With a RIS-PACS system, a hospital can schedule patients according to available slots and actually perform more studies due to improved efficiency, says Dr Ashish Dhawad, CEO, Medsynaptic Pvt Ltd
What are the focus areas of the RIS-PACS solutions that you are providing? What is the mission and vision of your organisation?
We are focused on making solutions like RIS-PACS, affordable for all hospitals. Implementing a PACS was considered cost prohibitive and was exclusively deployed at very few hospitals in the past. In the last few years, Medsynaptic has helped to democratise the situation so that the benefits of technology are available, even to the smallest hospital. At the same time, we have made sure that lowered cost does not reflect older technology or poor service. In fact our PACS is considered as one of the most technologically advanced product both by customers and competitors. And that is backed by an efficient and responsive support service team which helps us build strong partnership with clients. That is why we are the leader in RIS-PACS systems in India.
What are the ways by which the strategically designed workflow in RIS-PACS leads to improvement in productivity and boosts the efficiency of healthcare?
Properly designed workflows can optimise the functioning of any hospital and provides effective delivery of healthcare. With a RIS-PACS system, a hospital can schedule patients according to available slots and actually perform more studies due to improved efficiency. Radiologists can read more studies in a PACS environment, provide better reports with comparison etc as the images are easily retrievable. Patient data flows seamlessly from HIS to Modalities to PACS reducing data entry effort and errors. All these result in a major gain for the hospital both in revenue and productivity.
Can you give us one example of how your RIS-PACS solutions have proved advantageous for patient?
There are many instances where hospitals, doctors and patients have benefitted due to immediate access to our Medsynapse PACS. To give a specific example, one of the leading hospitals in India had treated an international patient and this patient forgot to carry the CD of his CT Scan back to his country. On reaching London, the patient had to undergo an emergency procedure and the surgeon needed immediate access to his images. They contacted the hospital back in India but sending the CD physically would have been time consuming. Plus the number of images was in thousands and given the importance of data security, the images could not be transferred over email/ftp etc. The hospital is running Medsynapse PACS and they provided a temporary login to the surgeon who could immediately access the PACS sitting in his office (being web based, does not require any software installation or configuration). Surgery was successful and a patients life was saved.
In what ways do your RIS-PACS solutions get integrated with the external HIS solutions?
A good RIS-PACS is not just meant to connect together the radiology department and display images but it should also be capable of seamless integration with disparate systems within and outside the hospital for an efficient workflow. Medsynaptic is one of the unique organizations which has successfully integrated its PACS with multiple HIS/EMR systems across the world. Our Medsynapse PACS is capable of integrating with both HL7 and Non HL7 systems using different pathways.
What are the challenges that you face while selling and installing your RIS-PACS solutions in India?
Fortunately with the increasing experience of IT and Radiologists in PACS, there is more awareness in the community. But still there are challenges and with time I am sure they will become less. Many times there is a mismatch in the expectations of the end users like radiologists, clinicians and IT staff vis-a-vis the Management regarding the solution they would like to deploy. Management is more budget and brand oriented whereas end users want a solution which they can easily deploy, utilize efficiently and has the features to serve their needs. What is needed is a balance between the two. Lot of our customers expect customisation in the solution which we do offer and is one of our key advantages.
Implementing the Medsynapse RIS-PACS system had been immensely beneficial for GCRI radiologists and referring physicians
Gujarat Cancer & Research Institute (GCRI) established in 1972, is an autonomous body jointly managed by Government of Gujarat and Gujarat Cancer Society (GCS). GCRI is also recognised as a major Regional Cancer Center by Government of India and is a premier institute in the field of cancer care and research in the world.
It has 650 indoor beds and is the largest Cancer hospital of the country. GCRI supports more than 2,00,000 outpatients, 20,000+ inpatients, 15000+ radiation treatments and close to 75,000 imaging and radiology examinations every year.
GCRI had an earlier generation of MiniPACS system which was no longer being supported by the principal company. The system was not able to cope up with the increasing number of studies and workload and in 2010 GCRI was looking for a replacement solution which could be deployed across the hospital. The hospital is fully equipped to cater complete range of diagnostic imaging with Digital Radiography, Ultrasonography (USG), Colour Doppler, Multi slice Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Mammography, PET-CT Scanner, Nuclear Medicine and Interventional radiology. While looking for a PACS system, GCRI had multiple challenges latest technology, scalable solution, should support the high volume workload, customization to suit their workflow, should support teaching & research activities, data migration from existing solution and good local service. Plus all of these challenges had to be overcome within their budget.
After uating various PACS vendors, GCRI decided to deploy Medsynapse RIS-PACS at their hospital. Medsynapse is a true web based PACS and is developed by Medsynaptic Pvt Ltd, the leader in Indian RIS-PACS market. While making the decision, the radiology department, management and IT made sure that each of their expectations are met by the solution. GCRI based their decision on several factors including the capability of Medsynaptic to offer a technologically advanced and scalable solution as well as rapid deployment. Medsynaptic completed the implementation and data migration including hardware delivery within a span of 2 months. Some customised workflows which had been requested were also delivered within a short period of time. Along with the PACS a solution for providing Teleradiology and advanced visualisation like 3D was also deployed. Medsynapse PACS was connected to all the modalities and all departments including wards, OPDs, OTs etc were able to view images and reports online. Staff training was completed according to the schedule and the system went live in a record time.
After deploying Medsynapse RIS-PACS, GCRI experienced several benefits like
True web based experience providing easy access to images/reports to all users across the hospital
Improved workflows and faster reporting
Cost reduction by going filmless
Increased collaboration amongst staff and improved productivity
Comparisons with old studies (important for cancer patients) and searching the large volume of data at the click of mouse
Integrated, flexible reporting system with templates, electronic signature and transcription module
Dashboard for IT department to monitor all activities in the system
MIS reports to get statistical data regarding studies, TAT, radiologist productivity etc
Ability to create image library and report text search engine for research purposes
Advanced visualization tools including MIP/MPR, 3D etc
Teleradiology facility for remote reporting from any part of the world
In conclusion, implementing the Medsynapse RIS-PACS system had been immensely beneficial for GCRI radiologists and referring physicians. Medsynapse was easy to deploy and integrate and the features and technology helped improve workflows and patient care. Medsynaptic has proven that it is possible to install a fully functional enterprise PACS providing high performance and reliability even in complex hospital environments.