within their work environment.

Participants were also given the opportunity to provide input into the development of Intelerad solutions, as they took in presentations from key individuals. This included:

  • A presentation on InteleOne’s product roadmap delivered by our Chief Engineer Rick Rubin

  • An overview of some of the product features that our Clinical Decision Support group is currently working on, presented by Frederic Lachmann, who is the head of the team.

  • A detailed look at Nuage, our cloud-based solution suite that incl  udes a hosted version of our award-winning IntelePACS solution, presented by Joel Adams, Intelerad’s Hosted Solutions Manager.

Overall, the event was a great success, with interesting conversations taking place from start to finish each day. A lot of this is due to the participants themselves, who openly shared their knowledge and experiences for the benefit of the InteleOne community. From the feedback we received, everyone seemed to greatly enjoy the event. We’re looking forward to holding our third Forum at some point in 2014 so we can continue the exchange of information within the InteleOne community.

-Paul Atkinson

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A look back at SIIM 2013

by Paul Atkinson, Marketing Community Manager, Intelerad

For three days last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) conference in Dallas, Texas. The event from start to finish was excellent, with radiologists and IT staff from around the world gathering to discuss issues within the industry and present new ideas to move it forward.

The opening session (also known as The Dwyer Lecture) featured Dr. Bradley J. Erickson from the Mayo Clinic, who presented on translating innovations to clinical practice. The lecture itself was remarkable, and truly set the tone for the conference, with people discussing and debating new ideas and the value of new solutions.siim 2

With sessions throughout the conference ranging in attendance from tens to hundreds, rarely did I leave a room without having learned something new or ideas to ponder. In some cases, this was due to physician’s insight and openness to speaking frankly, whereas other times it was due to the presentation of disruptive ideas. An example of this occurred in the closing session, where an audience member made the suggestion of adding fatigue tests into solutions so radiologists could ensure their alertness and therefore the quality of their reads. While this idea may not be new, and may not appeal to everyone, it definitely represents outside-the-box thinking, which will continue to drive our industry forward.

Outside of the sessions, I was happy to listen in on some great conversations that took place at our booth. From the minute the exhibitor halls opened in the morning, it seemed as though we had a steady stream of individuals stopping by our booth to ask questions, learn about our solutions and take in demos.

There were also a number of conversations that took place in regards to the two announcements we had at the show: the three new solutions added to our Nuage suite of cloud-based solutions, and the introduction of our Toronto-based Clinical Decision Support Group, who will be developing a number of tools for radiologists, such as intelligent worklists and  decision support tools that leverage report data mining to improve patient outcomes, compliance, and reimbursements while reducing litigation risk. For support staff, the Group will work on the development of real-time dashboards, data visualization and analytics to support continuous improvement initiatives.

Both the cloud and clinical decision support were hot topics at SIIM and we’re looking forward to deploying these new solutions to see how our customers benefit from them.

Before I sign off, I just want to thank all of the customers who stopped by our booth and engaged us in great conversations. Also, thanks to those who organized the SIIM conference in Dallas. We’re already looking forward to SIIM 2014 in Long Beach California next year!

-Paul Atkinson

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Our booth at SIIM 2013
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The Intelerad team at SIIM 2013: (l-r) John Streips, Robert Hoffman, Michel Gloutnay
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Looking forward to next year’s event in Long Beach!

Staying ahead of the curve

by Helene Gey, Vice-President of Marketing, Intelerad

As a solution provider, it’s rewarding when tech-savvy individuals and organizations recognize the value of your offerings and select them to help boost their performance. Being in regular contact with these customers, it’s always interesting to hear why they selected our solutions and how they’ve affected performance across the enterprise.

Intelerad facilitates growth and expansion

Over the past month or so, I’ve been in contact with a particular customer who has been a using our solutions for the past eight years (there will be a case study shortly with more details, but I was inspired by the conversation and wanted to share some of what we discussed). The radiology group itself had actually started in Western Australia about 15 years ago, which was followed by the opening of locations in the UK and Ireland. Their growth has been remarkable, having grown to over 100 radiologists on contract.

