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Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

February 2014    |    Volume: 46    |    Number: 2

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers

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Emerging Technologies

Innovative tools of the trade 

By Vanda Ametlli

Imaging operational efficiency

Sometimes, knowing what’s inside a room increases operational efficiency. In other cases, you need to integrate information that comes from afar.

The OASYS Healthcare V Series OR Control System includes high-definition monitors that allow personnel to view all images within and without the surgical field. The systems can take multiple inputs, move them and change how they look on the screen.

Personnel can have multiple images up for viewing, each one independent of the other. The touchscreen interface routes images to the monitor, controls cameras, records videos, prints images and also controls the audio equipment. Custom wall plates allow medical centers to bring any equipment into their operating room, from scopes to robots, and connect to the system in plug-and-play fashion.

This improves efficiency and quality within the operating room. And monitors stationed outside the room allow schedulers to have the next patient prepped and ready.

"They definitely do increase throughput with integration because nurses now know when surgeries are finished instead of going to the room and saying, ‘Oh, when did that surgery finish?’" said Rob Mann, general manager of OASYS Healthcare Corp. "So they can schedule one surgery after another now.

"One small surgery center in Mississippi doubled its surgery throughput with the OASYS V Series, he said. Beth Gasson, director of surgery at the Madison County Medical Center in Mississippi and a registered nurse, said the touch interface is simple and intuitive, and her technical staff can manage the system with limited training.

But integration works both ways, and medical centers are learning to use cloud services to transport patient images that can be viewed by doctors despite differences in archiving systems. This is where lifeIMAGE, which provides a Web application platform that empowers referring physicians and patients, comes in.

Moving medical images from one office to another always has been a logistical challenge from the days when X-ray images had to be mailed or carried by hand. But lifeIMAGE provides a simple workflow for managing exams from discs, integrating outside images with local systems, and sharing exams with outside physicians and patients. This information helps when getting second opinions, additional consultation or referring patients to a specialist. And patients who bring in their own medical CDs can have that information integrated into the system, which drives out waste by eliminating duplicate imaging and X-ray services, reducing radiation exposure.

The network includes a secure mechanism that lets users find and connect with one another to exchange medical images and information securely. And all of it can be integrated with your electronic medical record, clinical decision support and personal health record systems.

Vanda Ametlli is a senior management engineer in radiology at Henry Ford Hospital. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in industrial engineering from Wayne State University. She is IIE Great Lakes Region vice president and a blog contributor for IIE’s Young Professionals group. 



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