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Medical Imaging Northwest Completes Phase I of Its Healthcare IT Integration to Maintain Patient Care Improvements

Thursday, February 11, 2010 News on IT in Healthcare J E 4
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PUYALLUP, Wash., Feb. 10 Even before Healthcare IT stimulus and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act became household terms, Medical Imaging Northwest (MINW) initiated a comprehensive digital imaging and data management integration project with interoperability provider Compressus. The project's ambitious goals are already paying dividends for MINW patients even after the completion of the initial phase of implementation, designed to enable the electronic collection and distribution of the medical records, images and patient reports MINW radiologists need to make patient diagnoses. This phase featured the integration of McKesson PACS and their diagnostic viewer with Carestream PACS in addition to other healthcare IT systems across the MINW network.

According to Andrew Levine, MD, Chair, Medical Imaging Northwest, LLP, "While we have realized efficiency improvements, the true benefactors of this integration will be our imaging service customers and their patients. Automated pre-fetching of prior studies from different systems across the network results in better diagnostic services and fewer repeat exams. With MEDxConnect, we will be able to read from our offices using one worklist and one existing workstation. This will enable our radiologists to dramatically cut the turnaround time on reports, reducing the time it takes to get diagnoses back to patients and their physicians. It is a major improvement in service that has allowed us to explore opportunities outside of our neighborhood, such as clinic work."

MINW went to Compressus with very specific goals for a comprehensive interoperability solution to complete an Enterprise-wide integration of its disparate RIS, McKesson PACS, PowerScribe voice recognition (VR) software and workstation viewers. Involving the installation of a spectrum of MEDxConnect(TM) System components, the implementation is designed to provide workflow and data management, workflow viewing, patient ID management and short term archiving requirements to support its service expansion goals of handling more than 550,000 diagnostic imaging exams a year.

"The goal of this interoperability project was to improve the quality of comprehensive patient care by providing better and easier access to prior studies throughout the enterprise," said Annette Simmons, MINW IT manager and network administrator. "Providing a unified worklist for our radiologists that communicated to all our disparate systems enables our radiologists to be more efficient. It also positions us to easily add on new systems and in turn help grow our business." "Compressus is an excellent tool for bringing together disparate RIS and PAC systems into one workflow," Keith Arnzen, MINW CEO. "While this creates a key component to improve and expand our services, ultimately, we expect the result will be faster, more accurate and better patient care."

About Medical Imaging Northwest

Medical Imaging Northwest is a group of 24 board certified radiologists, technologists and staff committed to providing the finest medical imaging technology to our patients and the communities that we serve. Medical Imaging Northwest offers a broad range of services at multiple locations and provides quick, accurate reporting. We attract highly trained physicians (board certified radiologists with fellowship and/or subspecialty training) and registered radiologic technologists with advanced certification and multiple capabilities. MINW provides professional services for the radiology departments of MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital, Puyallup and Allenmore Hospital, Tacoma and provides onsite coverage at MultiCare clinics in Auburn, Covington, Kent, Tacoma and Gig Harbor with remote interpretation for other sites as well. Additionally, we have three joint ventured, American College of Radiology accredited, outpatient imaging centers under the name Diagnostic Imaging Northwest.

SOURCE Medical Imaging Northwest
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