Rounding (and harnessing) “the herd” via shared workflow

Rounding the clinical data herd presents challenges and opportunities for health providers

Being the CIO of a healthcare facility/network isn’t an easy job, especially in today’s fast-moving world of new technology and health reform. Last week we had the unique opportunity to speak with a number of leading CIOs at the Next Generation Healthcare Summit, a forum for senior-level health IT executives to engage in focused dialogue with their peers and industry.

As you might expect, there was a lot of discussion—both positive and otherwise—about Meaningful Use and the myriad issues surrounding the U.S. Government’s criteria for EHR implementations. An important part of this discussion is the sharing and management of imaging and other data across the health enterprise, as well as more broadly to outside facilities and physicians.

Exponential data growth, multiple storage silos, location- and department-focused systems versus patient-driven workflow—all mixed with strict legal, retention and security requirements—are combining to create an unwieldy “herd-effect” around clinical data access, archiving and management. How can CIOs ‘round the herd? For starters, a clinical data management solution that delivers on the following requirements:

  • Vendor-neutral, consolidated archive across disparate sources (e.g., radiology, other ‘ologies and labs)
  • Integrated… seamlessly communicate with existing systems through industry standard interfaces, allowing for easier, faster data flow between departments, users and different vendor systems
  • Scalable… any number of sites may participate and seamlessly sign up to immediately access data

Taking these discussions further, and here’s where it gets interesting, is figuring out how providers can not only share data, but share workflow. How do you get users in different locations participating in a single, common workflow across multiple systems and sites? That’s the key driver of efficiency, and one of the biggest challenges facing CIOs today. By sharing workflow, you not only round the herd, but harness its power—lowering costs and driving better patient care.

We have our own thoughts on solving this challenge, which I’ll share in an upcoming post. But first, we’d like to hear from you… how do you suggest providers round the herd? What about shared workflow?

– Elad Benjamin, General Manager, Carestream Health

SIIM 2010 Preview with SIIM Fellow Eliot Siegel, MD (Podcast)

In this Podcast, Dr. Siegel discusses exciting new sessions attendees can expect at the upcoming Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) Conference, to be held June 3-6 in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Siegel is also a member of Carestream’s Advisory Group, a collective of medical professionals that advises the company on healthcare IT trends

Click on the link below to activate the audio stream, or you may choose to save the mp3 file to your computer/device.

CarestreamCAST: SIIM 2010 Preview with Eliot Siegel, MD

Are you an infomaniac?

Click the image to visit our SIIM-fomaniac site

We are a nation of infomaniacs. We want to access information from wherever we are—our car, the grocery store or a coffee shop—and we want it now. Our desire for convenient, immediate data applies to radiology workflow as well.

That’s why our RIS/PACS delivers access to patient images and information anywhere, anytime. The same user interface and advanced 3D tools are available from any PC or workstation, so radiologists can read efficiently from their homes or offices. Referring physicians can view key images and reports from PCs or mobile devices.

In many cases, we deliver desired information before a user asks for it. For example, our RIS can select a standardized report based on the exam procedure, and pre-populate patient and exam information, while our PACS attach prior exams to the current study. Sharing data is also important, so we allow data exchange across multiple sites—as well as disparate PACS platforms. Our vendor-neutral archive supports a wide variety of data and image formats through use of healthcare standards and IT technologies that enable easy access to enterprise-wide data. And we employ the latest technologies to ensure the highest levels of security.

Stepping outside the hospital, we asked a few of our customers to comment on their favorite infomaniac gadgets…

“My favorite gadget is the iPad 3G since it allows me to be professionally productive wherever I go AND entertain my three boys on a long car trip. The only problem is that we only have one iPad and when my 20-month-old starts screaming, guess who wins. I’m looking forward to the day when I can use it to access RIS/PACS as well (hint, hint).”

—Dr. Roger Eng, Chairman of Radiology, Chinese Hospital

“I love my iPod touch. I use it to access my entire music collection from both my home and car stereo systems. It comes in handy when I am working out on the elliptical and I can watch movies while I am waiting to pick up my kids. My 12-year-old son loves all the apps he has loaded on it, and I am thinking of upgrading his classic iPod to an iPod touch because he always has mine!”

