Short distances in hospital information exchange help to reduce time for examinations and get fast diagnoses. Therefore, integrated radiology information and picture archiving communication systems (RIS/PACS) are key in modern healthcare. The University Hospital in Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) has implemented a web-based IT solution by GE Healthcare for radiology information management and picture archiving of all imaging modalities in the newly created hospital building.

The goal is to optimize the radiology and clinical workflow and guarantee real time access to patient information, including images. The web-based PACS is playing a key role in this process; it is building the foundation to access images from any PC throughout the hospital. At UKE, Centricity is part of the electronic patient record (EPR). An extensive authorization concept has been worked out with Hamburg’s data security authority. It includes 800 different constellations of authorization in order to limit access possibilities following function, modality and the profession of users accessing the database.

“In order to guarantee a high-quality patient care at UKE we are working with state-of-the-art standards. Therefore a powerful RIS/PACS solution is indispensable,” says Professor Dr Gerhard Adam, director of the clinic for diagnostic and interventional radiology.

Dr Peter Gocke, leader of Information Technologies, adds, “The performance of Centricity web-PACS was a positive surprise for us. Finally we are able to provide a seamless image distribution throughout our clinics. This productive IT solution is one of the reasons why we are currently one of the most modern hospitals in Europe.”

Only half a year after placing the order the RIS/PACS system was integrated into UKE’s existing hospital information system (HIS) and the EPR. Since February 2009, the system has been fully operational.

“We expect to achieve an improved and streamlined workflow with the new RIS/PACS-solution,” explains Professor Adam. “In addition, we are able to integrate modalities such as ultrasound and endoscopy.”

So far diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and neuroradiology are fully integrated; further modalities will follow. The project plan foresees cooperation with a private medical prevention centre specialized in full-body MRI scans. Centricity will also be applied at the rheumatism clinics in Bad Bramstedt, also partnering with UKE.

“Centricity IT-solutions by GE Healthcare are among the leading digital technologies for image management, distribution and archiving worldwide,” says Juergen Reyinger, vice president and general manager at GE Healthcare IT in Europe. “Centricity is user-friendly, easy and fast to install and ‘Citrix Ready’.”

In addition, it offers an ultra-fast streaming technology and modern tools like ‘Pixel-on-demand’, MIP/MPR (maximum intensity projection module/multiple planar reconstruction) and PET/CT (positron emission tomography / computed tomography). Temporary access via ‘Grant Access’ and advanced 3D technology to easily evaluate huge sets of data are key for referring physicians.

“The project at UKE proves once more our know-how and great competence to implement complex projects reliably and on time. This is what significantly differentiates us from our competitors,” Reyinger concludes.