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Change Healthcare's Stratus Imaging PACS live and in clinical use

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | December 07, 2021
Artificial Intelligence Health IT
Change Healthcare's Stratus Imaging PACS
Change Healthcare’s Stratus Imaging PACS, a cloud-native platform that allows radiology practices to read images from multiple hospitals on one platform, is now live and being used clinically by teleradiology provider, StatRad.

Change made the announcement at the RSNA 2021 in Chicago and sat down with HCB News to discuss the capabilities of its zero-footprint PACS system. Among the solution’s many features is scalability, with practices able to add on new hospitals or facilities and continue to read as many images as they want with the same performance anywhere in the country.

“All you have to tell us is that you want to add another hospital, and we create a new instance of the application, and you’re up and running. You’re not buying more storage than you need, and you’re never caught with not enough,” Tracy Byers, senior vice president and general manager of enterprise imaging at Change Healthcare, told HCB News.

She adds that Change can incorporate factors into the workflow such as which radiologists or providers can read from specific sites and what types of images they can each read. High performance and speed are maintained with proprietary streaming technology across different network conditions, and the solution can be used at home or on mobile devices. And by being able to use one platform to connect with multiple hospitals, radiologists do not need to log in and out of individual systems.

StatRad employs 90 radiologists that read approximately 1.5 million studies annually for hundreds of hospitals throughout the U.S. About 50 radiologists read off the system every night and with Stratus Imaging PACS, are automatically able to access updates and upgrades that the cloud deploys instantaneously. This reduces scheduled downtime for upgrades. “We have extremely tight requirements on timelines and speeds, and our radiologists will not tolerate anything but super-high performance. Stratus Imaging PACS provides that,” said Claude Hooton, the president and chief executive officer of NucleusHealth, provider of the StatRad practice, in a statement.

The instant upgrades also apply to security and malware protection. As the only enterprise imaging vendor that has HITRUST and SOC2 security compliance for the system, Change offers multiple layers of security, which is further increased by the HITRUST certifications of Google and the Cloud itself. “We are able to code the fix, deploy it and have it instantaneously deployed throughout the user system,” said Byers.

In addition, healthcare facilities are spared from having to purchase difficult-to-maintain hardware and relying on large IT departments to keep systems updated. They can instead focus more on patient care rather than IT. An archive, viewer, analytics and image sharing are also accessible with the solution. For image sharing, radiologists can read reports natively from the Cloud and have access to a built-in worklist and viewer.

“We’re able to share images with another radiologist for maybe consultation,” said Byers. “We’re able to forward the image with a viewer to a referring physician. We also have a patient portal so we’re able to share the images with a patient who can ultimately log on to the system and manage their own images and share them with whatever care providers they want to.”

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