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Clinica Internacional Helps Revolutionize Healthcare in Peru With Advanced Cardiac CT Imaging

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In Peru, the healthcare system consists of public (government) and private insurers that together cover more than 80% of the population. One of the largest private healthcare provider networks is the Clinica Internacional group of hospitals and clinics, including two hospitals in Lima owned by Rimac Seguros. Clinica Internacional’s hospitals are accredited by Joint Commission International and ranked as one of the top 20 hospitals in Latin America by AmericaEconomia, one of the leading business magazines in the region. In addition to the full-service hospitals, Clinica Internacional also owns and operates three outpatient centers located throughout the country, including one in the more sparsely populated northern region. More than 1,500 physicians provide health services across 50 different specialties, making Clinica Internacional a leader in the delivery of quality healthcare for Peruvians.

Medical imaging plays an important role in helping Clinica Internacional expand its leadership position. That leadership role translates to a high volume of imaging studies. On average, more than 200,000 outpatient and 16,000 inpatient imaging exams are conducted each year.

Seeking to further expand Clinica Internacional’s leadership position, Maximiliano Ventura, MD, Medical Director, began evaluating high-end CT scanners in 2015. “We were looking to the future, to expand our imaging services in cardiology and oncology,” he says. Growing demand for these specialty services is tied to the increased prevalence of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer resulting from increases in the average life expectancy for Peruvians.

With a heightened focus on cardiovascular CT imaging to address the need for specialty imaging services, Dr. Ventura wanted a system that delivered uncompromised image quality and robust CT angiography (CTA) for many anatomies with low-dose capabilities. His search led him to GE Healthcare and Revolution™ CT.

The system’s one-beat, high-definition volume scanning for all heart rates coupled with motionfree coronary artery imaging—even for challenging patients—impressed Dr. Ventura. The 16 cm volume acquisition provides whole organ coverage while the 80 cm bore can help accommodate higher BMI patients. As important, ASiR-V™ iterative reconstruction would enable Clinica Internacional to reduce patient dose by up to 82%.1

“Our patients come first. Since we were looking to enhance our cardiac imaging, we found that Revolution CT would be best aligned with this mission. Revolution CT provides us with the best option for fast, high-quality and clinically confident diagnostic studies,” says Dr. Ventura. “The image quality is the best I’ve seen.”

With the implementation of Revolution CT in September 2015, Clinica Internacional embarked on its vision to bring advanced cardiac CT to the people of Peru.

A leader in cardiac CT imaging

With Revolution CT, Clinica Internacional’s chest pain unit provides cardiac imaging services 24 hours a day. The system’s imaging speed helps ensure patient access to emergency CT services—on average, six patients each day present to the hospital’s ER with chest pain. Throughout each day, many other cardiac patients are scanned in non-emergency situations.

“We have the information to make a clinical decision in a very short time thanks to Revolution CT and that helps us better manage the patient’s condition,” Dr. Ventura says. He adds that as a result of implementing the new scanner, the amount of time from a patient presenting with chest pain and receiving a CTA to clinical diagnosis has decreased by 45 minutes—it is now close to the international standard of 90 minutes. Having this capability also improves patient workflow in the ER, which further frees up valuable resources for other emergency cases.

Referring physicians and patients have also become aware of the new cardiac imaging capabilities at Clinica Internacional. Dr. Ventura says there has been a 20% increase in cardiac CT imaging in the first six months of 2016 and he attributes this growth to Revolution CT.

“Absolutely, clinicians are sending their patients to us because of the excellent image quality and expertise of our doctors. That is very important to us and is a factor in our growth and leadership,” Dr. Ventura adds.

In fact, Revolution CT has been so successful for helping Clinica Internacional grow and expand its expertise in cardiology and medical imaging that the organization is now implementing other scanners in the Revolution family with two Revolution EVO scanners at other clinics. Dr. Ventura explains there are three important factors that drove this decision.

Figure 1. Patient referred for evaluation prior to planned TAVI procedure.

“First is the quality of the Revolution brand—for me it is excellent for cardiac imaging. Second, the support of GE is critical for the machine and also for expanding the knowledge of CT imaging for our technicians, doctors and nurses. I believe the union of technology and people is very important for our growth. Third, we want to extend our expertise to all areas of the cardiovascular system—not just the coronaries or emergency cases.”

Dr. Ventura is confident that the Revolution brand will further extend Clinica Internacional’s visibility throughout the region. “We want to become the leader in Peru in terms of technology and diagnostic capabilities, including CT. I believe that will happen very soon. Then our goal is to be a leader in healthcare across Latin America.”

  1. In clinical practice, the use of ASiR-V may reduce CT patient dose depending on the clinical task, patient size, anatomical location and clinical practice. A consultation with a radiologist and a physicist should be made to determine the appropriate dose to obtain diagnostic image quality for the particular clinical task.