Sonic Healthcare – managing cardiology diagnostic data

Sonic Healthcare selects TeleMED for managing cardiology diagnostic data

Sonic Healthcare is a global healthcare company with a reputation for excellence in laboratory medicine/pathology, radiology/diagnostic imaging and primary care medical services.  Headquartered in Australia, Sonic has grown to become one of the world’s leading healthcare providers with operations in Australia, the USA, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand.

Operations in Sonic’s Australian Pathology Labs include offering ECG, Holter and Ambulatory Blood Pressure diagnostic services at many of its Collection Sites.  Historically, Sonic has used a “single vendor” approach to select the brand of devices that it uses for these services and it currently uses a LAN-based data management solution to manage most of the clinical data that it acquires in rendering these services.   In employing this solution, Sonic has encountered a number of limitations related to interoperability, compatibility, flexibility and scalability.  More and more, the current solution is being viewed as outdated technology.

In order to escape these limitations and to set the stage for growing its cardiology testing services, Sonic has recently entered into a multi-year partnership with Telemed Diagnostic Management Ltd. (TeleMED) to migrate these services to an integrated, enterprise-wide, web-based system.

A critical factor in choosing TeleMED was that its proposed solution offered more integration than Sonic has had with previous vendors who were much more proprietary.  Pre-TeleMED, Sonic’s data management system was limited to managing data from one brand of devices.  The move to TeleMED technology means that Sonic will now be using a vendor-neutral archive that accepts data from devices manufactured from all leading manufacturers.  This change makes it possible to mix and match devices as Sonic finds it advisable.  Furthermore, Sonic will not have to bear the expense of maintaining an archive of legacy data because the migration of that data to TeleMED technology can be accomplished in a simple, time-effective and cost-effective manner.

Limitations in the scalability of Sonic’s pre-TeleMED solution resulted in duplication in network architecture among multiple regions.  However, the easy and limitless scalability of the TeleMED solution means that all test data, from all regions, can be streamed into and maintained within one single, united database.  From an IT perspective, moving to an enterprise solution means that redundant and unnecessary hardware will be eliminated and that there will be much less architecture for Sonic to manage.  From a clinical perspective, historical data that is currently only available from a regional database will become accessible from anywhere within the enterprise.   Data of all modalities, from all collection sites and using all brands of devices, will be available in a single database and will be within reach from a single point of access.

While these IT, operational and clinical benefits are tangible and important, the partnership between TeleMED and Sonic is also expected to deliver significant financial benefits to Sonic.  Restrictions on the scalability of its pre-TeleMED solution presented difficulties in growing its cardiology services within and beyond its two largest business units.  However, the TeleMED solution that is being adopted can accommodate an unlimited number of  collection sites, connected devices, concurrent users and amount of data.  In addition, the ViTELflo platform is so versatile that it can be used for managing a wide variety of cardiology and radiology testing modalities.  Therefore, Sonic will have the IT foundation it needs to grow its cardiology and radiology testing services wherever opportunities exist.

Telemed Diagnostic Management Inc., an ISO 13485:2003 certified company, has been a pioneer in the development of powerful solutions for managing non-invasive medical diagnostic data.  We serve an array of verticals in the healthcare industry including community diagnostic laboratories, specialty clinics, occupational testing organizations, family physician groups and paramedical service providers.  Our solutions feature advanced security safeguards, innovative quality management tools, business analytic capabilities, smart electronic forms and a high degree of interoperability and connectivity.