Siemens features IT hybrid for low-volume centers

June 8, 2007

Siemens Medical Solutions put its syngo Suite in the spotlight at SIIM 2007 as the means to an advanced level of interoperability and flexibility for imaging centers. The product, a hybrid IT that integrates RIS, PACS, postprocessing, and patient data handling, brings image management and practice management together in an easy-to-use package.

Siemens Medical Solutions put its syngo Suite in the spotlight at SIIM 2007 as the means to an advanced level of interoperability and flexibility for imaging centers. The product, a hybrid IT that integrates RIS, PACS, postprocessing, and patient data handling, brings image management and practice management together in an easy-to-use package.

This union of technology, the result of a two-year partnership between Siemens and practice management software developer NextGen, addresses emerging PACS opportunities in outpatient imaging centers and small hospitals spurred by the need for more efficiency in light of declining reimbursements.

"These facilities don't have the staff to run IT or the budgets to hire those staff," said Henri "Rik" Primo, Siemens national director of marketing and strategic relationships. "They need robots to help them, and that is basically what our solution offers."

Syngo Suite automates and simplifies many of the processes involved in practice and image management. Clinical alerts put processes and clinical best practices into the user's workflow to help reduce medical errors and improve patient care.

The scalable product handles data from multiple modalities and supports workflow for specialties from radiology to cardiology, general imaging to ob/gyn. It offers scalable archiving options for storage needs ranging from those of private offices on up. It can be hooked into clinical or hospital information systems to create virtually filmless and paperless environments. And it can handle more than one site, which can be a big plus in approaching the diagnostic imaging center marketplace.

"There used to be many stand-alone imaging centers, but that was years ago," said Gail B. Malcolm, a Siemens imaging solution product manager. "Today 83% are part of a chain of two or more centers. Because you're not typically dealing with single centers, you need something like syngo Suite to cover multiple sites and provide a common infrastructure in imaging and practice management."

Syngo Suite combines the strengths of Siemens' RIS/PACS with NextGen's EMR, providing image management while streamlining scheduling and results reporting, as well as optimizing revenue and cost management. It does what small healthcare facilities need to do, especially now in an increasingly cost constrained environment, Primo said.

"Nobody wants to let the quality of medical care degrade because of less reimbursement," he said.