Rochester's Top Two Employers Partner to Innovate Healthcare Technology

September 23, 2004

"In teaming the research and patient-care strengths here at the Medical Center with Kodak’s digital medical imaging expertise, we are each staking our organization's success on our ability to partner for the good of Rochester"

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and Eastman Kodak Company today announced two significant agreements for close collaboration.

The first is a four-year research and development agreement that will focus on innovations in digital medical imaging and healthcare information technology (HCIT), ultimately helping to making patient care swifter and more cost-efficient.

The second is a purchase agreement under which URMC will acquire advanced digital medical imaging and HCIT solutions from Kodak’s Health Imaging Group to support URMC’s growing demand for radiology services. Once fully deployed, Kodak’s systems will enable more than 1,700 faculty and referring physicians to obtain patient medical images and related information with a few mouse clicks at a desktop workstation.

Key highlights of today’s announcements include:

  • Kodak research engineers, and URMC researchers and clinical experts, will work together on product development efforts for next-generation Kodak digital healthcare products and innovations that will further improve clinical productivity and patient care.
  • As the University converts to advanced Kodak solutions, it will become a showcase site for current and future digital technologies. Kodak will bring customers from around the world to Rochester to see products and systems in operation across a large academic medical institution that is networked to many remote facilities.
  • URMC, with more than 300,000 radiology exams per year, will benefit from Kodak’s HCIT solutions for its complex, multi-site environment by improving turnaround time and access to patients’ medical images and clinical reports.
  • KODAK DIRECTVIEW PACS System 5—Kodak’s newest picture archiving and communications system (PACS) for retrieving, reviewing and storing patient radiology images—will be installed throughout URMC, including an integrated solution enabling physicians at Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital and orthopedic outpatient facilities at Clinton Crossings to share images and information.
  • KODAK Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions will enable information from radiology, and other clinical areas and medical records, to be managed from a centralized archive. EIM will be deployed across URMC so that designated systems in multiple facilities can communicate with each other.

“As Rochester’s largest employers, the future of Kodak and URMC are already inextricably linked,” said Mac Evarts, M.D., URMC Chief Executive Officer. “In teaming the research and patient-care strengths here at the Medical Center with Kodak’s digital medical imaging expertise, we are each staking our organization’s success on our ability to partner for the good of Rochester.” 

“Kodak is committed to working with URMC to research and develop innovative digital medical imaging and information applications for the multi-site, teaching healthcare market. We chose URMC among our selected collaboration partners based on its reputation as an academic institution and because many of our own employees use URMC’s services. We believe this collaboration will produce significant benefits for similar facilities and for the Rochester community as well,” said Dan Kerpelman, President, Kodak’s Health Imaging Group.

“This agreement represents another opportunity to bring greater attention to Rochester as a leading healthcare technology innovation center, as we focus on developing powerful new solutions that can help accelerate advances in patient care and healthcare efficiency in large multi-site teaching hospitals,” said Candy M. Obourn, Chief Operating Officer for Kodak’s Health Imaging Group. “URMC is one of a very few selective strategic partnerships we are undertaking to work collaboratively on R&D while developing world class show sites for innovative healthcare technologies.”

Deploying Kodak Products

Kodak will upgrade URMC’s current Kodak PACS to Kodak’s newest PACS System 5, and will integrate it with URMC’s existing healthcare information systems. “We will virtually double the number of PACS workstations, enabling the Radiology department to serve more patients in much less time,” said David Waldman, M.D., URMC Chair of Radiology. “We also will be introducing PACS into Highland Hospital, which has had no formal PACS capability up to now. Given the sheer volume of images generated by the new CT and PET scanners across our enterprise, Kodak’s products will enable us to meet the need for greater storage capacity, efficiency, and access.”

“Kodak’s vision for digital medical imaging and information technology is superior to anything on the market,” Waldman said. “Drawing upon our daily experience applying the technology, we can help make PACS even more useable by assisting Kodak with improvements in workflow and functionality.”

URMC plans to use the KODAK PACS system to store and manage not just radiology images, but also laboratory slides and images from other departments such as cardiology. Waldman and his colleagues enthusiastically support this strategy.  “Ultimately, URMC plans to integrate its hospital systems to create a seamless electronic medical record,” Waldman said. 

Background on URMC

Unlike many healthcare organizations, 90 percent of radiology exams—x-rays, CT scans, PET scans, etc.—conducted at URMC are done in digital format. With more than 10 years experience with PACS, URMC has developed significant expertise in this technology. “URMC is progressive in our pursuit of information technology that supports higher quality of care at a lower cost. Kodak’s solutions are in total alignment with this initiative,” said John Glynn, Director of Information Technology at URMC.

In fact, several years ago URMC was among the first to install Kodak’s first-generation PACS system. URMC is viewed among academic health centers as a leader in PACS, each year hosting the second largest international PACS clinical meeting.  

URMC is also known as an early adopter of advanced information technology such as Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) systems, which eliminate the need to handwrite orders and prescriptions. URMC is the only upstate New York hospital to have fully implemented this patient-safety technology. 

About Kodak’s Health Imaging Group

Kodak’s Health Imaging Group is a world leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing intelligent imaging products from analog to digital and in providing innovative medical-imaging services, including those to assist customers with interoperability and other needs.  Its broad product portfolio includes computed radiography (CR) and digital radiography (DR) systems, laser imagers, picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), radiology information systems (RIS), traditional mammography systems, x-ray film systems for general radiography, and dental imaging products.  Its services portfolio includes everything from basic repair and maintenance, to services encompassing equipment integration (from multiple vendors), storage and archiving, secure e-mail—and more.

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Teri D'Agostino
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