Asante Health System Goes Digital

 
 
By Samuel Greengard  |  Posted 2011-06-16
 
 
 

The transition from film and paper to digital files has revolutionized medicine. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Asante Health System, a not-for-profit southern Oregon provider serving 580,000 people across nine counties.

A few years ago, doctors, technicians and others waited hours for couriers to carry radiological images and other files between the Medford facility and more than 100 offices and clinics—many in outlying areas.

“It was costly and extremely slow to transport films, and we had no good way to store them and retrieve them,” notes Michael York, senior systems engineer. “There were enormous inefficiencies, and it impacted patient care.

No longer. In 2005, Asante launched an initiative to replace traditional film with digital images. It installed a Fujifilm Synapse Picture Archiving and Communication System. However, with a storage growth rate of 5 terabytes per year, the facility had to find a way to minimize retrieval times, manage costs and accommodate regulatory issues. So Asante turned to a Hewlett-Packard Medical Archive solution.

The health care provider has achieved an ROI exceeding 230 percent, while retrieval times for X-rays, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans are up to 900 percent faster. In addition, the modular storage solution makes it easy for IT to add and adapt storage arrays on the fly.

“If individual nodes fail, we are able to keep the system up and running,” York says. “We have zero downtime.”