Diagnostic Reading #41: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology

In the news: work-related injuries plague sonographers; radiologists want to help fight elder abuse

News for radiology and health IT professionals

Articles include: sonographers are vulnerable to musculoskeletal pain; proactive outreach to patients improves outcomes; radiologists want to do more to help identify and eliminate elder abuse; a brain-computer interface helps paralyzed man feel again; and a new report says enterprise data protection strategies might not be fully aligned with IT modernization initiatives driven by cloud computing.

Sonographers remain vulnerable to musculoskeletal pain – AuntMinnie

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders still remain a problem for sonographers according to a recent survey. However much can be done to improve sonographer working conditions and decrease the prevalence of pain. Researchers recommend optimal visual conditions, adjustable components of the ultrasonic machine and the computer workstation, and education concerning ergonomic guidelines.

Direct outreach to patients by HIM professionals improves outcomes, patient satisfaction – Health Management Technology

Proactive outreach to patients by HIM specialists increased the use of a personal health record, improved outcomes and satisfaction, and enhanced communication between health IT specialists and providers. A unique patient outreach program deployed a personal health record coordinator to meet with patients to explain the benefits of a personal health record. The program includes a hands-on approach for removing barriers and engaging families. Continue reading

Cloud hosted PACS Solutions Help Address Medical Staffing Shortages

Access to radiology reports can help eliminate barriers and enable collaboration

Close-up of surgeons hands holding surgical scissors

The number of new innovations in health IT can be overwhelming. Hospital CIOs and administrators must help evaluate new software for referral management, applications for improved transparency, and analytics software. How can HIT directors and hospital administrators decide which technologies are worth investing in? Answer: start with the ones – like cloud hosted PACS solutions – that solve a real problem.

For example in the United Kingdom, The Royal College of Radiologists “considers the numbers of radiologists currently in training to be insufficient to meet the predicted future demand for imaging unless training numbers are increased.” Other parts of Europe, especially rural areas, face a similar problem. The scarcity is driving medical providers with no formal or previous affiliations to find ways to pool their resources and collaborate among their sites.

Fortunately, cloud based services and teleradiology are toppling the geographic barriers. An increasing number of medical health providers in Europe are installing PACS – Picture Archiving and Communication Systems – and hosting them in the cloud. For example, Spire Healthcare, one of the largest private healthcare groups in the UK, enabled cross site reporting using the Carestream cloud. Using different cloud services from Carestream, Spire Healthcare can store and archive data to enable cross site reporting and then distribution of the reports and associated images. Continue reading

Diagnostic Reading #40: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology from the Past Week

Threats, burnout, and demand for radiology top the news

image of radiograph

Articles include: the three biggest threats to radiologists; marketing tactics for imaging service providers; a survey of 2,000 patients reported they want radiologists to read their imaging exams; a study that shows 49% of radiologists feel burned out recommends they try to improve their life balance before making career changes; and an initiative of the American Society of Clinical Oncology to collect and analyze cancer data is starting to take off.

The 3 biggest threats to radiology – AuntMinnie

Three trends might degrade the role of radiologists: demand for imaging is moving out of hospitals; bundled payments and capitation turn imaging into a cost rather than a profit center; and machine learning is on the rise.

Tactics for marketing a radiology department – Radiology Business

A paper described the need for imaging service providers to have a successful business strategy that involves marketing tactics focused on patients and different efforts that target referring physicians. Continue reading

How the Affordable Care Act Affects Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Six years yield five significant changes in the field of sonography

Over the last six years, healthcare in the U.S. has undergone a rapid series of changes and reforms. From the way Americans pay for care to how care is provided, the post Affordable Care ActIllustration of Affordable Care Act era of healthcare is unlike anything we have ever experienced. Diagnostic medical sonographers, also known as ultrasound technologists or ultrasound technicians, have begun to feel the effects of the Affordable Care Act on almost every aspect of their daily job duties.

More healthcare consumers

More Americans are consuming healthcare services than ever before. It is estimated that more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans gained access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act from federal and state exchange programs, employer mandates, and/ or Medicaid expansion. Hospital and healthcare facilities are seeing more patients than ever before, which means more diagnostic tests, like ultrasounds, are being ordered. However, this sharp increase in healthcare consumption was not matched with an equal increase in human or capital healthcare resources.

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Diagnostic Reading #39: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology

Articles include: physicians and radiologists see value in image-rich reports; and smartphone use needs a strategy

In the news: survey respondents say image-rich reports could improve communication and dialogue between radiologists and referring physicians; smartphone use creates need for management strategies; a report recommends radiologists’ clinical performance should involve feedback and encouragement; machine learning might create headaches for radiologists and other physicians; and Aetna will offer subsidies on Apple devices for select large employers and will utilize health apps on iPhones and iPads to help providers deliver more effective care.carestream_health_pacs

Do image-rich radiology reports create value? – Radiology Business

Referring physicians and radiologists both see significant value in the use of image-rich radiology reports (IRRRs), according to a recent study. Sixty-eight percent of participants said IRRRs would improve communication and dialogue between radiologists and referring physicians. Continue reading

Medical Device Decision Priorities—a Worldwide Look

Throughout the U.S. and worldwide, equipment decision criteria are not so different

There are clear advantages to having new, up-to-date medical devices; including gains in productivity and efficiency. Medical equipment can support the movement to reduce healthcare costs and increase its efficiency and effectiveness. This movement is worldwide, and nothing new, as a graphic on medical device prioritiesMcKinsey report[1] stated a few years ago. “Today, medical device companies operate in a different world. In developed countries, healthcare systems are under acute financial pressure…. Developing economies are transforming the environment, too…. Success in emerging markets requires a deep understanding of stakeholders’ needs.”

New stakeholders influence purchase decisions

And new stakeholders are changing the way organizations look at the purchase of medical equipment. “In the developed world, decisions that used to be the sole preserve of doctors are now also made by regulators, hospital administrators, and other non-clinicians…. The result of this phenomenon is a shift from individual outcomes to a focus on population-level effectiveness.” Also, big data is beginning to offer a new level of evidence-based data that helps us evaluate the true advantages of technology.

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Guess the X-ray: October’s Image Challenge

Can you guess the image in the X-ray?

It’s a new month – and also time for October’s “Guess the X-ray” Image Challenge! Congratulations to those who correctly guessed the September image challenge!  The correct answer was — a wrist watch.

We welcome radiologists, technicians, 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. We’ll share the answer at the end of the month.

October Image Challenge

Good luck and have fun!

Diagnostic Reading #38: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT and Radiology from the Past Week

EHRs and security threats for healthIT and rads taking a leadership role are in the news

Articles include: Mamba ransomware is attacking healthcare, crippling computers by encrypting entire hard drives; University of Texas breast radiologists are calling for the creation of a national imaging repository in the cloud; Apple designers work to expand its HealthKit to aid in diagnosis; Electronic health record data could hold the key to predicting the onset of sepsis; and most physicians are using some digital tools and expect to increase the use of assistive technologies in the near future.


New virus disables computers by encrypting hard drives – Health Data Management

A new strain of ransomware called Mamba is circulating through multiple industries including healthcare and crippling computers by encrypting entire hard drives. So far there really isn’t much that can be done except pay the ransom to gain a key to decrypt the hard drive, experts say. Ironically, Mamba emulates protections found in commercial data security products, but uses the protections against the victim.open lock

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Carestream OnSight 3D Extremity System Gains FDA 510(k) Clearance

Aunt Minnie Selects OnSight Product as Finalist for “Best New Radiology Device”

September has been a big month for our CARESTREAM OnSight 3D Extremity System. The product received FDA 510(k) clearance and is available for order in the United States. It was also selected as a Finalist for “Best New Radiology Device” by Aunt Minnie. The publication chose the product in part because of the niche it fills – “a small CT scanner designed for extremity studies”.Carestream OnSight Aunt Minnie finalist

This affordable, compact system offers high-quality, lower-dose 3D imaging studies (compared to traditional CT) for use by orthopaedic and sports medicine practices, hospitals, imaging centers, urgent care facilities and other healthcare providers. The system also comes with 3D software from Carestream designed to give orthopedic specialists more information on pathology than what might be possible with 2D imaging.

The extremity imaging system can help in treating a host of orthopaedic conditions that affect the biomechanical behavior of the joints such as arthritis, meniscus loss, instability and malalignment syndromes. The system also offers less radiation than traditional CT systems while delivering excellent image quality.

A key feature of the product is its ability to capture weight-bearing images. Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo recently concluded a study, noting the benefit of weight-bearing images for orthopaedic patellofemoral diagnosis.

Orthopaedic imaging is a major focus for Carestream because of the prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions among people of all ages. Youth and adults often suffer sports-related injuries to their knees, ankles and feet while older adults experience arthritis, joint instability, meniscus loss and other conditions.

Carestream’s new extremity imaging system enables healthcare providers to capture high-quality 3D images and conduct a patient consultation in a single visit—which helps improve productivity and convenience for both specialists and patients. An additional benefit is the ability for patients to view a 3D image that illustrates their condition or injury to help them understand the reason for a treatment or surgical procedure.

The OnSight 3D Extremity System will be demonstrated at the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) conference that begins on Sept. 29.


Editor note: In Europe, the device cannot be marketed or sold until compliant with 93/42/EEC.


Helen Titus

Helen Titus is the worldwide X-ray & Ultrasound Solutions Marketing Director at Carestream

Diagnostic Reading #37: Five “Must Read” Articles on HIT & Radiology from the Past Week

Headlines include weight-bearing imaging for knee injuries; and telemedicine saving lives


Articles include: weight-bearing X-rays for knee pain could replace MRI as first choice for 40+ patients with knee pain; machine learning might threaten radiology; Americans use their smart phones to send photos of medical issues; telemedicine saves lives in Syria; and QA databases can benefit radiology departments.

MRIs getting ordered for knee pain when weight-bearing X-rays would do just fine – Health Imaging

Physicians treating possibly osteoarthritic patients 40 and older for knee pain can save these patients time, trouble and quite a lot of money—while sacrificing little to nothing on diagnostic accuracy—by sending them for weight-bearing X-ray exams rather than MRI scans.xrays good for knee diagnosis

Does machine learning threaten radiology’s future?– Radiology Business

Radiology is one of the cornerstones of modern healthcare, but according to a new analysis published by the Journal of the American College of Radiology, machine learning could potentially end the specialty as we know it within the next decade. For example, the machines allow data “to speak for themselves,” which can lead to trends being uncovered that could have gone unnoticed otherwise. Also the pixel-by-pixel focus of machines can pick up key predictors. Computers can also quickly digest complex data sets and while even the most trained radiologists will have cognitive limitations, no such issues exist with machine learning. Continue reading