Crouse Hospital has been named among the “Top 25 Connected Healthcare Facilities” by Health Imaging & IT magazine. The annual list recognizes U.S. hospitals, health systems, imaging centers and physician practices that seamlessly integrate imaging and information technology (IT) systems, provide physicians with immediate, anywhere access to patient data and demonstrate high patient and staff satisfaction. Crouse is the only New York State healthcare provider to make this year’s Top 25 list.
Selected from a pool of 50+ entries, this year’s winners distinguished themselves by linking patient images with an electronic medical record (EMR) as well as providing physicians with remote access to clinical images and data. The publication identified the winners based on the percentage of facilities that were filmless, the percentage using digital procedures, the number of departments within the facility sending images to a Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) and the ability of physicians and referring physicians to access those images quickly and efficiently.
Crouse Hospital conducts close to 200,000 imaging studies annually, according to Brad Hellwig, director of medical imaging. “Working with Crouse Radiology Associates (CRA) we have increased radiologist availability through offsite shared reading while operating with 20 percent fewer on-site radiologists,” says Hellwig, who adds that the number of imaging studies at Crouse in 2009 increased 35 percent over the previous year. The hospital/CRA collaboration has now integrated two regional hospitals and 19 private imaging centers to develop a regional imaging network. All network data are available to physicians at the hospital and in their offices through a web portal, creating a market advantage for the emergency department and outpatient and inpatient services, says Hellwig.
According to Health Imaging & IT, the Top 25 facilities share efficiencies across departments and locations that can reduce patient wait times, overall length of stay, and the need for repeat exams. The Top 25 can also handle increases in patient volume with little or no increase in personnel, and the greater workflow efficiencies and tightly monitored billing and collection systems result in faster reimbursement payments and improvements in customer satisfaction scores among inpatients, outpatients and staff.