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Radiology Makes Strides with One-of-a-Kind Automation
WH will soon reap the benefits of its own invention. New technology, originally developed as an outgrowth of research involving Radiology and Internal Medicine, will be implemented at the hospital in the spring. The one-of-a-kind technology is designed to streamline the whole imaging process involving order entry scheduling and communicating the test results.
In 1999, BWH radiologist Ramin Khorasani, MD and chief of the Division of General Medicine David Bates, MD created RIMS (Radiology Information Management System). In April 2000, this state-of-the-art technology was licensed to Medicalis—a health care information management corporation—which is now marketing the commercial software version of the BWH-born technology to hospitals and insurance companies.
Similar to the impact BWH’s acclaimed computerized order entry system has had on reducing medication errors, RIMS, now commercially known as RADVISE, is designed to automate the patient radiology imaging process.
“It is an exciting time for BWH Radiology as the department has gone through an automation metamorphosis over the last three years,” said Khorasani, who is now the director of the Information Management Division in the Department of Radiology.
“Automation is the wave of today and the future to ensure optimal hospital information systems,” added Matt Van Vranken, BWH’s chief operating officer, who praises the improved quality of patient care and cost efficiency to be realized by BWH when this technology is soon implemented.
Instead of a physician’s office scheduling an appointment for an x-ray or a CT scan by phone, RADVISE will allow on-line scheduling. In addition, rather than a primary care physician making the time to consult with a radiologist to choose the most appropriate test to order for a particular patient, RADVISE automates that process.
“As radiology imaging becomes more diversified, providing real-time decision support for our referring physicians is key. RADVISE ensures that the whole imaging process is made more efficient and the patient receives the most appropriate imaging test for his or her symptoms and/or diagnosis, whether it be an x-ray, CT scan, MRI or ultrasound,” added horasani.
Additional benefits provided by the software include providing BWH radiologists with the name of the physician who is requesting the test and increased efficiency in notifying the referring physicians of the test results and the subsequent communication of them to the patients.
“The new technology ties the referring physician more closely to radiologists,” said Khorasani, who explains that now referring physicians, not just the reviewing radiologist, will be able to view their patients’ completed imaging tests.
According to Khorasani, RADVISE will be implemented in spring at BWH’s primary care physician offices and then in the ED over the summer. The technology will be used for outpatients during its early implementation at BWH. Plans are moving forward for Partners affiliates to also adopt the new technology in order to optimize Partners-wide communication related to imaging. Currently at BWH, Thoracic Surgery, Neurosurgery, Surgical Oncology and Urology are using the RIMS version of the technology.
“This technology and similar applications will prove to be trailblazing tools for Radiology in the next decade,” said Khorasani.