Background

During 2013, MST decided to obtain a hospital-wide RCV Clinical Assistant contract. RVC Clinical Assistant is, in combination with RVC Clinical Repository, an enterprise PACS: a single system that is used to store all of the images, signals and data generated by medical examinations. In 2013-2014, the MDL department started to use endoscopy and ECGs were started to be used hospital-wide. MST wanted to significantly speed up the roll-out of RVC Clinical Assistant: the plan was for the hospital to move into a new building at the beginning of 2016 and they wanted to work as much as possible digitally with the hospital-wide use of RVC Clinical Assistant making an important contribution. The goal was to include the examination results from 20 departments in a single solution within a year. RVC Clinical Assistant had to support a different working method for each department, but the entire system had to remain manageable and controllable for the ICT department.

Approach

MST put together a focused project team to implement RVC Clinical Assistant: Six MST employees together with two RVC consultants configured 15 of the planned 20 specialisms within RVC Clinical Assistant between April 2015 and January 2016. The project team’s focus was an important success factor: the project leader and the five MST subject specialists (IT, application management and information analysis) worked almost full time on RVC Clinical Assistant. RVC’s permanent technical and functional consultants were on site between one and three days every week.

Project leader Marjo Vorspaget explains: “The permanent project team enabled us to effectively plan the activities. Each specialism started by MST analysing the process and the required information, and then creating a functional design. The care providers were already involved in the project during this phase of the project. RVC Clinical Assistant was configured technically and functionally based on the analyses. In the first month, RVC’s efforts mainly focused on knowledge transfer, so that MST could then perform the analyses for each specialism itself. This made it possible to plan flexibly, in line with the agendas of the care providers. From month two, the RVC consultants together with the MST team were busy configuring, testing and training users; continually six examination procedures in parallel. From day one, MST and RVC worked together really well.”

Results

On 9 January 2016, MST moved from its previous two locations to the new hospital in the centre of Enschede. From then on, 15 new departments were able to use RVC Clinical Repository to store their examination results. Almost all of the specialisms and departments use RVC Clinical Assistant to view images, signals and data. During the configuration of RVC Clinical Assistant for new specialisms, the new version of the link with the RIVM for the population study into colorectal cancer was also taken into use.

Configuring the system for archiving is still planned. All of the many departments together generate masses of data. RVC Clinical Assistant will therefore be configured to move it to a 2nd tier archive based on business rules. RVC Clinical Assistant’s strength is that it shows the data directly from the archive, so it remains quickly available to healthcare providers.

Success factors

Marjo Vorspaget (MST’s internal project leader, who is also an independent consultant) identifies the following as key success factors:

  • Well staffed, focused project team.
  • Short lines of communication between all of the involved MST and RVC staff.
  • Close involvement of doctors and the department: by performing a timely process analysis, an optimal new working method could be established for all users.
  • Effective contact between the project and the management of the ICT and Medical Technology departments, so that the handoff went as expected.
  • Proactively informing the departments where RVC Clinical Assistant was being configured about linking their equipment to it.
  • The RVC consultants’ knowledge and their willingness to transfer as much of it as possible to the hospital.
  • The wide-ranging functionality and enormous flexibility of RVC Clinical Assistant.