Dicom Systems Generates 10X Performance Improvement in Delivering Studies Across Vision Radiology Network Case Study
Vision Radiology® was formed in 2003 by several radiology alumni from Johns Hopkins University who shared core values and dedication to diagnostic radiology and our commitment to patient welfare. The Vision was to work together to serve local radiology practices and their patients nationwide during understaffed hours.
The Challenges: Maximizing Efficiency and Optimizing Workflow for Enhanced Patient Outcomes
The teleradiology market has seen explosive growth over the past decade from the perception of a preliminary, nighthawk service to an indispensable solution for 24/7/365 diagnostic interpretations. As advancements in IT infrastructure and workflows increase, so has an imaging group’s reading capacity and overall expansion. Vision Radiology primarily focuses on Emergency Teleradiology and non-emergent sub-specialty interpretations, which has made IT performance part of its value proposition.
Vision Radiology was highly motivated to optimize its workflow efficiency and ensure the timely delivery of results, particularly in emergency settings where every second counts. Recognizing the criticality of fast and accurate imaging results for patients’ well-being, the organization embarked on a mission to streamline its imaging workflows.
One of the primary objectives of Vision Radiology was to overcome the challenges associated with data routing across multiple sites and systems. By implementing a cohesive and integrated approach, they aimed to establish a seamless data flow across various departments, ensure the correct information reached the right people at the right time to eliminate unnecessary delays and enhance collaboration and communication among stakeholders involved in the diagnostic process.
Vision Radiology identified DICOM data ingestion delays, bottlenecks, and data normalization as issues to address. They realized the importance of efficient routing and processing data from different sources, such as imaging modalities and electronic health records.
Bandwidth spikes were another challenge that Vision Radiology aimed to address. Fluctuations in network traffic and the demand for data transfer could impact the performance and reliability of their systems. To mitigate this, they focused on implementing robust infrastructure and optimizing network configurations to handle sudden surges in data volume without compromising the speed and accuracy of image delivery.
Recognizing the need for uninterrupted operations, Vision Radiology emphasized the importance of reliable technical support. Thus, they sought a strong partnership with experienced technology providers who could offer the necessary tools and systems and the expertise and support required to address potential challenges during implementation and operation.
The Strategy: Deploying the Dicom Systems’ Unifier Platform for Imaging Workflow Optimization and Improved Efficiency
Vision Radiology implemented the Dicom Systems’ Unifier platform and key features and benefits that proved instrumental in streamlining their imaging processes to achieve their objectives.
Intelligent data routing: One of the platform’s standout features was its intelligent data routing capabilities. Vision Radiology needed a solution to route patient data seamlessly and reports to the appropriate destinations, and they had multiple sites and destinations to configure. The Unifier platform excelled in this aspect, enabling efficient and automated data routing across different destinations and locations and promptly ensuring that the correct information reached the right individuals. This streamlined communication and collaboration among radiologists, clinicians, and other stakeholders, ultimately enhancing workflow efficiency.
Parallel threading and high latency, low bandwidth congestion control algorithm: By leveraging parallel threading technology, Vision Radiology experienced a substantial improvement in data ingestion speed. This advancement eliminated delays in data transfer, expediting the process of acquiring and processing patient data. For the remote sites with higher latency and packet loss, Unifier throughput can reach as much as 2,700x higher than today’s best loss-based congestion control; queueing delays can be 20x lower. Consequently, radiologists gained swift access to the necessary information, accelerating the generation of reports and reducing turnaround times, particularly in critical situations such as emergencies.
Standard throughput (shown on the left) is singular and sequential, only delivering the next image when the previous image has gone through.
Parallel Threading (shown on the right) simultaneous, multiple “routes” allow more data to flow faster. Packetization of single studies into larger chunks also speeds delivery.
On-the-fly compression: To effectively handle fluctuations in bandwidth usage, the Unifier platform offered on-the-fly compression capabilities. This feature proved invaluable for Vision Radiology as it enabled the efficient utilization of network resources, even during bandwidth spikes. With on-the-fly compression, the platform compressed diagnostic images without compromising their quality, ensuring that high-resolution images were transmitted reliably and swiftly, significantly contributing to maintaining the speed and accuracy of image delivery, regardless of network conditions.
