Enhancing the physician experience and improving patient care

Cloud Cardiology PACS Case Study with Foothill Cardiology

Founded in 1997, Foothill Cardiology Medical Group focuses on providing high quality, comprehensive cardiovascular care to patients, their families and the community, within a compassionate and service-oriented environment.

Foothill Cardiology Medical Group is South­ern California, San Gabriel Valley’s largest cardiovascular practice with 19 board certified cardiologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Ser­vices range from routine cholesterol reduction program to EP studies, invasive coronary procedures, structural heart program, vascular services, nuclear and PET imaging, and clinical re­search.

Prior to implementing PICOM365.com Cloud in 2015, Foothill Cardiology, a long time NextGen user, utilized a hosted on-premise image management system with limited remote reading and limited report editing.   When they began to think “beyond PACS,” the Foothill team redefined their requirements for a successful solution, including image enabling the EHR, flexibility in structured reporting, scalability to accommodate their growing practice, and anytime, anywhere access to images with full reporting capability.

ScImage was able to provide Foothill Cardiology with a com­prehensive and robust Cloud solution that fulfilled the vision of minimal onsite service with a completely remote diagnostic venue for reading and reporting all exams, including Echo, Vascular, and Nuclear with integrated post-processing.

According to John Gonzalez, Operations Manager, Foothill Cardiology, ScImage was selected to address these needs due to their innovative software approach, flexible architecture, enterprise web-based offering and the company’s willingness and ability to accommodate Foothill’s specific requirements.

“It was really the functionality of the PICOM365 Cloud solution and the ability to integrate with our NextGen EHR. The way that it integrates with the order management process is something that I’ve never seen from any other PACS.”  John Gonzalez, Operations Manager

In addition to serving its own patients at three locations, Foothill Cardiology supports six regional hospitals. Secure Cloud-based image sharing capabilities and interoperability built into the PICOM365 platform, enable Foothill Cardiology to upload and interpret diagnostic cardiovascular studies on patients performed at other facilities, largely eliminating CDs for patients that come from outside referrals.

“In cases where the patients are sent with image CDs, we can upload them to PICOM365. Not only does this give us a permanent record which can be viewed throughout the treat­ment process, it is much more efficient than having to hunt for CDs every time someone wants to view the images,” said Alex Durairaj, M.D., FACC, President, Foothill Cardiology.

“Anywhere access has been tremendously helpful, both from a viewing and a reporting standpoint. When I’m at a remote site, it’s nice to be able to see the study and not have to call someone to send it manually,” said Dr. Durairaj, who also attributes better workforce management to anywhere access.

“Not only does this free our clinicians from being tied to one location to read, but when one office is busy, clinicians from another office can pick up the slack by reading studies from the centralized worklist to maintain proper report turn-around times. This flexibility improves our efficiency with no interruption to workflow and helps me better manage staff utilization.”

ScImage’s high availability PICOM365 Cloud solution delivers constant security and encryption enhancements to balance the need to safeguard Foothill Cardiology’s data with the need for easy and consistent access. “Web-based is absolutely the way to go,” said Gonzalez. “We had Cloud capabilities before partnering with ScImage; however, the solution design was an afterthought.  The onsite server and applications core needed to be managed daily by internal staff as well as a contracted IT company, increasing costs and decreasing efficiency. Leveraging Microsoft Azure technologies, ScImage adds a layer of security and protection that we would not have been able to accomplish in-house. PICOM365 architecture puts the power of the Cloud at the core of its design, and helps ensure that our data is protected, private and HIPAA compliant,”

Beyond image management, integrating PICOM365 Enterprise PACS and the EHR improves clinical collaboration with patients.  ScImage’s open SQL database allows access to detailed Business Analytics for practice management, and a robust Clinical Outcomes tool supports physicians’ efforts in qualifying patients for specific programs, such as TAVR, significantly reducing the time spent on accreditation.  Most recently, PET imaging and Amyloidosis scanning workflows were seamlessly implemented, and Foothill was able to customize the associated structured reports with PICOM365’s Report Designer module.

Foothill Cardiology and ScImage have continued to collaborate to enhance the physician experience and improve patient care through technology. ScImage has a close working relationship with the both the clinical staff and IT department and maintains an open-door policy for communication.  Scaled to address new diagnostic procedures and maintain the highest level of security and support, ScImage has helped Foothill Cardiology Medical Group expand its world-class offering.