Capital Radiology is a leading diagnostic imaging provider with facilities that extend throughout metropolitan Melbourne, Regional Victoria, Tasmania & Western Australia. Listed on the Australian stock market, the business has more than 800 employees. Supporting more than 40 radiologists and 60 sites across both Eastern and Western Australia, the Capital Radiology technical environment is complex enough to test the WAN capabilities of the best PACS infrastructure available.
A few years ago, Capital Radiology recognised they were facing a number of clinical and operational challenges including:
- Pressure from referring physicians for a suitable image and report-viewing portal, combined with an overriding goal for the practice to improve referrer connectivity
- The need for specialty-specific or seamless off-site reporting processes in order to further improve clinical outcomes. The existing technology infrastructure’s ability to support this was limited
- Integration issues incorporating newly acquired sites
- Difficulties inherent in reading and reporting across an organisation which was increasingly geographically dispersed
- Bandwidth restrictions for some sites requiring manual intervention on a case by case basis. This resulted in some frustration and lost productivity
- Overflow reporting limitations due to the manual management of non-streamed study images
- Difficulties in delivering consistent and reliable turnaround times for diagnostic reports
“Adopting InteleConnect® EV, InteleViewer™ and eventually IntelePACS®, has better enabled the business to handle a constantly evolving environment.”
A Staged Roll-Out of Intelerad Solutions
The initial project focused on addressing referrer-facing connectivity needs as the highest priority to improve the customer experience.
Capital Radiology were keen to source a provider who could implement a state-of-the-art solution in a modular approach whilst ensuring minimal day-to-day impacts on underlying infrastructure or business processes. This approach was a key consideration in selecting Intelerad’s Imaging Connectivity Suite consisting of InteleConnect® EV and InteleViewer™.
The connectivity solutions were quickly installed over the legacy PACS with low operational-risk and minimum disruption enabling Capital Radiology to quickly deliver substantially improved patient care and referrer support.
The Imaging Connectivity Suite is a stand-alone set of solutions facilitating access to diagnostic reports and images in almost real-time irrespective of where a referrer is located. The suite is an ongoing overlay solution for a legacy PACS. There is no technological requirement to replace the whole PACS or RIS when implementing the Clinical Connectivity Suite, yet the benefits for the clinical community are substantial. The solution can, however, also provide a platform for further PACS-related infrastructure upgrades.
“Intelerad has a continuously evolving technology roadmap and a laser focus on improving radiology workflow to support an enhanced customer experience, which gives us supreme confidence in their ability, as our technology partner, to support our future business goals.”
Capital Radiology found the reception from referrers to be so positive, it helped build critical momentum for undertaking the next project of replacing the diagnostic reporting solution and PACS. Knowing this project could be treated independently of referrer connectivity meant easier internal change management and improved IT-resource allocation as some of the required infrastructure had already been deployed.
InteleViewer™ supports onsite and remote state-of-the-art reporting. InteleViewer™ can act as an overlay for a legacy PACS for a scalable and seamless reporting environment. Alternatively, it can be combined with IntelePACS® , for a comprehensive diagnostic and infrastructure outcome.
Diagnostic connectivity for Capital Radiology involved deploying InteleViewer™ as the primary diagnostic tool across the entire organisation and ultimately their underlying PACS. InteleViewer™ was a substantial component of the project as accompanying IT infrastructure upgrades were also needed. Trials were set up concurrently across a few geographically varied but smaller sites. The ability of the solutions to support the organisation’s diagnostic needs across the Wide Area Network were observed, meaning all remaining sites could be rolled out quickly and smoothly. The support and experience of Intelerad’s responsive project management team was invaluable, both before and during the roll out.
The implementation of InteleViewer™ as the single, standard diagnostic viewing tool powerfully demonstrated its worth to the organisation as it helped resolve key business issues and established a new environment to seamlessly support the organisation’s growth plans.
Operational, Organisational and Clinical Benefits
- Increased efficiency and clinically-enhancing outcomes, enabled by a standardised reporting environment across all geographically-dispersed sites
- Drastically reduced PACS support needs, compared to regular and highly technical IT involvement with prior legacy system
- Improvements in report turnaround time with near real-time availability of study images achieved – particularly beneficial for remote reporting
- Easier organisation of radiology resources for operational needs, such as by location, overflow or out-of-hours requirements
- Seamless connectivity with referrers
- Creation of a reliable and scalable foundation for future growth, facilitating the easier onboarding of new branches and locations
Capital Radiology is continuously considering how technology enhancements can improve the radiology workflow, effectively improve business efficiencies, and enhance patient care. “What has been achieved to date means we are well placed to reimagine how our technological solutions can positively impact our customers’ health care outcomes, with Intelerad as a key enabler.” — Brendan Revell, Head of IT, Capital Radiology