Diagnostic Reading #25: Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream LogoIt’s Friday, which means it is time for a new edition of Diagnostic Reading. This week’s articles include a study on radiology and patient care, the benefit of clinical decision support, breast cancer screening recommendations, the importance of telemedicine and an update about the future of Medicare without SGR.

1) ARRS: Patient Consults Improve Care, Raise Radiology Profile – AuntMinnie

A study presented at the annual American Roentgen Ray Society meeting in Toronto revealed that patients value the ability to meet with a radiologist to discuss diagnostic images. The study found that patients that met with a radiologist were likely to want to review exam results with a radiologist again. Furthermore, connecting with patients adds to the value of care provided by radiologists.

2) Clinical Decision Support can Cut Inappropriate Imaging – AuntMinnie

According to a report in Tuesday’s edition of Annals of Internal Medicine, clinical decision-support (CDS) can have a beneficial effect on imaging appropriateness. Hard-stop features could cut inappropriate imaging even more. These features disallow imaging procedures without the approval of another person, if the software considers the study to be inappropriate.

3) Speak Now About USPSTF Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations – Diagnostic Imaging

The United States Preventive Services Task Force has released recommendations for mammography. These recommendations discuss the issues of breast density and aging as some of the risk factors for breast cancer. USPSTF is asking for public comments on these recommendations until May 18, 2015.

4) Telemedicine a High 2015 Priority for Healthcare Executives – FierceHealthIT

A survey of 233 healthcare professionals conducted by REACH Health has indicated that telemedicine has taken a position of precedence among healthcare executives. About 60 percent of respondents considered telemedicine to be a high priority this year. These professionals see telemedicine as an important way to improve care. The author notes that patients are interested in telemedicine and aware of its benefits.

5) The SGR is history. Now what? – Health Imaging

With legislation to repeal SGR last week, it is time to look towards the future of healthcare. This article explains what the SGR repeal means and how it will affect healthcare legislation. The author discusses the importance of the new value-based healthcare model that will be put into place called the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.



Video: Meaningful Use and Clinical Decision Support Dominated HIMSS15

Dave Fornell, editor for Imaging Technology News (ITN) and Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology (DAIC) Magazine, stopped by the Carestream booth at HIMSS15 to discuss the biggest trends he saw at the conference.

Meaningful Use (MU) was the biggest trend Fornell saw, and he noted the different stages being focused on by vendors and hospitals. VNA, PACS, and EMR vendors he spoke with are focused on complying with Stage 3, but they are seeing that the hospitals are focused on consolidation.

Fornell also touched on clinical decision support, and how its part of Stage 2, but a much more important part of Stage 3 MU. As imaging exams are ordered, patient history is going to be ask for, and used as an integral component of the process.

The complete interview from HIMSS15 can be veiwed below.

Video: Discussion on Healthcare Data Storage & Interoperability Guidelines

Marianne Matthews, chief editor, Axis, and Cristine Kao, global marketing director, Healthcare Information Solutions, Carestream, discuss the challenges in today’s healthcare IT environment, particularly the high volumes of data and what facilities must do to manage it.

Matthews and Kao had this discussion at HIMSS15, and expanded on the role that healthcare providers play in the management of data, as well as how they are working with vendors to address data storage needs.

The ONC Interoperability Guidelines were also discussed. Particularly, the advantages of these guidelines becoming more widespread, the benefits of having DICOM medical images continue to be a standard, and the role radiology can play in the digitization of healthcare moving forward.

Diagnostic Reading #24: Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream LogoIt’s finally Friday and that means it’s time for another Diagnostic Reading. This week’s articles include big news about the SGR repeal legislation, an update from HIMSS 2015 about patient engagement, information about reducing hospital readmissions, issues with modern American healthcare, and information on what to do if an ultrasound is necessary but there is no sonographer on duty. Enjoy!

1) Congress Passes SGR Repeal Legislation, Ushers in New Era in MD Value-Based Payment – Healthcare Informatics

The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula has been a topic of tension with physicians for quite some time. This week, Senate voted with an overwhelming majority to repeal SGR. The formula was set to cut Medicare reimbursements by 21% only three hours before the legislation passed. This legal action will encourage the pay-for-value model that healthcare leaders have emphasized as the most realistic way to distribute Medicare reimbursements.

2) HIMSS15: Patient Engagement among Top Priorities for Providers – FierceHealthIT

A survey of hospital IT executives conducted by HIMSS has found that 72% of respondents said patient engagement would make up a large part of their organizational strategy over the next couple of years. A hospital executive, Bill Feaster, from Children’s Hospital of Orange County, said, “We’re not going to improve the health of our population unless we get patients engaged in their own care.”

