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  • The Heart Center of Indiana

Everything at The Heart Center of Indiana is perfectly coordinated — from the oper- ating room (top) to a patient’s bedside in the cardiology ward (bottom left) to the center’s pharmacy (bottom right). All of the center’s medical technology systems, the IT infrastructure and even the new, outsourced billing management system were supplied by Siemens.

— an independent institute for the evaluation of healthcare quality. This evaluation puts THCI in the top 15 percent of U.S. hospitals in these categories. The five stars are also a mark of recognition for THCI’s shorter length of stays and improved patient recovery rates. And compared to the Society of Thoracic Sur- geons’ benchmarks for coronary bypass sur- gery, THCI has achieved an average stay of 6.5 days, versus the benchmark of 8.8 days, and a 0.9-percent mortality rate, well below the STS average of 2.4 percent.

Physicians are offering plenty of praise for such Siemens equipment as the Center’s cardiac magnetic resonance imaging system and the Somatom Sensation 64 computer tomagraph. The latter, says Dr. Segar, is the “holy grail’’ of imaging when it comes to examining arteries — without resorting to invasive catheterization. Designed specifically for cardiac, thoracic and vascular imaging, the Somatom Sensation 64 captures 64 slices of high-resolution data from a patient in one- third of a second.

The benefits gained from the partnership with Siemens can be seen everywhere at the center. Cardiologist and echocardiography specialist Dr. Douglas Segar says he is very sat- isfied with his equipment’s digital technology, which has greatly improved procedures. “Be- fore, doctors relied on videotapes and video cassette recorders that used to take up to a

THCI also introduced the Siemens Medica- tion Administration Check (MAK) system, which utilizes bar code technology to coordi- nate the 40,000 to 50,000 doses of medica- tions that are dispensed every month. Brian Peters, pharmacy process leader, says MAK re- duces medication administration errors by matching “dose to route to time to medication

I t all began with a conversation at a dinner attended by hospital and administration ex- perts. Soon, the guests were scribbling notes on paper napkins. When they were finished, they had the outline for a state-of-the-art car- diology center that would combine top-quali- ty care with the latest technology.

“We knew it had to be different from the traditional hospital model,’’ remembers John Stewart, who was at that table nearly four years ago. “We asked ourselves: ‘If you start from scratch, would it be possible to build a unique and efficient healthcare facility?’’’

Eighteen months and $60 million later, in December 2002, The Heart Center of Indiana (THCI) opened with five surgery suites, five catheterization labs and a 60-bed capacity, with room for expansion to 120 beds. The four-story building is the Indianapolis area’s first totally digitized cardiovascular care facili-

Taking Healthcare to Heart

It’s only been two years since The Heart Center of Indiana opened, but THCI is already ranked among the top 15 percent of U.S. hospitals specializing in cardiology. The center’s partnership with Siemens played a vital role in this impressive success story.

ty. Stewart, THCI’s CEO , wanted a facility that would operate entirely without paper or film while electronically integrating all clinical and administrative processes and procedures — and with Siemens’ help, his vision became a reality in record time.

“Siemens installed all the IT, medical and business systems in only seven months,” says Stewart. “We’re still not completely paperless, but we’re very close.” Siemens Medical Solu- tions (SMS) played a key role, supplying not only the state-of-the-art medical technology but also the IT systems. “All the systems come from a single source, so they work together flawlessly. That means we don’t have to deal with new interfaces emerging, which is much easier than piecing together systems from dif- ferent suppliers,” explains Robert Dewey, di- rector of cardiology, Global Solutions, at Siemens Medical Solutions.

After its first two years in operation, THCI was recognized for the quality of its clinical care, excellent standards for coronary inter- vention procedures and heart attack treat- ment. The center was awarded a five-star rat- ing, the top ranking assigned by HealthGrades

week to access. Patients were examined and went home, only to get a call instructing them to come back again,’’ explains Segar. “Now, the turnaround time from exam to results is mere minutes.’’

Siemens’ Electronic Health Record is anoth- er technological tool that lets doctors and nurses access pertinent medical information with the push of a button. “Sitting in my of- fice, or at any computer workstation here in the medical center, I can instantly review X- rays, MRI sets, and cardiac catheter images,’’ Segar says. “I can call up lab results, vital signs and clinical tests at any time.’’

More Time for Patients. Infinity Explorer monitors are at every bedside to give nurses instant access to each patient’s medical information. “Now I no longer have lots of scraps of paper in my pockets, with numbers scribbled on them,’’ says Kris Fuller, a regis- tered nurse and clinical informatics specialist. “I can do the documentation I need right at the patient’s bedside, and in fact at the same time that I’m collecting the data. It’s a great time-saver.’’

to patient.’’ Siemens supported THCI through the daunting task of creating an in-house bar code system.

And THCI also relies on Siemens to admin- ister all of its patient data processes and billing management. The billing system is managed using an ASP (Application Services Provider) model, which means that all the data is trans- mitted to Siemens Medical’s data center in Malvern, Pennsylvania. All of THCI’s patient ac- counting processes are handled in Malvern, in- cluding generating billing and crediting ac- counts paid. The facility is a kind of high-secu- rity zone, or, as Dewey puts it, “It’s like a bunker, built to withstand a direct military at- tack.”

THCI is one of the many Siemens partners that conduct one million transactions on a dai- ly basis. “If you ask the majority of physicians at THCI, they don’t even realize that the infor- mation isn’t coming from inside the hospital,” says Dewey. And that’s why the healthcare professionals at THCI can fully concentrate on caring for their patients while the center’s ad- m i n i s t r a t o r s e n s u r e p r o m p t b i l l i n g f o r t h e c a r e L a u r a l e e O r t i z provided.

Pictures of the Future | Fall 2005


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