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Filmless Radiology Department

Quantitative Evaluation of The Quality and Efficiency of A Filmless Department in A Fully Digital Regional Hospital

Reggio Emilia’s Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova regional hospital installed a Carestream Picture Archiving and Communication System () in 2003 to meet its strategic goal of sharing information, reports and data online. At the same time, the hospital commenced a study on the economic impact of compared with a non-digital system over a period of at least four years. Evidence shows that the new has delivered very significant benefits in financial terms, in simplified workflow and in the management and use of human resources.

Productivity has increased, and the instant availability of reports has enhanced clinical activity by reducing average hospitalisation times. by Dr Andrea Nitrosi

Reggio Emilia’s Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova is a 900-bed regional acute hospital in Italy. The hospital invests more than 2% of its global budget in IT annually (twice the Italian average). A total of 180 000 imaging examinations are performed every year by the radiology department, with a large outpatient population representing 40% of the workload. The emergency department represents 31%, while in-patient and day patients account for the remaining 29%.

Transition to full digital imaging

A joint multi-functional management project team for PACS was formed during the initial project phase and continues to provide guidance in ongoing PACS operations. The team set clear criteria to monitor the implementation and measure the clinical and business outcomes, providing solutions for specific clinical departmental requirements such as digital orthopaedic preoperative planning for the operating room [Figure 2]. Specifications for the system included full PACS/RIS/HIS (Radiology Information System/Hospital Information System) and modality integration, load balancing mutual takeover PACS server configuration, Everything on Line (EOL) architecture in the form of Carestream PACS 5.2, automatic speech recognition systems (ASRS), and web-based full-depth 12-bit image ward distribution via an intranet PACS web-access on any of the hospital’s 1400 personal computers.

Extensive user training on the PACS web module involved more than 400 medical and nursing professionals. To facilitate and accelerate the use of the IT process, a portion of the clinical staff’s incentive plan was tied to deployment of the (EPR) component.

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