3) A Hybrid Approach to Avoiding Readmissions – Hospitals & Health Networks

Hospital readmissions are costly. A nurse practitioner and a social worker have teamed up in order to address the issue of hospital readmissions, particularly for senior citizens. This article discusses a different approach to reducing readmissions. The author says that in order for this hybrid system to work, it is important to keep up-to-date with elderly patients. Physicians can educate patients while they are in the hospital, and with the support of an electronic health record, they can make sure patients are educated and adhering to everyday medical needs.

4) Four Healthcare Issues the Government Must Tackle – Fierce Healthcare

Healthcare expert, Paul Keckley, PhD, gives advice on how the United States can catch some of the world leaders in providing quality healthcare while using a smaller percentage of GDP. Keckley’s ideas include adjusting the structure, incentives, employer-based insurance and developing a transparent pricing model.

5) Teleradiology Prompts Shift in Use of After-Hours Ultrasound – AuntMinnie

The use of ultrasound is growing in healthcare facilities around the world. Unlike other forms of medical imaging, ultrasound is dependent on operator techniques. Many facilities are using teleradiology in order for after hours CT or MRI images (6 p.m. – 8 a.m.). This means many facilities might share one radiologist. A study in France wanted to find whether or not ultrasound images could be taken using other modalities or postponed until a trained sonographer was on hand. The study found that most ultrasound requests can be postponed until working hours or replaced with a different mode of imaging.

Clinical Collaboration Platform Grown from the Enterprise VNA

We have discussed the evolution of the vendor-neutral archive at length on Everything Rad, and that conversation will not dissipate any time soon.

Healthcare facilities are dealing with petabytes upon exabytes of data, and not only do they need technological resources to store this data, but they also need a system that can properly categorize the data, and provide access to it across different -ologies.

The animation below shows how VNA owners can build upon their systems to create the Vue Clinical Collaboration Platform. The platform is able to capture data from various sources without changing departmental workflow.

A patient-centric repository is created that stores all of the medical imaging data whatever the format or modality, and distributes the images via the appropriate clinical viewer.

Infographic: The Evolution of the DRX-Evolution

The DRX-Evolution has entered its sixth year in the digital radiography (DR) market. Over time, we have a seen a great deal of updates to its hardware and software, but 2015 has brought about the next evolutionary stage of the system with the DRX-Evolution Plus.

The Plus system offers new LED lighting for enhanced functionality and aesthetic, greater flexibility with an extended tube column, a high performance Carestream generator, an optional table to accommodate patients up to 705 lbs (320 kg), and forward-looking design to accommodate advanced imaging applications in the future.

The infographic below shows how we arrived to where the DRX-Evolution is today. From the initial launch in 2009, to the debut of the DRX-Evolution Plus in 2015–all of the updates are covered, showing Carestream’s dedication to not only providing a high-quality product, but to make sure we continuously enhance it to meet the needs of today’s professional.

Evolution of the DRX-Evolution


Diagnostic Reading #23: Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream LogoSince HIMSS 2015 kicks off on Sunday in Chicago, we thought it would be best to focus on healthcare IT articles in this week’s and next week’s issues of Diagnostic Reading. This week’s articles focus on the interoperability roadmap, an infographic showing one doctor’s computer clicks in one day, the importance of patient-generated data, turning healthcare data into useful information, and how patient portals and tracking devices are driving engagement.

1) Patient-Generated Data: One Cardiac Surgeon Explains its Increasing Impact Healthcare Informatics

In an interview with Healthcare Informatics, Sunil Malhotra, M.D., explains how he has been collaborating with vendors to ensure patient data is collected and provided as part of the record of a patient’s health. Dr. Malhotra said that he plans to monitor patients using applications that allow patients to enter data manually or through devices. Through a platform, a care team dashboard will give Dr. Malhotra and his team information that can be monitored.

2) Infographic: One Doc’s Clicks Per DayHealthcare IT News

The aim of the infographic is to show how IT interactions impact patient wait times, provider efficiency and documentation. The image show the daily technilogy interaction of a physician and her staff: 24 patients over 16 hours for a total of 2,541 clicks.

3) Turning Health Data into Useful InformationHealth Data Management

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has issued four recommendations on how health data can be collected, shared, protected, and translated in ways that are useful to consumers, organizations, and communities nationwide.

4) Patient Portals and Tracking Devices Driving EngagementEHR Intelligence

A Harris Poll surveyed 2,000 adults across the U.S. and found that 84% of respondents have access to patient portal through their physician’s practice. An additional finding is that adults older than 55 years of age are more likely to access their medical records through these tools than adults between 18-54.

5) Hospitals, CIOs Call for Increased Patient Identifier Action in Interoperability RoadmapFierceHealthIT

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems  call patient identification vital to the formation of interoperable Learning Health System, and stressed this last week to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT in regard to its draft roadmap.

