Personalized Medicine: A Radiologist Speaks Out About Need for Patient Information

Dr. Roger Eng

As we prepare for RSNA where personalized medicine will take center stage, let’s take a moment to look at the related concept of “personalized radiology.”

As a radiologist, personalized medicine is about obtaining patient information that helps me make an accurate diagnosis. In the past, radiologists have often had very little information to work with: name, birthdate and a two- or three-word description. For example, I might get an abdominal CT exam to read with the description “abdominal pain.”

Well, is it acute abdominal pain with fever, elevated liver enzymes and a history of gall stones? Or is it vague abdominal pain without fever or elevated WBC, and a history of colon cancer? These descriptions help me define whether I am primarily looking for an obstructing common bile duct stone or a liver metastasis. And that’s where an EHR comes in, because it delivers personalized, pertinent information to radiologists and clinicians so that we can achieve accurate diagnosis and treatment.

It’s also important to know a patient’s ethnic group, because some ethnic groups are prone to different types of diseases, particularly if they have recently lived or traveled outside the United States. Now that we serve a more diverse population, we need data mining tools so we can deliver community-specific care. I read for several different hospitals and the disease states I see in young Latinos are far different from those in elderly Asian patients.

My ultimate goal and the goal of my fellow radiologists is personalized radiology, which is reading each exam with the medical history, current clinical state and other characteristics of each individual patient in mind. I believe this goal is going to be more attainable as we gain greater access to patient information through links to EMR/EHR systems.

Are you getting the clinical information you need to read patient exams? What information do you find most valuable?

Dr. Roger Eng, M.D., Chairman of Radiology, Chinese Hospital, and President of Golden Gate Radiology Medical Group

Marion General Hospital improves access to images with the DRX-Mobile Retrofit Kit



Note to reader:  Carestream has installed the CARESTREAM DRX Family of products in facilities across the world.  In a series of posts, customers have agreed to share their experiences.

“Retrofitting our mobile system with a DRX-1 detector greatly improves both the speed of access to images and visualization of tubes and lines.  All of our surgeons and physicians want to use the DRX-based portable because of these benefits, so we hope to order more DRX-Mobile Retrofit Kits in 2011.”

Kimlyn Queen, Director of Imaging and Cardiac Catheterization Services


Meaningful Use in Radiology: Overview and Implementation

Keith Dreyer, DO, Ph.D and Marjorie Calvetti

Meaningful Use offers great opportunity for radiologists to participate in the incentives.  Most radiologists qualify to participate in the incentives, and often compliance can be achieved by leveraging medical imaging software such as RIS and PACS.

Keith Dreyer, DO, Ph.D, Associate Chairman of Medical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Marjorie Calvetti, Medical Imaging Director, Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, Illinois, both have experience in preparing their imaging departments for Meaningful Use compliance.  In a webinar with Carestream and Diagnostic Imaging, they share their experiences and offer advice for professionals working towards compliance.  Ms. Calvetti is a member of Carestream’s advisory board.
 Once you have viewed the presentation, feel free to ask questions or make comments here.  We will work with our presenters to get answers that can be shared with you and our entire community.

Finally, a DR Detector That Moves With Your Workflow

Click to view our eBook

A DR detector that moves with your workflow.

That’s what healthcare facilities need—and now they can achieve it. With capital budgets stretched tighter than ever before, healthcare facilities want to move detectors to wherever they are needed. Carestream Health is the only supplier that enables customers to insert a DR detector into a mobile system for early morning rounds, move it to an in-room system for day use and then use it in the ER at night.   

Our wireless, cassette-size DRX detector makes it possible to convert existing x-ray rooms to DR in just a few hours. A removable detector provides unprecedented positioning flexibility for automated DR suites, and specialized retrofit kits enable DR detectors to be used with many existing mobile x-ray systems. A multi–battery charger ensures the detector is available for continuous use, 24 x 7.

Our DRX solutions deliver an entirely new paradigm for imaging services by freeing healthcare providers from the traditional restrictions imposed by fixed equipment and room locations. We offer two multi-use detectors, three systems and proven performance at more than 1,000 installations worldwide. Hear how DRX users are achieving dramatic productivity gains, higher image quality and unmatched ROI by viewing our eBook.

The “No Bull” Approach to Your 2010 RSNA PACS Review

Mike Cannavo, PACSMan

If I could summarize what you need to do in order to be successful in evaluating PACS solutions at RSNA, it all boils down to one thing – be efficient.  This year there are more vendors offering PACS than ever before, so it’s very easy to be overwhelmed by all there is to see as you walk the show floor.  This “No Bull” guide to the PACS review is meant to make the process more manageable by separating the essential needs for RSNA from the extra details that will be an inefficient use of your time. 

It is important to recognize that it is highly unlikely that you’ll make your final buying decision through your interactions at RSNA alone.  The show is meant to provide a global overview of the vendors that you’re considering, leading to more detailed questions and discussions after you get home.  With that in mind, 30-45 minutes per vendor should be sufficient time to gather all of the information you need.  While that may seem like a small amount of time, if you’re well-prepared you should find it to be more than enough to give you a feel for the vendor’s offerings and how they relate to your needs.  

Before arriving at RSNA you need to have a clear idea of what you want.  Research the vendors you’ll be visiting ahead of time then narrow your list as you pre-schedule product demos.  Additionally, understanding your current radiology workflow, including any existing clinical systems, will help the vendor zero in on the solutions that will best meet your needs – and not waste your time with products that won’t.  

With efficiency also comes consistency.  Be sure that you ask all companies that you visit the same set of baseline questions. This should help you along the next step in the decision-making process.  Comparing vendors along a uniform set of parameters – set before you get to the show to avoid getting sidetracked by extra information – will make coming to your final PACS decision easier and more organized.      

Of course, a little help along the way never hurts.  The complete Webinar to evaluating PACS at RSNA 2010, including tips to get the most out of product demos, can be seen through AuntMinnie.  There you’ll also find the full presentation available to download for your reference as you prepare for the show.

RIS Strategies for Achieving Meaningful Use


As part of our Meaningful Use in Radiology series, Carestream Health RIS Product Line Manager Sean Booth discusses how the CARESTREAM RIS can help customers achieve Meaningful Use.  He also shares the plan for the product’s certification in the U.S. healthcare market.

Meaningful Use in Radiology: Podcast with Steven Fischer

As an addition to our podcast series around the topic of meaningful use in radiology, we spoke with Steven Fischer, CIO, Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI).  Fischer highlights the greatest opportunities that meaningful use presents for radiology professionals and imaging centers, and shares the steps that CDI has taken as the group prepares to participate in the incentives. 

Click on the link below to access the Podcast, or right-click to download/save.