Corporate Report: For Over 100 Years, Agfa has Pioneered the Science of Medical Imaging

Integrated information systems lead to an improved knowledge base that not only improves the delivery of healthcare services, but also reduces the possibility of error and the cost of delivering care, enabling healthcare professionals to do more. Moving from analog to digital patient-related data flows presents multiple opportunities to integrate a healthcare facility's information and images, as well as optimize the delivery of service offered to patients. With more than a century of experience providing imaging solutions and over 800 PACS installations worldwide, Agfa has a unique understanding of how physicians and medical specialists use imaging and information management in their daily routine and are now delivering this expertise to cardiology.

Agfa brings proven, industry-leading PACS experience into the cardiology department.

Cardiology departments today face a number of issues: an aging population, increased demand for services, ever-increasing volumes of data, and a shortage of cardiologists and support staff. Effective image management, specifically the storage, display and sharing of images and the reporting of diagnostic results, all work to enhance communication among medical professionals and improve the delivery of service.

With IMPAX™ for Cardiology, Agfa's cardiology image and information management solution, technology can be used to its full potential by providing access to all the information the cardiologist needs, even coming from multi-modalities or across hospital departments, all accessible from a single point of access - the cardiology workstation.

The Right Information Right at your Fingertips

Powered by leading clinical technology developed by Heartlab Inc., IMPAX for Cardiology is a dynamic digital information management solution specifically tailored to meet the needs of today's busy cardiology department.

As an integral component of Agfa IMPAX Enterprise Suite™, IMPAX for Cardiology links cardiology to other parts of the healthcare enterprise without compromising the unique needs of the individual departments. It is the premier cardiology solution available today providing the required image acquisition, storage, review and reporting capabilities. This innovative solution enables cardiologists to view various cardiac images simultaneously, including cardiac catheterization, echo, CT, CVMR, nuclear medicine, IVUS and chest X-rays. Cardiologists can view the images whenever and wherever it is convenient for them, from the critical care unit, to surgery, to the ER, a remote clinic and even from their desks.

IMPAX for Cardiology takes technology a step further by providing intelligent connections throughout the hospital. Pertinent patient information is available where and when it is needed. By simply manipulating schedules with the click of a mouse, the patient worklist information is redirected to the appropriate devices in the new location without the need to re-enter patient data. This foremost device connectivity, combined with our whiteboard-style workflow solution instantly communicates this change to physicians, staff and everyone with a need to know.

Improved Efficiency Provides Time to Focus on Patient Care

Most importantly the advantages provided by IMPAX for Cardiology are not only valuable benefits for your department, but also for your patients. Valuable human assets will be freed up from the time consuming tasks of locating tapes, films and patient charts, allowing more time to focus on patient care. With unrestricted access to all information, historic and current, all from a single location - your entire cardiology department will realize these workflow and efficiency benefits:

  • cardiologists will appreciate the ease with which they can consult with other specialists and surgeons, regardless of their location;
  • report turnaround time and results distribution, important benchmarks, are greatly improved; and
  • improvements in data consistency and data integrity result in improved lab management - the right information, right where you need it.

Agfa's experience as a global leader in PACS can assure each facet of your organization - clinical, IT, lab technology, and patient administration - has the knowledge and tools to excel.

The IMPAX for Cardiology solution is compatible with virtually every major capture and output device, as well as HIS, RIS and EPR systems, so your current technology investment is optimized instead of made obsolete. Although IMPAX ensures easy access to information for authorized care providers in your network, patient confidentiality will be maintained. The system has security features, such as user authentication; encryption, transaction logging and audit trail, which help users meet patient privacy (HIPAA) and security requirements.

Every IMPAX solution includes Agfa's professional support services to provide the means to integrate cardiology information exactly how you need it, whether with on-site staff, other departments or even remote facilities or campuses. We provide complete training for clinical and technical staff, including consulting and referring physicians. Our team also works with your organization to create a workflow analysis to map out efficiencies, and a network validation that balances budgetary constraints with patient volume and institutional goals. These resources and many more allow your cardiology patients to be cared for more effectively and efficiently than ever before.

Today, cardiology departments face a number of challenges: an aging population, increased demand for services, ever-increasing volumes of data, and a shortage of cardiologists and support staff.Agfa offers suggestions that can help the cardiology team departments streamline workflow, expedite and improve the delivery of patient care, and use resources more efficiently.

Agfa's Tips to Streamline Cardiology Workflow

Analyze the current workflow. Members of the cardiology department should document daily and weekly activities to identify areas where delays or redundancies occur, track report turnaround times and monitor results distribution issues. Analyzing the current workflow will help identify and eliminate time consuming activities or unnecessary duplication. Some departments may benefit from hiring a Workflow Expert to analyze and assess areas where quality and productivity can be improved.

Ensure that investments in modalities or information systems bring the right functionality to the department. Research acquisition options that meet the specific needs of the department. Agfa recommends that cardiology departments select the modalities that are the best of breed and then source a supplier to provide connectivity and image management. Outfitting the complete department from a single source may not provide the best available components.

Network within the healthcare community. Contact related departments to share tips, techniques and lessons learned. Identify locations where similar systems have been installed. Evaluate all aspects of the solution: features set, performance, uptime, and vendor experience, services and reliability of support.

Evaluate the opportunities a cardiology PACS and information iystem can offer. Storing and distributing images in a PACS has been proven to boost productivity and efficiency. Cardiology departments should look for a PACS that provides performance and reliability, can connect all modalities, will efficiently manage the information flow, provide high image quality and have a clinically accepted feature set and user interface.

Leverage the information and images from the enterprise.Correlating clinical information from all relevant sources can help to minimize the potential for errors, and enable clinicians to provide a comprehensive diagnosis more efficiently and with greater confidence. The key is to have access to all current and historic information within the enterprise via a single log-on and single search screen.

Prepare for workflow change. Identify areas where the workflow may change and provide training to guide through the transition. Provide support to increase efficacy of training and to overcome the initial hesitancy to modify established work patterns. Identify a vendor who is willing and able to provide support during the transition.

In a critical department such as cardiology, everyone wants the opportunity to perform their job to the very best of their ability. In partnership with Agfa, now you can give your staff the tools they need to improve efficiency and productivity, and ultimately provide better patient care with IMPAX for Cardiology. It is the complete digital solution that provides image and information management across the clinical enterprise.