Combating Mobile Health Skeptics by Highlighting the Benefits

There are two camps in the mobile health (mHealth) issue: those who find the technologies to be beneficial and embrace adoption, and those who remain skeptical and refuse to adopt, or are slower to.

If anything, current market statistics are siding with the first camp—the global mHealth market is expected to be worth $49.1 billion by 2020, up from $1.2 billion in 2012; an estimated 500 million smartphone users worldwide will be using mHealth apps this year, and those users will have more than 100,000 mHealth apps available via the iOS and Android platforms.

With all signs pointing to the mHealth explosion, challenges still exist. The most common ones being clinician adoption, lack of apps specific for medical use, improvement of medical apps that already exist, an authoritative collection of medical apps, security/privacy protection, and inability for healthcare organizations to handle Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies.

These are challenges most can agree on but the skeptics still hold out on mHealth technologies until the benefits in efficiency and cost outweigh the disruption and expense of adoption. Those specific benefits include:

mHealth Benefits

How Providers Currently Use Mobile DevicesContrary to the skeptics’ beliefs, as the chart to the right indicates, mHealth is already intertwined into the healthcare space. Providers are using smartphones and tablets to share information with patients, look up reference material, learn about new treatments and clinical research, or even help to diagnose patients. mHealth is proving to be beneficial for the providers and the patients receiving the care.

While there is still a high population of physicians who do not believe in the benefits of mHealth, they will not be able to ignore their patients. Millions of people are using mobile apps and wearable technology to track calorie intake, sleep patterns, miles jogged, and other health habits. As they become more in-tune with their own health they will expect that their physicians will do the same, using similar devices.

For more details about the mHealth phenomenon and what providers can do to move adoption in the right direction, you can view and download the eBook, “The Healthcare March to Mobility.”

The eBook includes commentary from myself and Dr. Woojin Kim, MD, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Montage Healthcare Solutions, that explains the needs, challenges, and benefits of mHealth.

Ben Wilson, IntelBen Wilson is the Director of Mobile Health at Intel Corporation. He is responsible for development and execution of mobile health strategies and programs at Intel. Ben is also Co-Chair of the Accountable Care Community of Practice, a consortium of healthcare IT leaders committed to collaboration in the development of Accountable Care healthcare organizations. A Stanford graduate, Ben’s MBA and MPH in Health Management were earned at UC Berkeley.

Guess the X-ray – April’s Image Challenge

It’s April already! Let’s see if we can fool you with this month’s image challenge. Last month we had salt and pepper, which nobody guessed correctly. To participate this month, leave your guess in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

The April image is below, the challenge will run until the end of the month or until the first person guesses correctly. Good luck!

Sorry… Carestream employees and their agencies are prohibited from entering


Diagnostic Reading #22: Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream logoAnother Friday means another Diagnostic Reading, with five must-read articles from the past week. This group of articles covers radiology workflow, technology’s role in the patient experience,  a U.S. Supreme Court ruling related to Medicaid, breast density’s correlation to diagnosis, and a new study that reinforces the importance of mammography screening exams for screening-age women.

1) Rethinking Radiology Workflow to Improve Patient Care—Today – ImagingBiz

This article takes a look at vRad, the nation’s leading radiology practice. With over 2,100 clients across the United States, vRad has become an industry leader in teleradiology. Additionally, vRad has created algorithms that optimize workflow. The author of this article discusses the benefits of optimizing workflow algorithms along with providing advice to improve workflow in your own practice.

2) Technology Plays ‘Supporting Role’ in Optimal Patient Experience, Survey Finds – FierceHealthIT

A recent survey has indicated that 97% of respondents are comfortable with the use of technology in medicine. This staggering percentage is a positive thing when it comes to the adoption of technology in healthcare. While patients are comfortable with the use of technology, the survey also indicated that their personal interactions with physicians are more important. This article discusses how technology should be used realistically when it comes to patient engagement.

3) Supreme Court Rules that Providers Cannot Sue States Over Medicaid Payment – Healthcare Informatics

An important he Supreme Court decision ruled in Armstrong et al v. Exceptional Child Center, Inc., et al that private healthcare providers cannot sue states for low Medicaid reimbursement.  The Supreme Court took the case when healthcare systems in Idaho sued state officials based on the state’s inability to appropriately reimburse them according to national regulations. Read the article for more information about the ruling.

4) Low Breast Density, Poor Breast Cancer Prognosis – Diagnostic Imaging

A study in European Radiology has found that women with low breast density. Researchers found that mammographic breast density (MBD) is inversely related to the severity of breast cancer in women.   These findings are interesting in the wake of recent breast density notification laws.

5) Missing Breast Screening Exams Raises Mortality Risks – AuntMinnie.com

According to a new study published in American Journal of Roentgenology, missing mammgraphy screening exams increases mortality among screening-age women. The researchers found that missing two exams doubles the risk of all-cause mortality, and risk rises with the number of missed exams.