Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



OhioHealth™ is a family of not-for-profit, faith-based hospitals and healthcare organizations serving patients in central Ohio since 18911. The radiology department consists of a group of 59 radiologists, who service 5 hospitals in Columbus, Springfield, Newark, and Chillicothe. Beginning in 1999, the group transitioned to a system that allowed the doctors to view CT scans and MRI exams digitally. Until that time the doctors were required to read exams from printed images one at a time. For its time, this system known as “Synapse,” was considered somewhat revolutionary. It allowed the group which functions as an independent business separate from the hospitals they serve, to significantly increase the number of exams they read over a given period of time.

Today this type of technology has become the standard throughout the industry, although most groups have programs and features unique to their own business. As with any hardware or software over time, once business needs change, so too does the desire to update or alter the hardware or software. In the case of the Ohio Health group some believe that the time has come for what could potentially be a costly upgrade. Among other things, there has been some desire expressed by members of the group to create an update that allows each doctor to view images from an exam in the order that he or she desires and eliminate unnecessary steps in the process. Under the current system, Synapse presents the images in a semi-customized, but often inconvenient order that requires some time and energy to rearrange as the doctors see fit.

In the project ahead, we will examine this potential upgrade from a number of perspectives. We will strive to understand the context of this dilemma from a historical vantage point and hope to learn which criteria best served the industry a generation ago when faced with similar circumstances. When possible we will look to leverage theory for conducting this type of analysis within the industry and seek to understand the values laid forth by the authors of those studies. We will evaluate perhaps the most important concept to this cause, the significance of highly efficient workflow within the group and how it relates to the technology that surrounds it. We will explore a number of potential methods of analysis and question their relevance to this project. Finally we will compare and contrast the options available to the Ohio Health Radiology group as they seek continued growth within their practice. Using cost-benefit analysis, we will attempt to present the group with a revealing and exhaustive report with which they can then use to reach an informed decision about the future of their digital imaging system.