IT Perspective | A Seamless Implementation of Bracco’s Contrast Management System
Radiology imaging networks manage multiple computed tomography (CT) contrast and radiation protocols, each tailored to specific diagnostic purposes or scanner models. Continuous protocol changes must be quickly and efficiently deployed across a fleet of scanners with pressure injectors, making protocol standardization and management challenging.
As a result, today’s leading radiology practices are using smart contrast injector platforms to streamline protocol updates, while delivering superior patient care with greater efficiency and at less cost than traditional injection systems.
One such practice is Northwest Radiology, a large, private radiology group that performs more than 850,000 exams annually for several hospital systems and outpatient facilities in central Indiana. This subspecialty practice offers imaging services at five outpatient facilities staffed by 55 radiologists and 47 technologists.
Recently, in an effort to simplify contrast protocol management, Northwest Radiology implemented Bracco Diagnostics, Inc.’s NEXO® Contrast Management System on their EmpowerCTA®+ Injector Systems, also manufactured by Bracco.
NEXO® is a centralized, server-based system that supports standardized contrast delivery management by networking a facility’s CT injectors. It then tracks contrast delivery and documents performance to improve safety, streamline clinical workflow, and increase productivity across multiple CT suites.
A smooth implementation
Marty Buening, Northwest Radiology’s director of Information Technology (IT), oversees a staff of six professionals responsible for implementing applications and maintaining infrastructure.
“From an IT perspective, the implementation of the NEXO® was seamless. The Bracco team took the time to understand the Northwest Radiology IT environment, and then explained how the software would fit into that,” he said.
During that process, Buening and his team learned they needed to create a virtual machine to install a server for the software, set up networking for their injectors, and perform checks in their PACS. Regular meetings kept the team on track. Bracco was able to deploy the NEXO® software remotely and install the CT injectors on site with minimal in-person contact. The Windows®-based setup includes one virtual machine running the software, with the injectors connected via ethernet.
“The implementation was exceptionally smooth. They made it as simple as it could be, and they did all they could do to make it easy on us. It wasn't a burden on our resources to make it happen,” said Buening.
Overall, the project took approximately two months from start to finish, with no impact on CT suite uptime, staff productivity, or patient care. Buening said he believes Bracco was just as invested in their success as his team was, which leveled up the customer service to Northwest Radiology.
“Customer service has become a problem in the IT industry, but the way they managed things was
exemplary,” he said.
For his peers interested in implementing SmartInject Solutions, Buening says NEXO® has a relatively small IT footprint and doesn’t require much administration time.
“It was easy to install and integrate into Northwest Radiology’s clinical environment because it’s a straightforward and seamless IT solution,” he said. “The feedback from radiologists and technologists has been extremely positive.”