Having deployed our IntelePACS across their international network, the organization has benefitted a great deal from our solutions’ ease of use, as well as their performance over geographically-distributed locations. In fact, by combining these two things, they’ve been able to open up new offices in little time, helping them to grow faster and respond better to the needs of their customers.

 

With a number of teleradiologists on board, our customer has also expressed satisfaction from our solution’s ability to quickly transfer images across locations. This helps get images into radiologists hands quickly and also facilitates remote collaboration and peer review when a second opinion is requested.

Rapid image transfer also plays an important role when patients are transferred from local clinics to hospitals. As the patient is physically transferred, the images and reports are made available to the hospital prior to the patient’s arrival. This eliminates the need to conduct a repeat exam, which is considered a clinical incident in the UK.

The conversations have served as a reminder that keen adopters of technology within radiology will always remain ahead of the curve; providing superior service for their healthcare partners in hospitals, private and community medical centers, which ultimately leads to better patient care. It’s a thought that inspires to continue developing innovative solutions.

– Helene Gey

 

A Look at Our Customer Support Efforts

By Anibal Jodorcovsky

A few days ago at Intelerad, some employees began experiencing glitches with their emails due to a connectivity issue with our email servers. Before a workaround could be instituted, the connection was restored and we were back to business as usual. But during those 10 long minutes, there was some uneasiness felt internally.

When a radiologist is working with a software solution and a feature isn’t functioning the way it should, the level of stress and frustration can rise quickly. The reason is simple: it affects the way they function, which therefore affects patient care. Given the complexity of our systems and the environments they’re set in, issues do arise from time to time where our support team needs to step in to make sure everything runs optimally in the shortest possible timeframe.

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It’s critical for radiology solution providers to provide technical support that customers can rely on.

At Intelerad, we go to great lengths to ensure that our customers receive the best possible support. Not only are we selective in who we hire as support agents and thoroughly train them, but we also design our solutions to provide proactive support through a component that continually monitors our solution, essentially reporting on itself so we know of an issue at the earliest possible interval.

To provide optimal support for existing issues, we also developed our own ticketing system internally. Not only did this allow us to include all the features that we felt were necessary, but it also provides us with a great deal of flexibility. It is always better to be able to come up with processes that we think provide exceptional services, rather than having to adapt our processes to a tool because that tool doesn’t provide the required flexibility.

In its current iteration, our ticketing system can be accessed through our Education and Support Center so you can easily review the progress on any open cases that you may have. Our ticketing system can also be integrated with a customer’s internal ticketing system so the information they need from us can be accessed quickly within their own ecosystem. We’ve done this with a number of customers, who are all quite satisfied with the integration.

In order to facilitate customer self-support, we have a knowledge base in place where customers can access what we call “TechNotes”.  Given that our solutions run in complex environments, TechNotes are mainly FAQs and workarounds which are designed to help customers to quickly remedy an issue without having to contact a support agent. Our workarounds are always tested rigorously to ensure quality, and if there any difficulties in applying the workaround, our support team is always available to assist.

At Intelerad, our founders, as well as many of our staff, have worked in hospitals in the past and understand the value of optimal support. It’s ingrained in us, and that’s why we work hard to ensure our customers have access to the industry’s best.

-Anibal Jodorcovsky

Achieving Interoperability Between Radiology Systems

By Helene Gey, Vice-President of Marketing, Intelerad

Since HIMSS took place a few weeks back in New Orleans, there has been a great deal of discussion about interoperability and the role it plays in HIT. In terms of radiology systems, interoperability is still in its nascent form, however, it is already proving to be of unquestionable value.

Interoperability, as defined by ISO/IEC 2382-01,  makes one capable to communicate, execute programs, or transfer data among various functional units in a manner that requires the user to have little or no knowledge of the unique characteristics of those units. An example of this would be a radiologist at an imaging center using a single interface to read studies that are stored across a host of PACS, built by different vendors and located within a number of different facilities.

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Intelerad is regarded as a pioneer in interoperable radiology solutions, due to the release of InteleOne.

