Online User Communities Help Companies and Customers Innovate Together

Join the Carestream health IT forum

Everyone has social networks; some online and others offline. These social networks are built around interpersonal relationships among friends, family and acquaintances. In contrast, the foundation of online communities is mutual Picture of the logo for Carestream’s VIBE communityinterests rather than personal relationships.

In healthcare IT, the common interest is using technology solutions to their fullest and sharing ideas for innovations to improve productivity and patient care. The online community becomes even more powerful when users of technology are connected to the provider of the solution, giving everyone a comfortable forum to learn and benefit from each other. As a result, new and deeper relationships can be formed, and a greater level of trust can be achieved.

Carestream has a worldwide virtual community for users of its health IT product portfolio, Carestream Vue.  The group, called VIBE (Very Important Board of End Users) is a forum for our IT customers to communicate, collaborate and educate each other – and with Carestream. Direct collaboration between Carestream and our end users is essential to making sure that our products are in synch with the market’s changing needs. Our users are very active in the online forum, with a 40% engagement rate – much higher than the industry benchmark of 15%. Here’s why they participate:

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Big Data: Is The Future of Imaging a Number?

The application of algorithms will advance preventative healthcare

Stop and savor the images being read by radiologists. They might disappear from view.

In the not-so-distant future, radiologists might analyze ‘numbers’ rather than images. Not only will this radical change greatly advance the goal of preventative care, it also has the potential to alter the overall healthcare system. Radiologist viewing imageHere’s why big data might alter the future.

Today, physicians order imaging exams to detect the presence of a specific and usually singular cause or disease. The pixel data that is captured by the imaging modality is assembled (or reconstructed / displayed) in an image that is meaningful to the human brain. Radiologists are trained to recognize, understand and analyze the shapes, the shades and colors within that image in order to render a diagnosis.

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Diagnostic Reading #19: Five “Must Read” Articles for HealthIT & Radiology from the Past Week

Incidental findings in radiology, interoperability and new developments in medical imaging

This week’s articles include: benefits of leaving incidental findings off the radiology report; cloud technology can help health IT data exchange interoperability; new developments in PET/CT imaging; a study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine estimates that more than 251,000 people die annually from medical errors in U.S. hospitals; and the Obama administration launched a contest to make bills for medical services easier to understand. Image of cloud technology

If incidental findings pass these four criteria, consider leaving off rad report – Health Imaging

When radiologists discover harmless incidental findings, they are left with the complex, at times difficult choice of either including it in the radiology report or not mentioning it at all. Authors involved in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology reported that avoiding unnecessary follow-up imaging is a significant benefit of not disclosing harmless incidental findings. Even if the report recommends not following up on the finding, the referring physician could misunderstand that opinion and proceed by moving forward.

Power of the cloud spurs big push to boost interoperability – Health Data Management

The cloud holds great potential for health data exchange interoperability and it may be used to leverage intense data exchange initiatives, health IT experts believe. Precision medicine based on genomics, with its huge amounts of complex digital information, will tie masses of information to a single electronic health record.

Hybrid imaging still gaining momentum – Health Imaging

Hybrid imaging systems, particularly PET/CT, are widely used in clinical practice. Now new developments in detector technology that allow for faster scans with significantly reduced injected tracer doses open up new indications for PET imaging. In addition to shorter scans and dose reductions, technological developments will open the door for partial body PET/CT, and specialized tracers will continue to increase demand for PET/CT.

HIT seen as way to reduce patient deaths caused by medical errors – Health Data Management

The extent and cost in human lives of medical errors—and how health information technology can make a dent in the problem—remains difficult to determine. The newest study to assess the degree of medical errors, recently published in the British Medical Journal, comes from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, which estimated that more than 251,000 people die annually from medical errors in U.S. hospitals. That would make it the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Obama administration announces contest to redesign medical bills – Health Management Technology

The Obama administration launched a contest among healthcare groups, developers, designers and tech firms to redesign a medical bill that is much simpler than the current system. Dubbed “A Bill You Can Understand,” the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aims to inspire groups and individuals to come up with a novel approach to enhance the overall medical billing experience for patients. Medical billing is one of the most troubling burdens that patients face in the U.S.

Baystate Health’s Regional HIE Invites Outside Providers to Participate to Help Enhance Patient Care

Integrating clinical information supports the needs of the community

Baystate Health is an integrated delivery network (IDN) that includes five hospitals and more than 90 primary and specialty care practices serving a region of western Massachusetts with 800,000 residents. We know that patients who are coming to our facilities are also visiting other facilities outside of our network. As a result, they might be at risk of receiving duplicate procedures and imaging exams.Exchanging information to enhance patient care

To address these concerns and to enhance patient care, we spent several million dollars to expand our electronic health record (EHR) into a regional health information exchange (HIE). We then invited hospitals and physician groups outside our network to participate at no cost to make our HIE both attractive and more effective.

Starting with an electronic medical record (EMR) and associated applications that provide demographic, claim and coding data, we built a clinical data repository that integrates and aggregates clinical information from Baystate entities and facilitates interfaces with disparate data sources from other organizations and their EMRs. Our platform addresses the challenge of standardizing the proprietary code language and data sets from the various EMR platforms to create a comprehensive view of patient health information.

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Diagnostic Reading #18: “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology from the Past Week

HealthIT is improving care; expectations for radiology reports are increasing

This week’s articles include: executives support for health IT technology; need for improvements in radiology reporting; a Gallup survey shows healthcare costs are greatest concern for many Americans; two-thirds of healthcare organizations believe personalized medicine is having a measurable effect on patient outcomes; and a survey shows 87 percent of hospitals with financial problems regret changing their EHR systems.

