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Customer Story: West Michigan Cardiology

West Michigan Cardiology is based in the U.S. and has three offices. Across these clinics they conduct about 9,000 to 10,000 studies per year. Hannah Sutterfield is a lead sonographer at the practice, and together with Dr Singh, they conducted a review process to determine which PACS and reporting system to purchase. HeartLab and West Michigan Cardiology have now been working together for about a year.

West Michigan Cardiology sign in green grass with a brick building behind it

“HeartLab and its personable team has been incredibly easy to work with from early implementation to daily use. We appreciate the completely customizable templates and user-friendly platform that meets the needs of our busy imaging lab.”

Hannah Sutterfield, Lead Sonographer

What were the main challenges in your workflow prior to onboarding HeartLab?

One of our biggest challenges was reporting - it was a painstaking and frustrating process. Reports had to be handwritten and reviewed in person by a cardiologist before being typed up on a computer, because our echocardiograms were only accessible in the location and on the machine the exam was performed on. This also meant many measurements had to be calculated manually, which added to the already time-consuming process.

And we had to deal with the challenges that our storage solutions created. In the past, all of our images were stored on hard drives which made it tedious and slow to retrieve them.

Another issue we faced was the IAC requirement that all accredited sites needed to have a PACS in place as of January 2024 - so this provided a timeframe by which we had to make changes.

How has HeartLab's software impacted West Michigan Cardiology’s workflow and overall efficiency?

We’ve experienced incredible time savings and increases in efficiency. The fact that we can now read any study on virtually any connected device has made a huge difference to our teams. We can view reports same-day, and on occasion, the doctor can even review the findings with the patient during their initial visit!

HeartLab automates measurements which means we are saving at least 10 minutes per study, and across our four sonographers, I’d estimate each of them is getting an hour back in their day. And if we need to remeasure or take new measurements, it’s really easy to go back into the system to do that.

What’s more, the fact we could customize our own reporting templates has been huge. We worked on about 20 different templates upfront which has made life even easier.

And recalling studies from a patient’s prior visit, is right at our fingertips. In the past, it was so cumbersome to access these that we often relied solely on the written report. I want to stress how convenient it is to pull up past echos on our patients. This is one of my favorite features. We can easily view the report or images by themselves, in a new tab, and do side by side comparisons if needed. 

How has HeartLab been to work with?

The whole team has been incredibly responsive to any requests or questions we’ve had. HeartLab has been great to work with.

Would you recommend HeartLab to other sonographers or clinics?

In a heartbeat (no pun intended!). Overall, HeartLab’s cardiology imaging platform has transformed the way we work and eliminated so many frustrations we used to deal with on a daily basis. 

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