CASE STUDY

Partners In Health Streamlines Global Transfer of Medical Images

Partners in Health selected Ambra to improve the reliability of their image transfer systems and to help them scale their services.

Summary

Partners in Health - Case studyPartners In Health began in Haiti in 1987 with a focus upon HIV prevention and treatment. Since then, their mission has expanded to providing the benefits of modern medicine to some of the world’s poorest and sickest communities. Ambra has partnered with Partners In Health to send studies from the University Hospital in Mirebalais in Haiti’s Central Plateau to volunteer radiologists in Boston.

This teaching hospital was founded 4 years after a tragic earthquake struck Haiti and has been transforming lives and patient care since. Prior to Ambra, sending studies across the globe was a highly manual process, often filled with internet-related outage issues. Since the launch of the partnership, the image transfer success rate has dramatically improved to 100%.

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Eliminated Image Transfer Challenges

Prior to Ambra, a VPN tunnel connected the PACS servers in Haiti to Boston. Due to technical difficulties in setting up and maintaining a robust connection, another solution was needed to ensure the successful and timely transfer of images. According to Secordel, “The original workaround was a tedious manual process involving Dropbox.” This solution was less than ideal as it involved manual uploading and downloading of files, and the synchronization was not always successful.

“The installation of Ambra helped us receive images in Boston at a faster rate – from hours down to a matter of minutes.”
– Louise Secordel, Program Coordinator, Medical Informatics Team

Allowed Organization to Scale

Since working with Ambra, image upload time of CT scans from modality to PACS has also sped up from 3 minutes to 1 minute. Rapid upload time has become critical in the ever growing facility. In 2015, 4,300 CTs were performed and the number is only expected to grow in 2016. Volunteer radiologists are reading over 400 studies a month and supporting a staff of over 700.

An outpatient clinic had to be opened to support the influx of patients, bringing in a new total of over 1000 hospital visits a day. Rapid image upload and transfer has improved the turnaround read times, which is critical to speeding up time to care delivery. Volunteer radiologists now read an average of 400 CT studies per month.

Transforming Patient Care

Wasting time on technical glitches and administration impedes patient care. Partners In Health has been pleased with the high level of support offered by Ambra. Ambra’s support team worked to troubleshoot and test several issues, including one regarding image compression. Recently, the system was configured so that HL7 messages are now sent from Haiti to Boston as well, improving security of critical health data.

With technical glitches under control, University of Mirebalais can focus on its priority to act as a teaching hospital to Haiti’s next generation of medical professionals. In the fall of 2013, the hospital accepted its first round of residents, and will continue to accept more specialties over the next few years.

“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 4 billion people are at risk for widespread losses and deaths that can be avoided or treated, if radiology were available.”
– Louise Secordel, Program Coordinator, Medical Informatics Team