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Hot Springs Family Medicine goes digital

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hot Spring Family Medicine recently completed a six month technology improvement project allowing greater workflow efficiency and superior imaging capability with the use of a Konica Image Pilot Cassette Reader (CR). The new reader and $20,000 investment, gives the clinic the ability to take digital images of a diagnostic imaging study and send them electronically to the radiologist for interpretation and reporting.

Previously, a hard film study required development in a dark room, chemicals and a film processor. The film would then be sent via mail or currier to Northwest Imaging in Kalispell where the radiologist would scan, upload and interpret the images and report back to the provider in Hot Springs. This process was less than ideal taking several days and delaying patient care.

When first considering the project and the integration of the new technology, how images would be transmitted was a main focus. Traditionally, Clark Fork Valley Hospital has transmitted digital images through T-1 lines, which are not directly available from Hot Springs to Plains or Hot Springs to Kalispell. After some research and exploration of a number of possibilities, a solution was identified using the clinic’s private DSL network. With a few changes to the current network, images can now be transmitted securely from the clinic to the hospital where they get post processed (prepped and packaged) for the radiologists at Northwest Imaging and transmitted directly to Kalispell by our current T-1 line. Long story short; a cost effective process was developed to route images from our facilities to Northwest Imaging at virtually no additional cost.

"Truly, this new technology allows us the ability to give our patients the quality care they deserve. This smart investment brings us up to date in a digitally driven industry with higher clarity images and it also provides the efficiency we need to treat our patients in a timely manner," commented Deb Green, Executive Director of the Clark Fork Valley Family Medicine Network.

The new system allows study turn around time within hours with the ability to have STAT reads done as needed in emergent situations.

About the Clinic

Hot Springs Family Medicine is a primary care clinic nestled into the heart of Hot Springs, MT located right along Main Street. It is part of the Clark Fork Valley Hospital and Family Medicine Network and provides a comprehensive base of services to the residents of Hot Springs and surrounding communities keeping their medical care close to home, family and friends.

Primary care services are offered to men, women and children of all ages and our unique structure enables us to provide lab testing, diagnostic imaging, EKGs and rehabilitation on-site.

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