- Wes Griffith

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina—the deadliest storm of its kind in U.S. history—made its final landfall near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi with a 28-foot storm surge and a storm tide of more than 30 feet deep. Like 80 percent of New Orleans, many neighboring parishes, and a multitude of other coastal towns along the Gulf of Mexico, Bay St. Louis was devastated by the hurricane.

 - Elisa Condon

Blue Mountain Health System may not have been early to the digital revolution when it implemented its first RIS/PACS in 2010, but it has moved further than many larger health systems in the intervening four years.

Since implementation, the two-hospital community health system has dramatically reduced turnaround time, increased technologist productivity and improved patient satisfaction and safety. Much of that improvement can be attributed to Blue Mountain’s crowning achievement: It has achieved a 100% paperless workflow in the radiology department.

 - Cory Cino and Peggy Hise

To Cory Cino, the history of Wyoming County Community Health System in Western New York divides neatly between “before RIS” and “everything since.”

The PACS administrator vividly recalls his radiology department doing patient scheduling and tracking on sheets of loose-leaf paper in three-ring binders and reporting via cassette-tape transcriptions on a homegrown database. Then there was perhaps the most cumbersome practice of all: storing pretty much everything the department produced—reports, tapes and, prior to PACS, films—wherever an untaken spot could be found…including on the roof.

 - performance

Productivity surged without additional work hours in the medical imaging division of Sutter Health in Sacramento when radiologists received data-driven performance metrics, according to the company that supplied the data tools.

 - Spectrum Health Placard Team

The continuity of business is vital in any setting but even more so in hospitals when patient encounters and care delivery may be interrupted. Considering the importance of the work that is carried out in healthcare facilities, developing continuity of business plans at all points of patient care is completely essential.  Setting an example for other facilities, Spectrum Health System in West Michigan has developed a unique methodology to improve the fidelity of the patient experience in radiology during a planned system downtime or system disruption. Continuity of business in a facility as large as Spectrum Health requires thoughtful planning, setup, reaction, and follow through to ensure everything runs as according to plan.  George Vallillee, manager of Radiology Information Solutions at Spectrum Health, shares the details of his approach, plan and resulting improvements in Spectrum radiology’s operational efficiencies.