—Susan Johnson, Medical Imaging Administrative Director, Mercy Medical Center

“I am a big open source software fan. My Android phone has a Linux-based Google operating system, my home computers are Linux and I watch TV using Linux media centers. I have used my Google G1 phone to invoke SSH (secure shell) sessions back to my data center to handle administrative tasks while on the road when I’ve been without access to a laptop and wifi — essentially getting work done from my handheld, securely. I’ve even placed open source Rockbox software onto my personal MP3 player.”

—Lyle Backenroth, CIO, Diagnostic Imaging Group LLC

Are you an infomaniac? How do you cope?

Invite 3D processing to join the general radiology workflow

Don't let your PACS Workstation put you in the penalty box

As hockey fans hunker down for the deciding games of the NHL Conference Finals this month, prepping for June’s Stanley Cup maelstrom, it’s only fitting that radiology vendors gather this week for our own version of hockey’s big event: the “Workstation Face-Off”, being held at the International Symposium on Multidetector-Row CT in San Francisco.

Each year companies showcase how their advanced 3D technologies can equip radiologists to process and interpret three complex CT imaging exams. This year’s cases will include CT colonography, cardiac and an assessment of liver lesions. And of course, each study has a time limit.

Our approach to this competition is a bit different than our competitors, in that we process these complex exams with our standard PC-based PACS workstation—while other vendors use dedicated 3D processing stations.

We believe advanced processing should be integrated into the general reading workflow so radiologists don’t need to go to dedicated 3D workstations. To further enhance productivity, our PACS architecture enables 3D and other advanced features to be used on any workstation inside or outside the facility. That flexibility allows radiologists to perform remote reading of 3D exams from their offices or homes.

Advanced processing capabilities of the CARESTREAM PACS platform include: Automatic abdominal and cardiac vessel segmentation capabilities; automatic registration of volumetric exams; MPR, MIP, MinIP, volume rendering, complete vessel analysis, cardiac applications, virtual colonoscopy, PET-CT and mammography.

Are you interested in integrating advanced 3D capabilities into your PACS workstation? If your PACS workstation already performs advanced functionality, is your workflow is improved?

– Jo Linder, Carestream Health

Editor’s Note: We’ll share details on clinical cases from this year’s “Face-Off” later this week on Everything Rad.

Radiology Vitals: The promise of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis

Dr. Andrew Maidment, University of Pennsylanvia, discusses DBT and future directions in women’s healthcare imaging

Andrew Maidment, Ph.D., FAAPM, is Associate Professor of Radiology; Co-Director, HHMI-NIBIB Interfaces Scholars Program in Biomedical Imaging and Informational Sciences, and; Chief, Physics Section at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He recently spoke at Carestream Health’s Rochester, NY offices, where this interview was taped.

ER/OR Radiology Trends: Faster images, lower doses, and the technologist doesn’t leave the room!

In the Emergency Department of most hospitals, physicians’ imaging dreams are coming true. Today, because of new wireless DR technology, imaging in the ER and OR is practically immediate. Image quality is enhanced, and dosage minimized.

We asked Marjorie Calvetti, Administrative Director of Radiology at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, IL how it works in her ED and trauma bays.  Marjorie told us that they use four Carestream DRX-1 wireless DR cassettes in their ED and they are multiregistered to their trauma bays. When a trauma patient comes into the ED the technologist grabs a DRX-1 DR cassette and brings it right into the trauma bay.  Built into the walls in their trauma bays are 52” flat-screen panels. The technologist conducts the X-ray exam, accepts the image and sends it instantly to the wall screens—without having to leave the room (see below video for further elaboration).

In most hospital environments, increased speed in imaging equates to dollars saved. But in the trauma room, increased speed can mean better patient outcome and even lives saved.

How much time do you lose from the technologist’s dash to the processor?  How long does it take to shoot an image in your ED? We’d love to hear your views!

Marjorie Calvetti, Administrative Director of Radiology Memorial Medical Center (Springfield, IL) discusses how the DRX-1 System works in her Emergency Department and trauma bays.

Customer Spotlight: London’s Homerton Hospital cuts patient turnaround times in half (video)

Colin West, Head of Imaging Services, discusses his staff’s use of the CARESTREAM DRX-1 system at this pre-eminent London hospital. Benefits include cutting patient turnaround times in half and reducing X-ray examination times from eight to five minutes per exam.