Successful large-scale technology initiatives have two underlying elements in common. The first, and most important, is vision, the ability to anticipate and understand the big-picture implications of introducing new ways of managing processes and information. The second element behind successful technology implementations is strategic planning, starting from the very earliest stages of a project and continuing throughout.

With integration, in particular, these elements are key. After all, the best picture archiving and communications system (PACS) in the world will never fully realize its potential, or deliver the expected return on investment, if it is not effectively integrated with the information-technology infrastructure of the organization. Successfully integrating the systems and elements that make up an enterprise depends on the ability to envision where one wants to take the facility, to understand where the facility stands in terms of resources and technology, and to manage a wide-reaching planning process that incorporates the needs and objectives of all the various constituents of the facility.

Big-picture planning has long been a part of the Ohio State University (OSU) Health System’s approach to new technologies. OSU, profiled in this Intelligence Report, began to plan for PACS more than a decade ago. It saw, from the beginning, that the advantages of PACS went beyond radiology, and it determined that OSU’s PACS would be a key component in a comprehensive information system that would serve the entire institution.

As a result of its vision and planning, OSU has achieved improved efficiency in patient care, has demonstrated savings in costs and staff time, and has received national recognition, winning the 2001 Nicholas E. Davies Award for implementation of a system-wide computerized patient record.

At Agfa, our focus is on helping our customers envision, plan, and execute successful integration strategies. Thanks to our long-time experience with PACS, RIS, and the extensive knowledge base of Mitra, we understand and excel at executing on the four cornerstones of integration: Modalities, Desktop Applications, Information Systems, and Storage Infrastructure. Agfa is unique in its proven track record in all four disciplines. A partner with proven expertise in all four will assure that your PACS will deliver institution-wide efficiencies.

In other articles, the reader will find more about the necessary steps to successful integration, along with the important role that standards play with respect to integration. As we all know, when we effectively share informationbetween colleagues, throughout a hospital, or even through the pages of a magazinewe all benefit. Agfa is pleased to sponsor this Intelligence Report No 19.

Milan diPierro
Director of Downstream Marketing
Agfa HealthCare Informatics, Americas
Ridgefield Park, NJ