Wollongong Hospital implements MKM ImageConnect

Providing theatre worklists and point-of-care access to clinical images


The Brief

The Wollongong Hospital operating theatre redevelopment project commissioned three new Maquet Tegris™ (Tegris) theatre information systems which were implemented in July 2015. MKM Health was engaged to provide a solution which would integrate the Tegris theatre package with the supporting IT systems and provide real-time access and storage of the video images generated by Tegris. These images and videos were required in real-time via the existing Cerner Electronic Medical Record (EMR).

Our Client

Wollongong Hospital, located 76km south of Metropolitan Sydney which serves the Illawarra and Shoalhaven districts, is the major referral and teaching hospital and has a bed base of more than 500. The campus, which incorporates the Illawarra  Cancer Care Centre, provides a comprehensive range of inpatient, outpatient and community-based services.

Wollongong Hospital is the largest of Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s nine hospitals, treating more than 47,000 patients annually. It is the region’s tertiary referral hospital which means it has the capacity to treat specialist and complex cases. Wollongong’s Emergency Department is one of the busiest in New South Wales with more than 60,000 presentations each year.

The Situation

Historically, images taken as part of theatre procedures would be printed at the end of the case and stored as part of the patients’ physical medical record. With the move towards the Electronic Medical Record (EMR), there was a growing expectation that all patient information would be available digitally.

Some of the areas where Wollongong Hospital sought benefits were:

  • Access to an integrated theatre information system that would improve patient care through better data quality
  • Introduction of a more efficient theatre workflow and real time theatre imaging access via the EMR
  • The ability to schedule theatre cases and Tegris to acquire images at that time
  • Access to theatre worklists for the days’ scheduled surgeries
  • Storage for theatre images in a standard DICOM format

The Solution

MKM Health proposed the MKM ImageConnect solution – a DICOM archival solution that provides clinicians with access to consolidated patient records and enables images to be securely distributed, stored, archived and managed from a clinical web viewer integrated with the EMR.

MKM ImageConnect was chosen for its ability to integrate components via standard HL7 messaging, and enable web based access to the clinical images via an embedded hyperlink within the EMR. Importantly, the solution would provide Wollongong Hospital with DICOM image and video storage for all imaging (in terms of the patient and procedure), performed in its operating theatres. MKM ImageConnect could also make demographic and procedural information available to staff, processing patient data to Tegris devices from iPatient Manager and booked appointments in Cerner Millennium, via the HL7 and DICOM broker.

The Result

MKM Health delivered a practical solution to draw together three separate applications to improve workflow within the theatre. It enabled real-time access for Wollongong Hospital to store and access imaging performed in theatre via the EMR.

In summary MKM Health was able to:

  • Integrate between Cerner and the Tegris theatre solution
  • Provide a cost effective solution at a fraction of the cost of a Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA)
  • Enable theatre imaging availability as part of the patient’s EMR
  • Provide clinicians a hyperlink in the EMR to the stored theatre images
  • Provide a streamlined workflow for theatre staff which decreases the reliance on paper-based printouts of images

The Future

MKM Health is expanding the MKM ImageConnect solution to include management of Endoscopies, ECGs and other clinical imaging. This will result in a more comprehensive patient record, with increased availability of clinical imaging to clinicians.

The solution will also comply with the IHE XDS profile which will allow for integration with VNAs in the future.