PALMER — Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers has turned to Smart Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (SmartPACS) to improve the operation of its Radiology department.
This advanced digital system allows the staff to electronically view, transfer, and store radiology images without film. Wing radiologists are able to instantly interpret and share information with referring physicians with the click of a mouse.
In addition to the image review stations in Radiology, review stations are installed in the OR, CCU/SCU, emergency department, and other strategic locations throughout the hospital and Wing Medical Center of Palmer. Wing’s orthopedists, neurologist, ENTs, and a thoracic surgeon are among several of the physicians who also have access to review stations.
Wing was, like most facilities, dealing with the ongoing costs of maintaining a film-based system. These costs included the obvious direct costs: film, chemistry, and file room expenses. Wing also lived with the problems associated with a film-based system. Films took an excessive amount of time to retrieve; old films might take one or two days to find from off-site storage. SmartPACS will affect how Radiology interfaces with the entire hospital, the medical centers, and patients.
Wing’s Radiology staff immediately saw the benefits of an electronic-based system. According to Dr. Jeffrey Allard, chief of Radiology, “our goal is to reduce the time that both images and reports are available to staff physicians, which translates into improved patient care.”