Dr. Gregory Cross, Diagnostic Radiologist
Eric Lipe, Director of Radiology
“Enterprise Imaging is an excellent system, that would fit any size of hospital.”
“For a smaller hospital, like Cody Regional Health, it offers everything we need to ‘get the job done’ – and more.”
At Cody Regional Health, Enterprise Imaging is helping radiologists “get the work done” more quickly and efficiently, keeping workflow smooth and patients happy.
For innovative, critical care hospital Cody Regional Health, in Cody, Wyoming, every moment counts to provide toplevel care for its patients – and this is certainly true for the radiology department.
Since going live with Enterprise Imaging in June 2020, productivity and satisfaction are high, with Agfa HealthCare’s solution, service, and support!
The right balance of technology and service
“When I joined Cody Regional Health about four years ago, one of my first responsibilities was the replacement of the Agfa HealthCare PACS,” begins Eric Lipe, Director of Radiology.
For 15 years, the Agfa HealthCare PACS met the needs of radiologists, clinicians and patients at Cody Regional Health, in Cody, Wyoming. But by 2020, it was clear a more modern system was needed to support the hospital in its digital transformation and patient care excellence goals.
“Furthermore, we needed a system that could support 3D mammography, which was a priority project for the hospital. For Cody Regional Health, providing our patients with technologically advanced equipment is critical and to do that, all the pieces of the puzzle needed to fit together.”
While the hospital had a long-term relationship with Agfa HealthCare, Eric Lipe had not worked with the vendor before. This situation enabled a very balanced approach to selecting a replacement for the PACS. “On one hand, the radiologists, technologists etc., liked working with Agfa HealthCare, and wanted to stay with them. On the other hand, as I was coming in from outside, I was looking very objectively at the technology and the service. I wanted to be certain that after the go-live we would receive excellent support.”
“We looked at several different vendors and solutions on the market, and found that Enterprise Imaging and Agfa HealthCare were the right fit for us.”
Running a project during Covid-19
Just as the implementation project for the Agfa HealthCare Enterprise Imaging system was getting off the ground, the global COVID-19 pandemic struck. “Agfa HealthCare could not send their people to our site: everything would have to be done remotely. We thought about delaying implementation – but that would set us back with the 3D mammography project as well. So, we took a leap and moved forward,” explains Eric Lipe.
Despite the lack of physical presence of the Agfa HealthCare team, the implementation was executed smoothly, although it was an ‘interesting’ experience, he continues. “Agfa HealthCare maintained a very close presence, even remotely. They worked together with our PACS administrator to set up the system and then walked our radiologists step-by-step through the configuration of their workstations.”
The PACS administrator and Eric Lipe also attended in-person training at Agfa HealthCare’s offices. “With a good understanding of the ‘behind the scenes’ of the platform and its functionalities, we became self-reliant with the system very quickly.”
Eric Lipe concludes, “After the go-live in June 2020, my PACS administrator and I were discussing the experience, and realized there had only been two ‘major’ complaints from staff – both of which were internal communication issues. We agreed that clearly, despite the additional challenges, the project had been done right.”
“Agfa HealthCare maintained a very close presence, even remotely.”
“They worked together with our PACS administrator to set up the system and walked our radiologists step-by-step through the configuration of their workstations.”
Director of Radiology
Did you know?
- Cody Regional Health (CRH) is a 25-bed acute-care state-of-the-art facility.
- It has 60 physicians and offers over 20 different services to the city of Cody, Wyoming and the surrounding area, in a catchment of around 60,000 people
- The radiology department includes 2 radiologists, 19 technologists and 4 support staff.
They offer MRI, CT, Nuclear Medicine, ultrasound, fluoroscopy and X-ray services, as well as minor interventional procedures.
After a 2% yearly growth in the number of imaging studies carried out by Cody Regional Health between 2015 and 2020, the number of imaging studies jumped sharply, from around 24,450 in 2020 to almost 34,054 in 2021.