In other words, unified access to information stored in disparate PACS, RIS and EMR systems.

In an increasingly demanding market, this provides a distinct competitive advantage: for imaging enterprises, it facilitates the recruitment of new customers, as such solutions are generally able to index and access studies in other systems, alleviating the complications associated with accessing disparate systems and makes them easy to read for. In certain cases, we’ve seen this result in substantial growth at a time when imaging centers were seeing an overall decline in business.

Interoperability also provides tremendous value to individual radiologists as it positively influences the way they work.  Primarily, radiologists are able to greatly decrease the time needed access the studies (or other information) they need, which allows them to increase the speed at which they turnaround studies.

To further increase radiologists’ productivity, interoperable solutions also provide a consistent reading station and workflow, so they are always working with an interface that they are both familiar and comfortable with. Furthermore, having the ability to access customer’s systems provides them with a more complete view of patients’ priors, and other relevant medical data, thus improving the quality of care they provide.

With a plethora of systems flooding the market, and mergers and acquisitions happening at an increased frequency, solutions that provide interoperability between image management systems are becoming more of a necessity. In fact, some would suggest that given the nature of the industry, that it’s quickly becoming a standard.

Intelerad is regarded as a pioneer in interoperability for radiology solutions due to their InteleOne solution, which streamlines medical imaging workflows from disparate PACS, HIS, RIS into a unified reading solution, with one common viewer and worklist, providing seamless access to all studies, including priors, regardless of location. You can learn more about this solution by clicking on the link below. You can obtain a copy of the KLAS Innovation Review on InteleOne by clicking here.

If you have any questions or comments about interoperability, please don’t hesitate to use the text box below.

-Helene Gey

Related Solutions

Radiology Solutions that Improve the Patient Journey

by Helene Gey, Vice-President of Marketing, Intelerad

Every day, countless patients consult with a physician who recommends they visit a radiologist to receive a scan. Regardless of why the scan has been ordered, this is the beginning of the patient journey, which will inevitably be reflected on by the patient as either a positive or negative experience.

In Canterbury, New Zealand, the District Health Board (DHB) has gone to great lengths to improve the patient experience by increasing the speed of health care delivery, while maintaining a high level of quality. On the radiology front, this is being achieved thanks to the deployment of some key solutions.

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Canterbury Women’s Hospital in Canterbury, New Zealand

Some quick background: As a large-scale health organization, Canterbury DHB provides a complete range of radiology services to three local hospitals on a 24 hour a day, seven day a week basis; secondary and tertiary services to residents of Canterbury and New Zealand’s South Island; and limited service to referrals from local physicians and specialists.

In regards to the number of full-time employees, Canterbury DHB has 16 radiologists, 14 registrars, over 50 radiographers and sonographers, and 10 nurses. Also, as an established teaching training center, they provide undergraduate and post-graduate medical training with specific training programs for radiology registrars.

Needless to say, Canterbury DHB is a busy place. So how did their radiology department effectively improve the patient journey? The main item was actively removing bottlenecks so the individual could move smoothly through the health care delivery process. To do so, the organization deployed a solution that provided them with seamless archiving, distributing and secure sharing of images and reports, which is ideal for the immediate transmission of studies and reports between a radiology group and multiple hospitals.

Aside from instant access to the information they need, Canterbury DHB have also seen substantial productivity gains from using an integrated workflow and universal worklist, as well as an advanced viewer module.

For patients, the smoothness of Canterbury DHB’s workflow, and the efficiency they’ve gained, provide benefit as it reduces the time needed to diagnose and provide treatment. This stands out even more in cases where patients use both the public and private healthcare system during their course of treatment; not only are studies easier to exchange between the health centers, but it allows physicians to follow the patient’s journey and avoid conducting repeat studies.

To learn more about how Canterbury DHB is improving the patient journey, I recommend having a look at their recently-published case study, which includes a video interview with Dr. Sean Skea, Canterbury DHB’s Chief of Radiology at Christchurch Hospital. Some highlights include how they manage their radiologists’ workloads, and how they bridge the gap between the public and private health care systems. It can be found here.

– Helene Gey