ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES (AHS)

This Canadian healthcare facility replaced old monitors with side-by-side NEC medical displays for its radiologists' workstations, used for diagnostic imaging and PACS.
 
 
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Quick Facts
  • Facility: Alberta Health Services (AHS)
  • Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Challenge: Effectively replacing old monitors used for diagnostic viewing in radiology and PACs workstations
  • Solution: NEC MultiSync® MD Series displays
  • Date of Installation: December 2010

Using medical displays that are both reliable and consistent is a necessity for healthcare professionals as they deal with serious conditions requiring detailed images every day. Alberta Health Services (AHS), one of the largest fully integrated, publicly-funded healthcare systems in Canada, serves a population of more than 3.7 million people and is home to some of the fastest-growing communities in the country. It reaches both urban and rural areas surrounding Calgary. Due to its increasing traffic thanks to the region’s continued growth, AHS needed medical displays its doctors could count on.

AHS’ four acute care facilities, which required new medical displays to replace aging ones, combine education and training with health services. Its120 radiologists provide daily diagnostic examinations using a total of 75 workstations—each containing two side-by-side medical displays.

AHS employs a total of 117,000 workers, including 7400 physicians that provide services in more than 100 locations, involving 98 hospitals and a variety of community and continuing care sites.

The Challenge

After dealing with aging medical displays and a variety of different models, Jack Berry, Diagnostic Imaging Technical Director at AHS, decided to head up a quality control evaluation of the facilities’ technology and standardize on the displays being used. Berry created a blind test for the radiologists using a variety of manufacturers’ displays side-by-side, demonstrating a replica of the workstations AHS needed.

Going into the test, the radiologists knew they were looking for the display with superior image quality, enabling clear diagnostic viewing and consistency across the screen. Additionally, Berry needed a manufacturer that provided local support and servicing, and more specifically, a warranty that would allow units to be interchangeable and calibrated as individual units, rather than as the pair they would be at the workstations. After the radiologists’ evaluation period, NEC’s 21.3” MD21GS-3MP-CB2 3-megapixel medical display came out on top as their first pick.

The Solution

Because NEC works closely with Calgary-area support center Acrodex, Berry was confident AHS would receive total display maintenance care and ongoing support for the new displays. As is common for medical workstations, AHS initially installed 150 monitors side-by-side, creating 75 workstations throughout the acute care facilities. The new monitors were intended solely for radiologists' diagnostic viewing and Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) since AHS already had installed NEC desktop and large-format displays for other areas of its facilities, including its employee/student training rooms and patient emergency rooms.

Since the original installation, AHS has added more than 40 additional displays, the majority of which are the newest generation of MD Series displays, including the MD213MC color and MD213MG grayscale displays.

"Since NEC was already incredibly prominent throughout our buildings, I knew their medical displays would be a good choice for our diagnostic professionals, especially after they picked NEC themselves during the blind testing," said Berry. "My primary requirements for the new medical displays included maintaining quality control, the ability for remote calibration allowing for easy accessibility and a display that would lower our total cost of ownership."

Berry successfully found a manufacturer who would cater to all necessary groups in direct contact with the displays: radiologists, who can confirm a display's advanced technologies and consistent image quality; the IT department, who can give credit to the system's ease of monitoring and the display's video cards; and finally PACS administrators, who can attest to the display's serviceability. Berry also knew the 3-megapixel displays were a perfect fit because of NEC's standard 5-year limited warranty on medical monitors, which includes Advanced Overnight Exchange for replacing a defective unit within one business day.

"We found everything we were searching for when we discovered NEC," said Berry. "Everyone who is involved with the updated workstations appreciates their ease of use and exceedingly advanced technologies. Based on our blind testing and the outcome of the installations, I can verify that the clarity found in these displays is superior. We certainly made the right decision in continuing the NEC trend by adding their displays to our medical workstations."

 

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