Radiologists are asked to do more with less these days. It’s a tall order given many doctors are likely sitting behind underpowered, aging workstations day after day.
So how do you increase doctor productivity, manage workloads more efficiently and increase department revenue, all within a constrained budget?
Several years ago, after suffering with overly complex and costly PACS operational challenges, radiologists and technologists at Sunshine Radiology in Central Florida decided to try a different approach to solve the problem.
What research indicated was the primary culprit of most of the daily challenges radiologists faced surprised everyone. It wasn’t a technology problem. It was a reading station problem. Most radiologists were simply sitting in front of under powered, out-of-date reading stations.
With more than 45 radiologists, including sub-specialists, delivering services across nine facilities, inadequate and limited access to multiple PACS was a huge problem for Sunshine Radiology.
Their radiologists were in a tough spot to keep up with growing workloads while at the same time delivering the quality of work expected by client hospitals. That’s when they hit upon a solution that would allow every radiologist to perform at peak productivity levels.
Working closely with their engineers, the team designed a unique and elegant solution to make their lives better, less stressful and more productive. They created a “Radiology PACS Network” within their hospital region. Using a PACStation Plus, they could now seamlessly and instantaneously access any PACS and associated worklists at any time, from anywhere.
Using hardware actualization instead of software virtualization, they created the new PACStation Plus to allow instantaneous sharing and provide for improved system-wide access.
In addition to access, ergonomics and environmental considerations were high on the engineering challenges. The goal was to minimize heat, noise, dust and weight while not impacting performance.
Over several years, Sunshine Radiology deployed dozens of the PACStation Plus models to all nine of their facilities and to more than 80 percent of their radiologists’ homes. Now when one busy client hospital gets overwhelmed with patients, physician resources from numerous hospital and home locations are utilized to effectively manage regional patient volume.
What’s more, Sunshine Radiology’s investment in home workstations allowed them to maintain SLA’s without increasing staffing, all while hospital volumes continued to grow. Their radiologists now read between three and five additional studies per shift when compared to prior years. In 2015 that resulted in an eight percent increase in productivity!
Since then, Sunshine Radiology has been recognized by The Advisory Board Company as a best practice for region wide imaging deployment. In addition, both Singular Medical Technologies – the company created to bring this solution to the radiology world – and its PACStation Plus model were 2016 Minnie awards semi-finalists in the Best New Radiology Vendor and Best New Radiology Device categories.