Expect Seamless Service?Be It Direct or Reseller

RamSoft Inc is a developer of RIS, PACS, and teleradiology systems headquartered in Toronto with a US office in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Its RamSoft Power Server PACS was included in the 2009 Top 20 Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Professional Services report for the ambulatory PACS market segment. Yet, despite the award-winning performance, these systems do not sell themselves?they require a little help, often in the form of user education, installation, service, and support.

For companies interested in acquiring or upgrading these systems, they often have the option of doing so directly from RamSoft or through a reseller/distributor. The criteria for this decision should focus on the facility?s specific product, service, and budget needs and how the provider can meet them. There should be no concerns regarding the actual quality of the service and support because RamSoft seeks seamless service.

RamSoft, a developer of RIS, PACS, and teleradiology systems, sells them direct through resellers who sell RamSoft products exclusively.

?The customer should not see any difference between going direct or through a reseller because we insist that the reseller provide the same quality of service to the customer [as RamSoft does]. So we pick our resellers to make sure that is what the customer is getting,? said Marilyn Solano, marketing and business development director for RamSoft.

Reseller Requirements

RamSoft resellers sell RamSoft products exclusively, ensuring the necessary focus and depth of knowledge to answer customer questions and service needs. ?When [resellers] start selling 10 different PACS or RIS systems, the service isn?t the same because they?re servicing too many products,? Solano said.

Yearly training keeps resellers up to date on the technological advances in functionality and development with the various product lines and devices. ?It?s mandatory for them to come and get the training in order to obtain upgrades to the latest version,? said Solano.

All resellers receive software updates, along with unlimited toll-free support, and they are encouraged to create a program that works well for them, offering their own solutions, hardware, bundles, and services at rates also set by them. Resellers typically offer value-adds, such as extensive assistance with installation, implementation, and networking help; training; support; hardware; imaging equipment; and third-party software solutions.

Customer Needs

As a result of the more extensive offerings of the reseller, the customer may find this route beneficial, particularly if in need of extensive or local service. ?RamSoft only takes care of the software and hardware of the turnkey solution, but we don?t do any IT networking. A lot of resellers do handle this service and parts and may also sell digital imaging additional modalities,? Solano said.

In addition, a local reseller may be willing to come on-site for service and be able to do so with incredibly short notice. Direct customers typically use online support.

These added products and services often come at increased cost; however, they should also, ideally, come with additional value. RamSoft aims to ensure this is the case by screening resellers and ensuring they can provide the same depth of knowledge and support that RamSoft can, a little closer to home.

—Renee Diiulio

New Facility Up and Running with Viztek?s PACS and DR

Building a new facility from the ground up offers many advantages?new premises, new equipment, and a vision focused on the future and not bound to institutional tradition. But there are challenges as well, paramount among them having to make decisions about equipment that will influence the way care will be provided for years to come.

Before Rockwall Urgent Care, Rockwall, Tex, opened its doors in April, its new administrators had to make many of these tough purchasing decisions, not the least of which was what PACS solution would be used to manage its images.

Viztek?s Opal-RAD PACS

The administrators chose Viztek?s Opal-RAD PACS and the company?s DR technology, a decision that reflected the needs of the urgent care center, according to Scott Pierce, DO, Rockwall?s medical director. ?I?m an ER physician and I liked that it?s a digital, portable solution and that I can read images outside of the facility and that we can issue accounts for outside users,? he said.

Pierce added that another deciding factor was the systems? ease of use, an important consideration for bringing a new staff up to speed. During the decision-making process, Pierce and his colleagues visited several medical facilities surrounding the Dallas suburb of Rockwall before ultimately choosing the Opal-RAD PACS and DR solution. ?I liked what I saw,? he said. ?It married well with our urgent care setting.?

Because Rockwall chose the two Viztek systems, patients can have an x-ray scan and that image can be made available for review within seconds. The image is sent to the Opal-RAD PACS for review, reporting, and storage. Adding to its efficiency, Viztek?s DR solution does not require cassettes.

Referring physicians also have fast, easy access to patient files and exams. Remote access to particular patient records and to digital images can be granted to referring physicians, eliminating the need to have hard-copy exams transported by messenger or by mail to a medical office.

Another advantage that Viztek gave Rockwall was a modification to the software?which the urgent care facility requested?that allows users to make unofficial interpretations of the images, enabling radiologists or other specialists to quickly zero in on a particular area identified by the urgent care physician, speeding interpretation.

While this software modification has speeded up workflow, perhaps more crucial for the new facility is the fact that the Opal is easy to use. Pierce said that he and his colleagues wanted the learning curve to be fairly flat.

He also noted that Viztek representatives were on-site for a few days to help train and iron out any trouble spots that cropped up.

Since the full-service, walk-in clinic opened earlier this year, the PACS has been met with glowing reviews. ?Our radiologist is super-pleased,? said Pierce. ?He thinks the images are better than some of the ones he gets from hospitals.?

Though the facility has been up and running a short time, Pierce and his colleagues also looked to the future with the Opal, noting that the system is completely scaleable and that Rockwall ?won?t be able to overuse or overtax it? any time soon, said Pierce.

—C.A. Wolski