The efficiency and effectiveness of viewing and sharing diagnostic images are vital when you handle the imaging process for 24,000 exams on annual basis, with 18,000 of those also including reporting.
Our facility, Cobalt Health, has had the hardware and software in place to properly handle the massive volume of images we collect throughout a given year, but new needs have arrived where what we had was no longer enough. These needs stemmed from two major issues:
- Referrers may not have had access to our PACS: This resulted in a staggered, inefficient process in providing them with access to needed images and reports.
- Images were transferred via CD/DVD: This resulted in issues related to information governance (privacy), losing image quality in transfer to CD/DVD, and high costs related to purchasing CDs, postage, etc.
We solved both of these issues through the implementation of Vue Motion and MyVue. With the Vue Motion image viewer, we needed to address the issue of providing referrers with easy and access to images and exam results. The solution needed to be intuitive to view images from anywhere, at any time. We targeted MSKCAT (MusculoSKeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment) referrers and received feedback that the image viewer was easy to use, provided access to previous imaging exams and reports, was easy to navigate, and was seen as a clear preference over using CDs.
With MyVue, the patient portal, we saw a positive result from patients who used it. From the 31 patients who responded back to us about its use, 85% said that the portal worked well. The use of the portal was able to streamline the image access and sharing processes, and thanks to its security, provided a vast improvement in information governance.
By providing this type of ubiquitous image access via web browsers—be it on desktop PCs, or on mobile devices such as an iPad—we were able to remove our worries about referrers not being able to see the images, while the patient access eliminated the need to use CD or DVDs.
What are your thoughts on improving image access and transfer capabilities? Have you been moving toward online/mobile applications instead of hard copy or CD/DVD? If so, what success and issues have you experienced?
Peter Sharpe (left) is the CEO of Cobalt Health, and Roisin Dobbin-Stacey (right) is the PET/CT operation manager and PACS manager at Cobalt Health. Together, they presented on their use of Vue Motion and MyVue at UKRC 2014.