What’s the future of image sharing?

This month at SIIM there was much discussion about cloud-based services and sharing images between enterprises.  Noam Velan, PACS R&D Manager, Carestream Health, participated in a panel focused on the future of image sharing as the industry moves to replace CDs with  digital solutions.

Before we can look to the future, let’s first think about why CDs are used.  CDs serve different purposes for the radiologist, referring physician and patient:

  • Radiologist – CDs are a way to transfer images to the native PACS system; images must be in a DICOM format to transfer between different vendor systems.
  • Physician – CDs offer quick, easy access to images without installing software onto their system.
  • Patient – CDs serve as a personal image archive to access in the future.

While we anticipate the industry will gradually transition away from CDs,  the ultimate architecture for image sharing needs to meet the needs of ALL users.  This points to a patient-centric, cloud-based system.

Watch Noam’s perspective on the CD-less radiology workflow and migration to the cloud below.

Let’s  continue the dialog that started at SIIM…what is the future of image sharing at your facility? 

CARESTREAM DRX-Mobile Improves Throughput in the ER

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Lindy Andrews MD, Vice Chair Emergency Department, Heartland Regional Medical Center, explains that the DRX-Mobile Retrofit Kit allows their team to take the portable x-ray unit to the room when the department is extremely busy, to capture extremity, chest, and other portable shots to speed patient care. Because they don’t have to move the patient around Andrews reports at least 10-15 minutes of “lessened” patient time in the emergency department.

Tufts Medical Center Director of Radiology comments on the CARESTREAM DRX-1

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Michael Foley, Director of Radiology, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, discusses workflow and throughput improvements delivered by the CARESTREAM DRX-1 System. The DRX-1 features an innovative cassette-sized wireless DR detector that fits the existing equipment of radiology departments, making it cost-effective and easy to transition X-ray rooms from film or CR to fully digital.

Mr. Foley is a member of Carestream’s advisory board.

Wireless Digital Radiography Detector Improves Emergency Department Patient Care

Guest post: Chris Vineyard, Chief Technologist, R.T. (R) (ARRT), University Hospital, San Antonio

Earlier this year University Hospital was named the best hospital in San Antonio by U.S. News & World Report in its first-ever ranking of  “best hospitals” for 52 U.S. metropolitan areas. This highlights the outstanding efforts of our physicians and staff to use new technologies and processes that enhance patient care.

We see an average of 200 radiology patients a day in the emergency department (ED), and during peak periods we can see 30 radiology patients in an hour. We  are able to provide improved care after converting our imaging system in the busy Level 1 Trauma Center to a DRX-1 detector with the CARESTREAM DRX-Mobile Retrofit kit.

We now use wireless digital radiography (DR) technology to triage incoming trauma patients. Images are viewed on the mobile system in about three seconds, so ER physicians can immediately assess the severity of each patient’s condition and determine the most effective treatment plan.

According to our ER physicians, using a mobile imaging system is much faster and safer for trauma patients because they do not need to be moved from the gurney or stretcher. The thin DRX detector is also the best option for patients who are in pain and cannot be moved due to possible spine injuries.

Retrofitting our existing CR-based imaging system with a wireless DRX detector achieves faster image access and better resolution than CR technology—which translates to better care for critically ill or injured patients.

How do you triage incoming ED patients? Are you using CR or DR mobile imaging in your ED?  

PACS Workstations Successfully Compete With Dedicated 3D Workstations

Radiologist Michalle Soudack presenting cases at the Workstation Faceoff. Image courtesy of HealthTech Wire

There is a common misconception that dedicated 3D Workstations are required for successful interpretation of advanced imaging results.  However, the annual “Workstation Faceoff,” part of the International Symposium on Multidetector-Row CT, proved otherwise.

The Workstation Faceoff, held on Tuesday in San Francisco, requires radiologists to present four CT studies – musculoskeletal, brain CTA, vascular and liver – in a total of 13 minutes.  Radiologist Michalle Soudack, M.D., Head of Pediatric Radiology at the Safra Children’s Hospital, used the CARESTREAM Vue PACS to diagnose alongside other vendors’ highly specialized 3D workstations.  Soudack’s performance highlighted the benefits of a single-solution PACS workstation for the interpretation of CT exams.

Workflow efficiency is key to the success of radiology, and is the primary reason why using a PACS workstation with embedded 3D tools proves superior results.  The integration means that the radiologist doesn’t need to switch workstations to interpret complex CT studies.  During the Faceoff this meant that Dr. Soudack was able to successfully complete all cases in the allotted time frame, which was not the case for some dedicated workstations.  However, in the clinical environment this eliminates the need to acclimate to different user interfaces, remember different log ins or learn different tools – meaning both a lower total cost of ownership and greater productivity.

