Professor Bart Sijnave, Chief Information Officer at UZ Gent explains: "Like many global healthcare providers, the push is to reduce the duration of stays, increasing the focus on the chain of information and ensuring that patient care is enhanced through good communication and the appropriate level of care provided by the right professional.
Professor Sijnave continues: "We've worked with PACS in Radiology for the last five years, and now there is no film used anywhere in the hospital- even surgery is completed using digital imaging. We decided we needed a central storage system, one where all multimedia could be deposited, easily accessed, and shared, regardless of the department from which it originated."
As the largest single campus university hospital in Belgium, UZ Gent employs six thousand people, housing 1062 patient beds. The hospital focuses on the number of patients cared for and the throughput of day patients- in 2008 the hospital completed more than 101,000 procedures. The continuation of this upward trend will rely on optimised care being provided at every stage of patient recovery.
UZ Gent wanted the ability to store multimedia and emerging imaging technology. Professor Sijnave needed a hospital-wide system that was more than just a bolted together jumble of software; it needed to be able to communicate with every caregiver, to be able to share information using a vendor-independent platform and the system it chose had to support that efficiently, moulding itself to the working practices at UZ Gent.
Carestream Health has designed a renowned data workflow engine that is now at work in some of the biggest health maintenance organisations and hospitals in the world. This made it the obvious choice for Professor Sijnave. At UZ Gent the PACS will hook up over 40 different departments to one clinical archive. The enterprise-wide system will simplify IT administrative functions and reduce cost, delivering a multi-tier repository for industry-standard data such as XDS, XDS-1, DICOM, HL7 as well as other non-DICOM objects.
Carestream started the project by setting up five pilot departments and built from that to enable all 40 departments access to the Clinical Data Archive (CDA). The archive will provide a single access point to clinical images and other stored clinical information including images, video clips, laboratory results and biopsy results.
UZ Gent is building a truly unique care model. Networked to 12 other hospitals, all able to access the technology platform, it has created a secure information and image exchange that has no reliance on geographical location. This efficient system is open and yet incredibly secure, supporting the best methods of patient care.
Professor Bart Sijnave, describes his vision: "Patient care will increasingly involve a multi- discipline approach, with teams working together to provide the most comprehensive care package possible. The theory sounds easy but in practice has traditionally broken down due to poor information exchange, particularly with the sharing of patient records."
Having worked through the various issues associated with sharing information, UZ Gent is well placed to head up the move to a national and international platform where patient care can be completely transformed through the use of fast and efficient data sharing.
About Carestream Health
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