Making a case for user-preference: Longmont United and Best in KLAS Sectra PACS

As the healthcare industry continues to expand and implementation of federal mandates on the transition to electronic medical records continues, the role of information systems managers within healthcare operations is becoming understandably more influential. In an environment of decreasing reimbursements and increasing efforts to curb costs, hospital executives look to information systems staff to manage technology within a facility or system of facilities to produce quality results with maximum efficiency, on time and on budget.

Occasionally, technology decisions are made in the best interest of the hospital or system to move to a new vendor product motivated by cost, or to create economies of scale within a system by moving all facilities to one vendor product. Equally as important as cost weighs into the evaluation equation, a collaborative approach involving the day-to-day users of the PACS can illustrate whether the new technology will be as beneficial to the radiology workflow as the potential cost savings would be to the facility’s bottom line.

United at Longmont

As the premiere medical center for Boulder County, Colorado, Longmont United Hospital prides itself on patient-centric care. Longmont’s investment in the latest digital technology and commitment to future technological changes is always apparent. Lois Heater, Director of Radiology at Longmont, recalls when Longmont had begun to evaluate upgrading its PACS.

The hospital had initiatives to standardize their IT systems and the members of the radiology department, longtime Sectra PACS users, were given a demo of the newly proposed PACS and Heater was invited to give the system a test drive. “I assumed that a new product meant a better product,” she said.

Sectra PACS had provided the Longmont staff and radiologists with the environment to perform their work as smoothly and efficiently as possible, giving them instant access to all the tools in one single diagnostic workstation. If the hospital opted to go with a new PACS, the system would certainly have big shoes to fill.

Members of the radiology department worked within a test environment for several months during which time Heater and her team continually gave feedback to hospital management that reiterated their satisfaction with their current Sectra PACS and their desire to continue using it.

Recognizing the needs of the department staff and radiologists, and ultimately underscoring Longmont’s commitment to and investment in the continued use of state-of-the-art PACS to facilitate advanced imaging diagnostics and patient care, the administration made the decision not only to remain a Sectra PACS facility, but to upgrade to the most recent version.   

“Our Sectra PACS really streamlined the workflow of every user and with a web-based product, we had unlimited flexibility,” Heater added. The radiology department at Longmont is extremely pleased that the hospital decided to continue using Sectra PACS. “Our workflow was just so smooth using our Sectra PACS,” added Jocelyn Amys, PACS analyst. “The Sectra PACS we were using at the time was so intuitive and easy to use. We customized it for our own workflows. Sectra has always said, it’s OUR PACS. We needed to maintain that same level of customization.”

“We are very passionate about our PACS because it directly affects our workflow,” Heater said.

Best in KLAS

For the second consecutive year, Sectra PACS has been awarded “Best in KLAS” among hospitals over 200 beds in the US and for the first time this year, Sectra was named “Best in KLAS” in the newly created category of Global PACS.

In addition, Sectra was awarded “Category Leader” for both Community PACS (hospitals under 200 beds) and Ambulatory PACS (imaging centers and radiology groups), giving Sectra the distinction to have won all the PACS honors in the US market. The awards are presented in the “2014 Best in KLAS: Software and Services” report by the research firm with the same name.

“This is a great victory for Sectra to have swept all the categories in PACS for the US and also the global award”, says Marie Ekström Trägårdh, Executive Vice President, Sectra AB and President Sectra Imaging IT solutions AB.  “Sectra’s highest priority is satisfied customers and our consistent high rankings in the medtech industry’s most important customer satisfaction survey reflect the passion and dedication of the entire Sectra organization. We are extremely proud to be the highest ranked vendor in these KLAS PACS categories.”