How is your facility currently approaching 3D studies?

When Was the Last Time a Server Chip Enabled Something That Directly Improved Your Life?

Guest Post:  Pauline Nist, General Manager, Intel Data Center Group

I spend a lot of time working with customers and partners who use our Xeon Server chips. I recently did a launch event in Atlanta at a Healthcare conference, which got me focused on the advantages gained from the use of computers in healthcare.

Most of us only interact with the healthcare system on a personal level when either we or some member of our family has a problem or needs a test.  In my case it’s mammograms.  One of the most stressful periods in any woman’s life (right after getting the Mammogram itself!) is the time while you wait for the results. It used to be measured in days, and could result in a repeat visit in order to add additional views because the first picture was “inconclusive” – which scares the heck out of any woman!  As a technologist, it always struck me that there had to be a better way.

With this in mind, I am ecstatic to see the improvements allowed by digital radiology.  Now the resolution is adequate to provide not only a replacement for film, but also improvements in diagnosis. As part of the Intel Xeon E7 launch, we partnered with Carestream Health and their PACS and digital mammography systems to demonstrate the power of the new Intel 10 core Xeon Server chips in this application. The results enable more health professionals to access the resources, and also a 1.28x improvement in performance!

It is outstanding that you can now expect mammography results in 15 minutes, along with the immediate ability to take any additional views necessary!  This is a HUGE improvement, and one of the most visible ways to see the power of computing to directly impact you and your stress level.

If you have another examples like this one please feel free to respond to this blog or catch me at my regular Intel blog site.  Just don’t send examples of faster tax collections!

Meaningful Use: Leveraging Core Competencies for Success

Diana Nole, President, Digital Medical Solutions

Last week, Carestream Health joined other imaging informatics providers at SIIM 2011 annual meeting.  Obvious trends emerged throughout the conference, among them compliance with Meaningful Use. I had the opportunity to participate in a vendor panel to give our perspective on this topic that continues to challenge the radiology profession. The area of Meaningful Use continues to be a learning process for all of us, so opportunities to participate in discussions that provide more insight into this topic are always extremely valuable.

Our approach to Meaningful Use is to support compliance without compromising workflow efficiencies that our customers have already established. We are on track to certify our RIS to support a facility’s full compliance with Meaningful Use, while still addressing the unique needs of radiology. Our technology will be certified as a module to directly provide data for attestation, or for sending structured data to a certified EMR to support an organization’s broader plan to achieve Meaningful Use.

You can view our full panel presentation here.  I welcome your questions and feedback on this relevant topic.

UKRC 2011 – Demonstrating innovation in products and communications

www.ukrc.org.uk

UKRC is being held June 6-8 in the Manchester Convention Centre.  This three-day multidisciplinary scientific conference and technical exhibition welcomes visitors from the field of radiological science, attracting between 3,000-5,000 people a year.  We are attending the show, and are seeing exciting presentations demonstrating the latest technological advancements in digital radiography.

On Monday, the popular Satellite Symposium was presented by David Carradine of the University Hospital, Birmingham. Entitled Experiences and Productivity Improvement Achieved Using Cassette-Sized Wireless Detector in a Mobile Environment, David shared the facility’s experience with wireless DR and the impact the technology has had on the department, staff and patients.  He also included quantitative data on user experience covering many aspects of mobile radiography. Visitors gained an enhanced understanding of the impact of wireless DR technology in a mobile environment, as well as insight into future developments and applications of cassette-sized wireless DR technology. 

In addition to the symposium, a series of educational workshops will be presented by Steve McDonald, A & E Superintendent Radiographer,Royal Liverpool Hospital.  He will demonstrate how to adapt your radiology techniques to get the best quality image with your DR system

 You can expect to see coverage during and after this event across our social media channels, including live updates on Facebook and Twitter.  There will also be multiple opportunities to discover more about Carestream in a series of videos to be published after the event.

What has been your experience at UKRC?  Connect with us to stay up to date with show activity!

CARESTREAM Vue Motion Debuts at SIIM 2011

CARESTREAM Vue Motion is the new mobile, zero-footprint viewer from Carestream Health. Michael Hornback demonstrated this new system on-site at SIIM 2011, highlighting the ability to view and manipulate images, reports and prior studies on any device or browser.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Benefits from Wireless DR

Maxine Nesbitt, A+E Radiography Team Leader at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK, talked with us about her experience with wireless DR with the CARESTREAM DRX Family technology.  The brand new hospital installed DR right away, and saw decreased exam times and improved patient care compared to their old CR technology.