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Hospitals Work Together to Reduce Treatment Time for Critically Injured Patients

Created on: Tuesday, January 08, 2013

TeleImaging speeds patient care through electronic transfer of X-rays, CT Scans between hospitals

COLUMBUS, Ohio – OhioHealth is now offering TeleImaging to speed treatment time for critical patients. TeleImaging is a new service that supports the electronic transfer of X-rays, CT scans and other imaging studies from regional hospitals to OhioHealth’s acute care hospitals.

At Grant Medical Center, home of the system’s Level 1 Trauma Center, this means faster treatment for trauma patients. “Getting patients to the operating room as quickly as possible is critical with trauma victims,” said Shella Farooki, M.D., radiologist and research director at Columbus Radiology, which provides Grant’s radiology services. “The imaging system can save lives by providing advance access to these patients’ images, allowing us to diagnose their condition before their arrival at Grant.”

The electronic transfer of images allows a receiving hospital’s medical team to evaluate a patient’s condition or injury and assemble an appropriate care team prior to the patient’s arrival. This ultimately reduces a patient’s time to treatment and can mean the difference between life and death for a critically injured trauma patient.

“Some injuries, such as a head injury or injury resulting in bleeding, are very time sensitive,” said Steven Santanello, D.O., vice president of Surgical and Trauma Services at Grant Medical Center. “TeleImaging makes us better informed and prepared, which allows for a more timely intervention to identify specialists and to mobilize the operating room. And when time makes a difference, faster care results in better patient outcomes.”

Fairfield Medical Center worked with Grant and Columbus Radiology to be among the first hospitals in central Ohio to adopt OhioHealth TeleImaging. The imaging system allows them to electronically transfer a patient’s images in real time to Grant’s trauma team prior to the patient’s arrival. Transferring images and pre-registering patients prior to arrival can cut the time to the operating room by up to half.

“We are seeing an ease of transfer through this collaborative program, and the patients are the ones who benefit the most,” said Robert Mervis, D.O., emergency physician at Fairfield Medical Center. “The increased collaboration with Grant and Columbus Radiology helps us provide better initial patient care. We have seen that more than 60 percent of patients who transfer to Grant haven’t needed any additional imaging scans, thereby reducing their radiation risks.”

Once installed, OhioHealth TeleImaging can work at any hospital regardless of its imaging management system. Radiologists can then view the patient’s images, consult with the referring physicians, diagnose the patient’s condition and coordinate with the hospital’s specialists all before the patient’s arrival.

“TeleImaging eliminates variations in scan protocols from hospital to hospital, which means we get the required images at the initial scan,” said Dr. Farooki. “Limiting radiation exposure is an especially important consideration for trauma patients, because many require additional testing and procedures in the future.”

Doctors also can easily compare the electronic images with other images the patient has had at any OhioHealth facility. Those images are then available for future consultation. This connectivity between medical systems and hospitals reduces the need for repeat images and the patient’s exposure to radiation.
 
About Grant Medical Center

Grant Medical Center is a member of OhioHealth, a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare organization serving and supported by the community that was named by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.  Based in Columbus, Ohio, it is a family of 18 hospitals, 23 health and surgery centers, home-health providers, medical equipment and health service suppliers throughout a 40-county area. OhioHealth hospitals in central Ohio are Riverside Methodist Hospital, Grant Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital and Dublin Methodist Hospital. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.ohiohealth.com.

About Columbus Radiology

Columbus Radiology was founded in 1946 and has grown to be a leading provider of professional interpretation services. Today, Columbus Radiology reads for multiple hospitals, radiology practices, and imaging and ambulatory centers throughout the country. The highly trained radiologists have experience with high volume casework and state-of-the-art medical imaging technology. Columbus Radiology’s radiologists are board certified and fellowship trained in musculoskeletal/osteoradiology, mammography, neuroradiology, body imaging, nuclear medicine, interventional radiology and general radiology. To learn more, visit www.columbusradiology.com.

About Fairfield Medical Center

Fairfield Medical Center located in Lancaster, Ohio, was established in 1916 and has continued to grow since then to become the modern, not-for-profit healthcare system it is today. Fairfield Medical Center is a 222-bed general acute care facility dedicated to being the major referral center that serves the healthcare needs of southeastern and central Ohio region. The Center is represented by more than 2,000 employees, over 600 volunteers and Twig members and a growing team of over 250 physicians who all work together to ensure Fairfield Medical Center's continuing success in meeting the healthcare needs of our residents. To enhance upon its delivery of healthcare to the various communities it serves, Fairfield Medical Center has established affiliates and off-campus locations to allow for greater accessibility and enhanced services. For more information, visit www.fmchealth.org.

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