November 29, 2023Read More
A complex image records exchange between GRMC and their partner, Methodist Hospital led to an inefficient transfer process that overburdened staff at both locations.
Guadalupe Regional Medical Centre (GRMC) is always on the lookout for ways to improve healthcare access to the 45,000 residents it supports in Seguin and the surrounding 170,000+ residents in Guadalupe County, Texas.
As a Level IV trauma center, it’s common practice for GRMC to transfer patients needing more specialized care to Methodist Hospital, a Level III trauma center in San Antonio that’s part of the Methodist Healthcare System. When that transfer happens, the patient records must be also transferred immediately.
This transfer process was not immediate and it required a lot of effort from both hospital healthcare administration teams. Images that were sent via CDs could take days to arrive at Methodist. The process of preparing and burning CDs was time-consuming at GRMC, involving multiple departments, including radiology and medical records.
On the other hand, radiology reports were sent separately via faxed access pages. While this process worked for smaller imaging volumes, as the number of patient transfers increased it became too much of a burden on Methodist’s clerical staff to import these records into their PACS and associate each image record with the appropriate patient EMR.
GRMC realized that a change was needed to enable a seamless bidirectional image records exchange with Methodist to make the record-sharing process more efficient and simplified for administrative staff and improve patient care.
Julia Barnes, Imaging System Administrator at Methodist Hospital
Setting up a PocketHealth gateway between GRMC and Methodist Hospital to support a seamless and secure bidirectional image-sharing process between both healthcare providers.
GRMC worked with PocketHealth to set up a gateway, a type of automated routing, that enabled bidirectional image sharing between GRMC and their partner, Methodist Hospital.
The process of setting up the gateway included installing a lightweight server at GRMC that allowed authorized staff at Methodist to securely connect to their PACS through PocketHealth. This new set-up eliminated the need for CDs, while also removing faxed access pages and any extra manual labor that came with that process.
Minimal effort was needed from both GRMC and Methodist Hospital to set up the gateway. On the GRMC side, after some preliminary set up, it took the PocketHealth team less than 2 hours to install. All that was needed from GRMC’s team was support with testing the record transfer process and providing the IP information needed to connect to their PACS system. And because the gateway is part of the PocketHealth for Providers offering, there was no additional cost incurred.
On the Methodist Hospital side, the gateway took less than an hour to set up, with minimal resources needed from the Methodist team. The setup came at no cost, and since the gateway is completely self-hosted, it requires no partner-provided maintenance.
Thanks to the PocketHealth gateway, GRMC can do secure, large-scale image transfers with their partner, Methodist Hospital, which require no manual administrative processing during the send and receive process. Methodist now has all imaging results automatically associated with a transferred patient’s record, allowing their physicians to access a patient’s imaging directly within their local PACS viewer.
Jubelee Davis, Executive Director of Imaging Services at GRMC
A transformed image-sharing process that led to over 1,700 staff hours saved by GRMC, while simultaneously improving patient experience.
With the PocketHealth gateway now in place, GRMC and Methodist Hospital have an efficient and centralized bidirectional image-sharing process that ensures staff isn’t wasting time burning CDs or processing individual access pages. It’s also better connecting patients between the two health sites, ensuring continuity of care.
Since setting up PocketHealth, GRMC has avoided burning 3,686 CDs and redirected over 1,700 hours of administrative time to more high-impact tasks, while avoiding the involvement of multiple departments.
For Methodist Hospital, the gateway has allowed staff to redirect administrative hours normally spent entering access page information to more important front-line tasks that support their patients. This also ensures there are no delays in care when patients arrive at Methodist Hospital from GRMC, helping improve overall patient experience and outcomes.
Implementing a PocketHealth gateway has helped both health systems generate savings, improve patient experience and eliminate administrative work. In total, it’s projected that the gateway will help GRMC redirect one full-time employee to higher-impact work. Patients have even better continuity of care during the transfer process, while employees have more time to focus on quality of care and outcomes.
PocketHealth is the first patient-centric image sharing platform, empowering patients with fast access, easy sharing and permanent, secure storage of their medical imaging and reports. By eliminating any network image-sharing dependencies, PocketHealth seamlessly integrates into healthcare systems and creates efficiencies and cost savings for providers while putting patients in control of their healthcare journey. PocketHealth is trusted by over 600 hospitals and imaging centers across North America and is used by more than 1 million patients. Request a demo today.