Helping radiologists get more done
With the new Enterprise Imaging solution up and running, the users, including the radiologists, quickly experienced concrete benefits. Dr. Gregory Cross, Diagnostic Radiologist, highlights how improvements in the new platform keep the radiologist workflow smooth and enhance efficiency.
“The voice recognition in Enterprise Imaging has taken a step forward, compared to the previous PACS. It is better at learning voice and speech patterns. So even at the end of a busy day, when our voices are tired and our speech may be slower, it still does a very good job, with few errors.”
The flexible text macros further accelerate the production of correct and complete reports, he explains. “Reports continue to get longer, both from increasing amounts of data (for example, all the measurements in an obstetric ultrasound), but also from hospital administration requirements (such as indicating the number of ccs of contrast medium used). There are many things repeated in report after report, as well. With Agfa Enterprise Imaging, it was easy to personalize the macros, to automate these repetitive parts of the report.”
Finally, the hanging protocols, combined with easy access to the dictation function, are another significant time-saver. “When I open a study, I don’t want to press three buttons to access the dictation function: I want to be able to just go. When you are reading 150 studies, shortcuts like these add up to a lot of time gained.”
With these tools and functionalities, he highlights, the radiologists can handle more patients, studies, and reports, more quickly. “That means clinicians and referring physicians get the information they need faster, and patients can begin treatment in a timely manner – which is key to patient care,” he adds.
Flexibility, expertise and careful listening
The support and knowledge of the Agfa HealthCare team have been fundamental in enabling the radiologists at Cody Regional Health to be up and running with Enterprise Imaging quickly, and to continue to improve their experience and productivity. “The macros and hanging protocols are quite easy to program for yourself, but I prefer to put myself in Agfa HealthCare’s hands. They listen to what I want, and they make it happen,” says Dr. Cross.
During the remote go-live, the Agfa HealthCare team worked with the radiologists over several days, to create the ‘basic’, priority macros. “They were very flexible with us and listened to our needs. By doing a bit each day, we could keep working with very little disruption.”
For setting up the hanging protocols, Dr. Cross has had a similarly flexible and knowledgeable experience with Agfa HealthCare. “When we implemented the 3D mammography, for example, I asked them to come up with a suggestion for the hanging protocols. They used an approach I would never have considered, and it worked perfectly.”
“The macros and hanging protocols are quite easy to program for yourself, but I prefer to put myself in Agfa HealthCare’s hands. They listen to what I want, and they make it happen.”
Dr. Gregory Cross,
The ongoing support from Agfa HealthCare is also appreciated by Eric Lipe. “Our Agfa HealthCare account exec checks in with me regularly, which means the world to me. If I have a question or issue, I can just bring it to his attention. He is much more than a ‘silent partner’: he is engaged, and we appreciate that.”
Agfa HealthCare’s technical service keeps things running smoothly for the hospital, with timely responses to tickets and calls. “Sometimes when we call, they can resolve the issue immediately. Otherwise, they keep us informed by email of the progress. This is especially important for a remote rural hospital like ours, which can sometimes feel a bit isolated,” he adds.
Dr. Cross concludes, “We are very happy with Agfa HealthCare, and with the Enterprise Imaging solution. It’s an excellent system, and I think it would fit any size of hospital. For a smaller hospital, like Cody Regional Health, it offers everything we need to ‘get the job done’ – and more. It also has plenty of tools and functionalities that would be very useful in larger networks or teaching hospitals, for example. We are upgrading to the newest version soon, and I am looking forward to seeing what it has to offer!”
Agfa HealthCare’s contribution
Over a nearly 20-year relationship, Agfa HealthCare has supported Cody Regional Health with expert and engaged service and support.
For the implementation of the Enterprise Imaging platform, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, training, set-up and go-live were all handled remotely, with no major delays or issues. Training and support enabled Cody Regional to become self-reliant with the system very quickly, while any special requests to Agfa HealthCare are handled in a responsive and timely way.
Agfa HealthCare’s solution:
Enterprise Imaging for Radiology is a consolidated imaging management platform that automates workflows and eliminates repetitive tasks, so radiologists can focus their efforts and expertise on value-added tasks.