High Performance Keys Firm’s Imaging Needs

Oct. 29, 2009

Replacing aging workstations with state-of-the-art technology yields big improvements for an Arizona-based group of clinics.

For Andrew Willy, information-systems manager
with Scottsdale Medical Imaging, there was only one way to
confront the aging workstations on which radiologists relied for
diagnosing everything from broken legs to cancer. New equipment
was needed.

In 25 years of serving patients and the
medical community at 10 clinics spread across the East Valley
area of Phoenix, the group had enjoyed ongoing success with
equipment from HP – and Willy decided to stay with the vendor’s
products. “Having the right technology sets the foundation for
the clinic to provide quality medical care for each patient that
walks through its doors,” he says.

“We look at thousands of images at our
practice, and a single exam can involve multiple images, so we
absolutely cannot compromise on performance,” Willy says. “We
needed workstations that were designed from the outset with
exceptional performance as a driving goal.”

To get the performance needed, the group’s
infrastructure included HP xw6400 Workstations, 250 HP Compaq
dc7800 small form-factor PCs, and dozens of HP ProLiant servers.

To view and examine the massive collection of
data produced during the clinic’s diagnostic-image studies, the
Scottsdale clinics use GE Healthcare’s picture-archiving and
communications system (PACS), which has been standardized on HP
workstations. The PACS help eliminate delays typically
experienced at film-based operations and provide patients with
critical information sooner. In turn, radiologists can access
the images and results from anywhere on the network and view
them on high-resolution workstations.

“The imaging applications that radiologists
use can be memory and processor intensive, so they perform
dramatically better on a workstation-class machine,” Willy says.

Since the practice began using the new
equipment, the clinic’s radiologists can more reliably test and
interpret images, Willy says, while experiencing fewer failures
and less downtime, leading to faster diagnoses. He points out
that the day-to-day responsibilities of radiologists put great
demands on the IT infrastructure. The clinic and its
radiologists need equipment that can handle the large file size
of the images with speed and ease, while effortlessly connecting
with the other machines within the clinics’ family of locations.
Most importantly, the equipment must perform at this intensity
while maintaining the highest levels of accuracy.

“The workstation needs to display exams in a
manner that’s quick, convenient and makes the radiologist as
efficient as possible,” he says. “We view the workstations like
servers. We expect them to be available almost 24×7.

“There was a predisposition toward HP because
our company had a history of good experience with its products
and personnel,” offers Willy. For Scottsdale Medical Imaging,
the hardware was familiar enough to make it easier for Willy and
his staff to effectively support the infrastructure as the
practice expanded.

The small form factor and power of the
desktop units allow them to perform in less-demanding
medical-image processing, all while increasing computing
bandwidth. Scottsdale’s radiologists use desktops for digital
mammography exams across clinics in place of larger and more
energy-intensive equipment.

“The performance, size and reliability of a
cost-effective PC are the greatest benefits for us,” says Willy.
“We rely on technology to help provide sometimes life-saving
diagnoses. Month in and month out, our equipment delivers the
performance and reliability our patients and their physicians
require of us.”

For more information on
HP solutions: