Radiology via RadConnect University of Alabama

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Situation

 

Opened in 2005, Soddo Christian Hospital is a 139-bed, full-service facility serving Wolaita – a lush agricultural region in southern Ethiopia where corn, wheat, barley and other flora are harvested for export. While geographically stunning, Wolaita is one of Ethiopia’s more populated and impoverished regions within a country already considered one of the world’s poorest. This causes many to seek opportunity in the cities, making it difficult for Soddo Christian Hospital (and all healthcare providers in this area) to attract and retain qualified support. Rural Ethiopia also means supply chain issues, power outages, and limited systems support. As difficult as this sounds, the Ethiopian healthcare system has successfully adapted to scarcity by allocating what they have.

The CT scanner in action with Debebe, one of our techs, at the controls.

Regarding radiology, Soddo Christian Hospital boasts the only CT scanner in the entire southern half of Ethiopia, creating a massive and on-going reliance for scans and interpretation. Unfortunately, its lone part-time radiologist could not manage the full-time patient load, which led to an agreement with the University of Alabama to help with offsite reads. Soddo Christian Hospital first tried Dropbox, but the process was extremely cumbersome. Installing a remote DICOM archive through a VPN eliminated the security issue, but the burden on techs remained. Plus, network errors, timeouts, overloads, and bandwidth problems remained. Bottom line, it was slow, finicky, and extremely unreliable.

Solution

RadConnect, the cloud-based medical image-sharing SaaS solution developed by NucleusHealth, makes collaboration easier for everyone – physicians, technicians, administrators, and patients. When supporting technology is fast, secure, accurate, accessible, robust, and simple to use, all involved are better prepared to provide and receive outstanding care. For Soddo Christian Hospital, RadConnect represented a cost-effective way to do more reads. Leveraging its long-standing relationship with US-trained, Board-Certified radiologists at UAB, RadConnect’s web-based technology simply plugged into both systems using their browsers and web-enabled devices. Rather than patching into complex, often incompatible legacy systems, Soddo Christian Hospital now sends and receives their diagnostic imaging files and reports at the touch of a button. Offsite reads are now dependable and streamlined.

Results

Fantastic. Virtually 100% uptime with a limitless ability to instantly send and receive large studies. RadConnect’s intuitive user-interface made it simple for techs to upload images and send to its radiology partner in Alabama. In terms of clinical value, Soddo Christian Hospital recently admitted a 4-month-old female patient suffering from persistent ophisthotonus (spinal spasms and arching) with a history of seizures. Initial diagnosis included tetanus and meningitis, but treatment was not working. A CT scan showed a meningeal enhancement, but not an abscess. Through RadConnect and their partners at UAB, Soddo Christian Hospital isolated the issue and developed the treatment plan, including a very tricky lumbar puncture – all to great success. Culture results clearly showed which antibiotic protocol to administer and the patient was released in 21 days, free of all symptoms! The infant’s mother cried upon discharge and said, “We had lost hope and thought we were going to take her home to die. You have restored our hope and our joy.” RadConnect provides Soddo Christian Hospital a way to improve patient care in rural Ethiopia. If RadConnect can do this for resourcelimited missionary hospitals in rural Africa, imagine how it could help hospitals and healthcare systems throughout the United States!

Value to Soddo Christian Missionary Hospital • Simple, intuitive, and easy-to-use. • Extremely problem-free. Virtually 100% uptime with all upgrades announced in advance. • Works across all platforms including desktops, laptop, tablets and mobile devices. • Instant access and image-sharing among physicians, clinics, hospitals. • Bandwidth issues non-existent. Image files of all sizes transfer instantly. • Increased patient satisfaction due to better diagnoses and treatment.

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