24/7 technical support: Recognizing the importance of uninterrupted operations, Vision Radiology greatly values the 24/7 technical support provided by Dicom Systems. The partnership between the two entities ensured that Vision Radiology had continuous access to expert assistance during the deployment phase and in ongoing operations. The dedicated technical support team from Dicom Systems worked closely with Vision Radiology’s in-house staff, offering a prompt resolution of any issues that arose and ensuring the smooth functioning of the Unifier platform without interrupting operations. This collaborative approach reassured that the solution would operate seamlessly, empowering Vision Radiology to focus on its core mission of delivering quality patient care.
The Results: Improved Workflow Efficiency and Patient Care Delivery
Vision Radiology achieved remarkable results and advancements in workflow efficiency and patient care delivery through successfully implementing the Dicom Systems Unifier platform. The following outcomes and benefits demonstrate the significant impact of the solution:
- Faster results delivery: By leveraging the capabilities of the Unifier platform, Vision Radiology achieved higher results delivery rates, ensuring patients received their diagnoses promptly, enabling prompt decision-making and appropriate treatment plans.
- Near-zero downtimes: With the platform’s robust infrastructure and comprehensive technical support, Vision Radiology experienced near-zero downtimes, minimizing disruptions in operations and ensuring continuous patient care. The reliability and stability of the solution allowed radiologists and clinicians to access patient data and diagnostic images without interruptions, enabling them to provide uninterrupted care and make informed medical decisions.
- Enhanced patient care: Vision Radiology’s commitment to treating patients like their family members was reinforced by implementing the Unifier platform. The optimized workflow, improved efficiency, and streamlined operations enabled the organization to deliver more comprehensive and timely patient care. Radiologists had the necessary tools and resources to provide accurate and efficient diagnoses, aligning with Vision Radiology’s core values of prioritizing patient well-being.
The specific metrics further exemplify the remarkable results achieved by Vision Radiology:
- 10X improvement in data throughput: Implementing the Unifier platform resulted in a tenfold improvement in data throughput. This enhanced data processing capability significantly expedited the transmission and ingestion of patient data, allowing for quicker access to vital information and accelerating the overall diagnostic process.
- 15-minute turnaround time (TAT) or faster: The platform’s optimization of workflow processes and streamlined operations enabled Vision Radiology to achieve an impressive average turnaround time of 15 minutes or less for diagnostic reports. This rapid delivery of results facilitated timely interventions and enhanced the overall patient experience.
- 9% of reads returned before the patient leaves the radiology department: With the enhanced efficiency brought about by the Unifier platform, Vision Radiology successfully ensured that a significant percentage of radiology reads were completed and returned to the healthcare provider even before the patient departed from the radiology department. This expedited process enabled prompt collaboration among healthcare professionals, leading to better-informed decisions regarding patient care.
- 3.5% of reads returned before the patient leaves the exam table: Implementing the Unifier platform significantly improved efficiency, with a notable percentage of radiology reads being completed and delivered to the healthcare provider before the patient even left the exam table. This fast turnaround time helped contribute to expedited treatment and care decisions.
- Radiologists can access studies anytime, anywhere, and read from 14 time zones: The platform’s accessibility features empowered radiologists to access patient studies and perform reads from any location and across multiple time zones. This flexibility enabled the efficient utilization of radiologists’ expertise, ensuring timely interpretations and facilitating seamless collaboration among geographically dispersed teams.
By achieving these impressive outcomes, Vision Radiology solidified its position as a leading provider of efficient, patient-centered radiology services. The successful deployment of the Unifier platform optimized workflow efficiency and upheld Vision Radiology’s commitment to delivering exceptional patient care.
“A simple, singular question drives the guiding principle behind Vision Radiology, ‘Is this how you want your family member treated?’ From that perspective, we make clinical, business, and technology decisions to support the best patient care. In the emergency setting, speed is essential. Dicom Systems helps us deliver results at much higher rates with near-zero downtimes.”
– Dr. Gautam Agrawal, co-founder, and CIO, Vision Radiology
Listen to the Optimizing Teleradiology Workflows Webinar with Vision Radiology and Dicom Systems to learn more about the implementation and results.
Schedule time to discuss the Dicom Systems Unifier platform if you want to accelerate the transmission of imaging studies and improve outcomes while maintaining operational efficiency. Learn more about how the Unifier platform and data migration tools can help neutralize image processing latency and downtime and boost performance while ensuring patient data is safe and secure.