“We’ve had a lot of patient referrals within the MCME group during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to INFINITT Enterprise Imaging Platform, we could quickly access patient images from prior examinations at referring clinics/hospitals, which allowed us to provide the care they need in a much more efficient, timely manner.”
Radiology manager, Mediclinic Al Noor Hospital
Mediclinic is an international private healthcare services group based in South Africa, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Switzerland. The group operates approximately 11,500 beds and 120 hospitals and clinics in total, of which its UAE division, Mediclinic Middle East (MCME), operates 7 hospitals and 20 clinics. MCME is a large hospital group on its own, with an average of over 650K radiology (DICOM) exams and 250K non-radiology (non-DICOM) exams conducted each year.
Generally in UAE, a patient would make a visit to a local clinic for primary care before being referred to a nearby hospital for more advanced examination and treatment. MCME, consisting of both hospitals and clinics, often has patients referred to and from within the group. However, the problem was that the twenty-seven MCME hospitals and clinics had been using a variety of different PACS and EHR and, as a result, varying patient ID systems with which they identified and managed data on a patient-basis. So when a patient was referred to Hospital B from Clinic A, for example, physicians at Hospital B could not access any of the patient’s prior exam images from Clinic A. Basically, data sharing and utilization within the MCME group was very limited.
In addition, there was no dedicated system at MCME for managing non-DICOM data. It was left to the physicians at each hospital/clinic to sporadically store and backup their own non-DICOM data on their departmental PC or external hard drives. As a result, there was always the inconvenience of having to manually open up and print out the files from a PC or a hard drive when they had to refer to past non-DICOM data.
MCME sought to integrate the previously disconnected patient ID systems within its group and to systematically manage all non-DICOM data through INFINITT Enterprise Imaging Platform (consisting of PACS, VNA, universal viewer and more). Starting with a data center in Dubai and a disaster recovery center in Abu Dhabi and then phasing in with the clinics and hospitals one by one, MCME has been gradually building its own hospital network since the initial contract with INFINITT in 2018. Five hospitals and twelve clinics would have completed go-lives by the end of 2020, and all twenty-seven sites by 2021.
There are largely three reasons INFINITT Healthcare was selected as MCME’s partner. The first was its high level of technical expertise as a SW dedicated vendor. Because all of INFINITT products are developed and serviced in-house, customer needs could easily be absorbed and reflected in the products as required. The second was INFINITT’s diverse product offerings. The fact that INFINITT services an entire range of departmental solutions (i.e. radiology PACS, dental PACS, report search solution, dose management solution, mammography portal, etc.) corresponded with MCME’s plans to gradually expand its enterprise imaging platform. The third was reliable maintenance services. With INFINITT Middle East Africa (IMEA) office located right in Dubai, MCME was guaranteed to receive strong onsite support from INFINITT at all times.
A unified patient ID system for managing all data within MCME
All data from within the MCME group has been consolidated under a single, unified patient ID system. Before, there were the inefficiencies of re-scanning a referred patient because his/her prior images are inaccessible or manually modifying the patient ID and uploading each external image brought in on a CD. Now, any image or data from any MCME hospital/clinic is available for easy access through a quick search on INFINITT PACS. “We’ve had a lot of patient referrals within the MCME group during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says the radiology manager at Mediclinic Al Noor Hospital in Abu Dhabi. “Thanks to INFINITT’s enterprise imaging platform, we could quickly access patient images from prior examinations at referring clinics/hospitals, which allowed us to provide the care they need in a much more efficient, timely manner.”
Integrated storage, management of and access to all non-DICOM data
Not only DICOM images but also non-DICOM data have been consolidated and are stored, managed and accessed in an integrated manner. It has especially been useful in the operation theatres (OT) at MCME, where they must check and refer to all types of clinical data before and after operating on a patient. Before, they had to go to each relevant department to copy or print out the non-DICOM files such as blood test results, ECG results, endoscopy results and previous operation videos. Now, all types of data including both DICOM and non-DICOM files can be accessed and viewed directly from ULite (INFINITT’s universal viewer) in the operation theatres. Then, the operation video itself is saved along with the patient’s other images and data, for an at-a-glance, post-operation review of the patient’s surgical records later on.
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