88% of healthcare execs credit HIT with improving care – Health Data Management

Healthcare executives overwhelmingly see health IT as having a positive impact on their organizations, with 88 percent indicating that the technology is helping them provide better quality of care—according to a recent online poll of 164 healthcare executives.

Room for improvement in radiology reports – Diagnostic ImagingCarestream_Vue_RIS

Referring clinicians, payers, and patients are all demanding higher quality, which requires some degree of consistency and organization. Changes are necessary because current reports make identifying critical information difficult.  Continue reading

How to Obtain Financing in a Challenging Environment

Healthcare financing experts offer insights for small and rural hospitals

All hospitals face the challenge of financing and implementing the latest, ever-changing medical equipment while carefully managing budget dollars, but this challenge is amplified for small and rural hospitals. With higher demands from patients and an increased focus on improving the patient experience, rural hospitals must find new ways to keep up with their larger, urban counterparts when it comes to technology.

First, it helps to understand exactly why rural hospitals have a different set of challenges. Research from the American Healthcare financingHospital Association reveals that rural populations tend to have lower incomes and are, on average, older than urban populations. This combination translates to a high percentage of patients with Medicaid and Medicare. Furthermore, the research shows that there is a higher rate of chronic diseases in rural populations, meaning that more treatment is required with less hospital resources.

Hospitals, then, must deliver high-level, ongoing care to a population that may or may not be able to pay for their services. Beyond that, rural areas are also typically not high growth areas, so hospitals struggle to bring in new patients.

Another important element that can create both challenges and opportunities is a renewed focus on the whole patient experience. Simply put, patients have higher expectations than ever before. They are aware of emerging technologies—through the Internet, social media, TV and movies—and expect their hospital to have these technologies on hand. This puts an enormous amount of pressure on hospitals to obtain state-of-the-art equipment and technologies to maintain and attract patients.

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Diagnostic Reading #18: Five “Must Read” Articles from the Past Week

HealthIT spending, AI and ideas to keep radiologists limber are in the news

This week’s articles include: hospital execs expected to fund additional healthcare IT purchases in 2016; how the brain organizes language; analysts predict 30 percent of providers will run cognitive analytics by 2018; radiologists can be more physically active while reading without hurting performance; and analytics can help health systems reduce spending and improve patient care.

Healthcare execs bullish on technology, optimistic on finance – Healthcare IT News

Survey: Hospital executives are backing technology and expect the industry to continue to rely on healthcare IT going forward. Executives indicated a positive outlook for 2016, with 71 percent expecting revenues to increase and 55 percent planning to seek financing.

‘Atlas of words’: Neuroimaging reveals how the brain organizes language – Health ImagingCognitive thinking

As you scan the words in this article, your brain is recognizing, responding and organizing information related to their interpretation as well as associations with other words, images and ideas. Recently, researchers used fMRI scans from volunteers to create a “semantic atlas” of the brain, which reveals how a particular region activates in response to language. The results could eventually help those who are unable to speak, such as victims of stroke or brain damage, or motor neuron diseases. Continue reading

Planning an Enterprise Archive (VNA) to Accommodate Collaboration in Precision Medicine

Impact on healthcare information systems for CIOs

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines precision medicine as an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into acCarestream Clinical Collaboration Platformcount individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle for each person.

Like many of the broad healthcare initiatives supported with major funding from the U.S. government, this one will have an impact
on how the healthcare enterprise provides access to information to the clinicians who collaborate to make precision medicine work in practice as well as in theory.

Genomic information is stored and shared in a number of formats – PDF, Variant Call Format (VCF) and DICOM images – developed by bioinformatics specialists. Planning to store and provide enterprise distribution to this body of documents, images and reports is a key part of planning for today’s Enterprise Archive (VNA). Because it is often the repository of choice for images requiring distribution across an enterprise, the VNA is a logical system for facilitating the distribution of genomic material to the stakeholders in precision medicine.

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Guess the X-ray: May’s Image Challenge

It’s a new month: time to put on your thinking caps and“Guess the X-ray” Image Challenge! Congratulations to those who correctly guessed the April image challenge!  The correct answer was — computer tools!

We welcome radiologists, technologists, RAs, MDs, PAs – or anyone who thinks they’re up to the challenge – to guess the subject in this X-ray. Please leave your answer in the comment section below or on our Facebook page. The challenge will stop at the end of the month.

Good luck!

May Image Challenge


Sorry… Carestream employees and their agencies are prohibited from answering.


Diagnostic Reading #17: Five “Must Read” Articles

Health imaging, contact sports and patient engagement are in the spotlight

This week’s articles include: a radiologist spearheads improvements at a Texas hospital; measurable changes can occur inside young athletes’ brains in a single season of contact sports; patient engagement is becoming essential to getting maximum payment for services; a study reports that one-third of radiology recommendations went unacknowledged at a Boston facility; and admissions growth for U.S. hospitals is unlikely to be repeated in 2016.

How radiologists can lead the way in healthcare quality improvement – Health Imaging

When quality improvement efforts at the Baylor College of Medicine stalled out due to multiple staffing disruptions and a general lack of coordination, it was a radiologist who took the challenge head-on, according to Emily Sedgwick, MD, an assistant professor and author of a recent article in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Changes to brain cells measurable after one season of high school football – Health Imaging Carestream-head-trauma

A single season spent playing contact sports is all it takes for measurable changes to occur inside young athletes’ brains, according to results of a study recently published in the Journal of Neurotrauma. Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas used helmets capable of recording data related to head impacts, then used MRI and diffusional kurtosis imaging to measure changes in neural cellular structures. They found that even when no concussion occurs, athletes experience neurological changes at the cellular level after just one season. Continue reading