UltraCardiac: Breaking the mould to enhance patient care


UltraCardiac: Breaking the mould to enhance patient care

How one clinic reduced echocardiogram waiting times from 16 weeks to 3 weeks, saving time and resources for local primary and secondary healthcare services.



Sean and Sarah Gundry - Co-Founders of UltraCardiac

UltraCardiac, a Plymouth-based private provider of ultrasound echocardiograms – has been able to assist the local NHS Trust to significantly reduce outpatient waiting times for an echocardiogram by more than 75%, from 16 weeks down to 3 weeks.

In 2017, experienced NHS echocardiographer, Sean Gundry, set up UltraCardiac with his wife Sarah, who has a career background in banking. They saw there was a significant need in their home area of East Cornwall and West Devon for a more streamlined and connected pathway for outpatients who urgently required echocardiograms.

Prior to the Gundrys setting up UltraCardiac, if the NHS and private providers locally needed to view, report or share scans, it was common practice to burn the patient scans on to CDs or memory sticks, as the files were too large to email. These CDs and memory sticks were then sent to the relevant cardiologist or healthcare professional who uploaded the
images on the appropriate imaging system to be reviewed.

With a national shortage of qualified echocardiographers, and an increase in the demand for an echo, outpatient waiting times grew to an average, 16 weeks – much longer than the national guidelines. The lengthy process of sharing the images between primary and secondary providers, would often mean they were not available when patients went to hospital for a follow up appointment resulting in scans being repeated. This convoluted process contributed to an additional burden on NHS staff, resources and patient waiting times.

The idea to launch UltraCardiac emanated from the desire to help address these problems and ultimately provide better patient care. From the company’s inception in 2017, the Gundrys realised they needed to address the biggest obstacle which was to simplify the way images were stored, reviewed and shared between internal and external healthcare providers. After an extensive review of various system providers, the Gundrys decided to break the mould and opt for a cloud-based PACS solution, UltraLinq. They found utilising the cloud-based UltraLinq platform, allowed their sonographers to seamlessly capture, store and share all of the patient’s echo results within minutes.

UltraLinq also allows the in-house sonographers to instantly view the scans in diagnostic quality and write the NHS compliant patient report with a summary of findings. As part of the UltraCardiac Quality Assured service, every report is peer reviewed before being shared. Once completed, the full patient report and scans can then be reviewed via a secure link by the patient’s GP or clinical care team. Remarkably, within two months of the launch of UltraCardiac, local NHS secondary care outpatient echo waiting times reduced from 16 weeks to 6 weeks. Two years on, UltraCardiac provides private and NHS outpatient echos for the entire region – amounting to over 200 patient scans per week – and impressively, outpatient waiting times are currently down to just 3 weeks.

As well as running a clinic from its Plymouth base, UltraCardiac has started to provide a community focused echocardiogram service, visiting local GP practices and community hospitals so more patients can have their heart checked close to home. With the freedom of a cloud-based UltraLinq platform, the company can provide identical levels of service delivery from remote outreach locations as from the Plymouth clinic.

To find out more about how UltraLinq can improve workflow and patient care contact us http://ultralinq.co.uk/contact-us/

What to consider when switching to a Cloud PACS System

Your current organisation may well be using a traditional local PACS (picture archiving and communication system) whereby patient reports and medical imaging are stored on on-site hardware or servers. Cloud PACS allow all patient reports and medical imaging to be stored in a secure offsite location that can be accessed remotely from any location with an internet connection. The integration of Cloud PACS brings can bring a new dynamic to how clinical care teams collaborate, organise their work flow and ultimately enhance patient care.

To assess whether switching to a cloud based PACS is right for your clinical team, you need to consider

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Remote access

If your clinical or admin team work from various locations, whether in another office, building or remotely, then Cloud PACS offers you with an ideal solution by providing direct and secure access to patient exams and reports from any location with an internet connection. This allows a smooth and flexible workflow, unrestricted by a physical location. Collaboration between teams is also improved as they all have access to the same files simultaneously. Making referrals to external parties is also simplified, as a secure link to patient files can be emailed to authorised users.

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Operational costs

Many organisations have high operational costs relating to their local PACS systems ranging from hardware, server upgrades, IT maintenance and archive management. A cloud PACS system eliminates these costs as all maintenance, upgrades and back-up storage. In addition, cloud platform upgrades, technical support and storage are included in the provider package, further reducing operational costs.

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Reporting on patient exams can take considerable time as reports and exams are created on different systems or platforms. The latest cloud PACS systems allow both exams and reports to be viewed side-by-side, saving considerable time. In addition, past patient reports and exams can be accessed quickly thereby providing the clinician with a full and detailed patient history. Report templates can also be customised according to the requirements of each organisation allowing for standardisation of reports across an organisation.

So if your imaging department works collaboratively with cardiac physiologists, cardiologists and support staff both onsite and offsite, then cloud PACS can bring multiple benefits to your organisation including substantial cost savings, enhanced workflow and ultimately improved patient care.

If you would like to learn more about how Ultralinq Cloud PACS can benefit your organisation, Get in touch

Kim Ramessa

Product Marketing Manager – Connected Health

Renew Health Ltd

UltraLinq selected as one of the best medical image solution providers

Healthcare Tech Outlook top 10 Medical Imaging solution providers 2018

UltraLinq selected as one of the top ten best Medical Imaging Providers

With a dramatic increase in the number of cloud based PACS platforms entering the market over the last few years and the growing demand for cost-effective, multi-access reporting, the distinguished selection board of Healthcare Tech Outlook reviewed a vast number of providers.

We are proud to announce UltraLinq was selected as one of the best providers and identified as a company with an innovative technology and strategy to help healthcare providers not only enhance their diagnostic capabilities but also play a proactive role in disease prevention.

Invited by HTO to share her experience in driving innovation in medical management, Tori Benick, VP of Client Success, outlines how cloud-based PACS is revolutionising the accessibility and transferability of medical information and ultimately improving patient care. To read the full article visit https://medical-imaging.healthcaretechoutlook.com/vendor/ultralinq-healthcare-solutions-driving-innovation-in-medical-imaging-and-data-management-cid-650-mid-61.html