CDs and expensive proprietary solutions are now part of the past when transferring medical imaging studies between PACS systems. Interhosp enables fast, automated, efficient and secure transfers.
On Tuesday, February 21, 2017, the presentation meeting of Interhosp, the solution proposed by Osimis, took place at the CHR de la Citadelle, a hospital in Liège. Interhosp was adopted by the CHR, in collaboration with the CHU of Liège which already uses a similar solution. This is the first implementation of this product by the spin-off of the CHU, Osimis, which was created at the end of 2015. A successful bet! The CHR, the CHU and Osimis were represented at the meeting.
Interhosp is a platform that facilitates image transfer between hospitals. It is based on Orthanc, a software awarded in 2015 by the Free Software Foundation at MIT. It was developed by Sébastien Jodogne, PhD in Computer Science, who works at the CHU, to remedy the problems of image transfer between different departments of a hospital. It soon became clear that this solution could also overcome the difficulties encountered in image transfer between hospitals.
At the CHR, 240,000 examinations involving medical imaging are carried out each year. Of these, 12,500 must be sent to other institutions and 5,000 must be received from other hospitals. And this is usually done using CDs sent by regular mail, for a non-negligible cost (estimated at 6,50€ each, all inclusive).
With the measures taken by Mrs. De Block, aimed at connecting hospitals, the need for this type of transfer will only increase.
The solution offered by Osimis
This is where Osimis comes into play with Interhosp. The latter makes it possible to automate data transfer directly between PACS of different hospitals, in this case from the CHU of Liège to the CHR de la Citadelle. This is done in several steps:
- the source hospital, the CHU, sends examinations through an automatic request from Orthanc on the PACS according to pre-established criteria (eg the prescribing physician must practice at the CHR);
- these data are transferred over the Internet in a totally secure way to an Orthanc instance installed at the target hospital, the CHR;
- these data, which relate to the same patient encoded with a different identifier in the EPR (Electronic Patient Record) of the source and target hospitals, are reconciled automatically by Interhosp using parameters such as the national registry number of the patient, their name and date of birth. The automatic reconciliation rate is 90%. The remaining 10% can be reconciled manually.
Demonstration of Interhosp operation by Mr Dominique Valkenborgh, PACS manager at the CHR de la Citadelle.
The advantages of Interhosp
All this happens in a transparent way for the end user, that is to say the prescribing physician, who can then consult the images in the PACS in the same way as he would with any other examination carried out directly at the CHR. Moreover, the use of Interhosp results in considerable financial and time savings: no more CDs to burn or to send by post. Not to mention the fact that the care path of the patient is improved.
What about the future ?
The collaboration between the CHR and Osimis is only starting. Installed in December 2016, Interhosp has not yet reached its cruising speed. Soon all the images of the CHR Verviers, as well as the CHC Liège and the Vivalia group will be transferrable. Any institution with Interhosp will be able to exchange data.
In addition, the solution will be updated to support the DICOMweb standard, thus making the solution even more efficient through the use of the HTTPS protocol.
From left to right: Dr. Pepin, Mr. Degotte and Dr. Bostem of the CHR de la Citadelle, alongside Frédéric Lambrechts and Alain Mazy, respectively CEO and CTO of Osimis.
Osimis also offers other solutions such as the Lify collaboration platform (access to remote images through the web for doctors and patients), the neutral archiving of medical images, as well as the implementation of transfer and dissemination standards for the eHealth platform or the Walloon Health Network (Réseau Santé Wallon).
A word from the main stakeholders:
- Mr Benoît Degotte, Director of the Purchasing, Finance and Information System at the CHR de la Citadelle: "The project will contribute to the fluidification of information transfer between hospitals and to a form of rationalization of this exchange. Not to mention a better collaboration between the care institutions, not only in imaging but also in other fields of activity such as the exchange of videos or soundtracks, which are both inevitable technological evolutions in the practice of medicine today.”
- Dr. Pierre Gillet, Chief Medical Officer of the University Hospital of Liège: "These services are important in the deployment of new network policies between hospitals and providers in an integrated way. This opens up many prospects/perspectives in terms of interoperability between all the technical modalities of our institutions. "
- Dr. Henri Bostem, Head of Medical Information, Care and Pharmacy System at the CHR de la Citadelle: "I find the collaboration very dynamic, interesting and reactive. And this despite the small size [of the company] that is not proportional to the quality of collaboration and this is rare. "
Article written and interview by Virginie Chantry, freelance content specialist for Osimis.