Oy Vey! Israel Goes Carestream!

My friend Mike Cannavo, The One and Only PACSMan, usually manages to find me something esoteric for Christmas/Hanukkah. This year, his gift included this set of stocking-hooks for the mantle, tailored for the Jewish taste. (I think this was actually supposed to be the more traditional JOY, and Mike kept the “J” for himself.)

“Oy” technically means “woe” in Yiddish, often used in the statement “oy vey iz mir” – “Oh, woe is me” (Yiddish: אױ װײ’ז מיר). This is a phrase heard at least a hundred times a day within the facilities of Clalit Health Services, the second largest HMO in the world, covering 3.9 million folks in Israel, 54% of its population.

Clalit’s facilities and services include 1,400 community clinics, 14 hospitals, 400 pharmacies, dozens of laboratories, research institutes and subsidiaries that provide diagnostic imaging, dentistry, complementary medicine, aesthetic medicine and medical equipment maintenance services. As the largest civil employer in Israel, Clalit has approximately 33,000 employees including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, laboratory/imaging technicians and administrative staff.

As an aside, the Clalit web site shows this photo of a nice Jewish doctor, who for some reason is much better looking than me, another nice Jewish doctor:

When you have 5 million exams per year, you really need a PACS, and Clalit just signed on with Carestream to provide RIS, PACS, and central archival. Now, to be accurate, the deal was made with Algotec. In case you didn’t know, Algotec is an Israeli company that was bought out by Kodak around 2003 to provide the fifth iteration of Kodak PACS. (Don’t even ask about the other four…may they rest in peace.) When Onex Corporation purchased the floundering Eastman Kodak company’s Health Group, Algotec came with as fully-owned subsidiary. The new company was called Carestream (a title I have always thought would work better for an entity that serves urologists), and the rest is history.

I suppose it should come as no surprise that the largest Israeli health entity would chose the PACS that is made in Israel. To be honest, I haven’t played with an Algotec product since it was, well, an Algotec product, but I was impressed with what I saw at the time. I’m sure Clalit made a good choice. I can hear it now: “PACS, SHMACS. You want a good PACS? We got a deal for you!” Mazel Tov to Carestream!

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