In the news: reducing inappropriate imaging and archiving POC ultrasound studies
Articles include: a study that finds radiologists can work with referring physicians to significantly reduce inappropriate imaging; the topic of deconstructed PACS is creating controversy; telehealth initiatives are beginning to gain ground; a study reports it’s relatively easy to increase the number of ED point-of-care ultrasound studies being archived on PACS; and functional MRI might help settle an open question over “second impact syndrome” in child and teen football players.
Radiologists’ expertise cuts inappropriate imaging
Radiologists who participate in a radiology benefits management program (RBM) by consulting with referring physicians can help reduce inappropriate imaging by at least 20%, according to a new study published in the July edition of the American Journal of Roentgenology. This finding is good news for a specialty long considered to be behind the scenes in patient care.
Deconstructed PACS: 12 Tidbits on Hype, Reality, Caveats, Prospects
There are few topics that create more controversy in the imaging informatics marketplace than the topic of deconstructed PACS, which could alter revenue flow in imaging IT while yielding a profound impact on vendors’ go-to market strategy.
What topics in healthcare imaging interest you the most?
August is a bit of a milestone for me. I will be six months into my new position as social media manager at Carestream and I’m going to my first radiology trade show – AHRA. I’ve been to numerous trade shows in other industries, and I always enjoy the energy of the events.
At AHRA, I’m eager to hear firsthand about the trials and tribulations of healthcare imaging from our customers and industry thought leaders. I’ll also be on the prowl for great content for Carestream’s blog, Everything Rad. Being a social media manager, I plan to take and post lots of photos and quotable quotes. I also hope to capture and share attendees’ insights on their biggest pain points and upcoming changes that excite them.
Here are the sessions I plan to attend. I’d love to hear the feedback of veteran attendees: are there other must-see speakers I should squeeze into my schedule Sunday, Monday or Tuesday? Any advice for navigating the labyrinth of the Opryland Resort and Convention Center? Suggestions for great places to eat in Nashville are also welcome!
My first session is on Sunday: Planning for a Technology Driven Department. Enrico Perez, BS, RT, CRA, FAHRA, of Winthrop University Hospital will talk about the daunting task of future planning for departments and areas where imaging plays a key role. He states that, “this requires an understanding of what exists, the expectation of your customer and the visions for the future since we know our designs that are expandable, the systems upgradeable, and how we integrate with other systems in use are key to our success.” Continue reading
CIO eBook chronicles healthIT migration from paper to electronic record keeping
Three years ago, when we embarked on our CIO eBook, the healthcare IT world was in a different place. EHR adoption was starting to rise, enabling more complete information access electronically within the enterprise. Images were not typically available via a patient portal. They were hand-carried by the patient or sent by messenger to the referring physician. 3D studies were less prevalent, and study file size was smaller. Storage was a threat, but not a major obstacle. Cloud storage was commonplace for other industries, but not healthcare. Now look at how far we’ve come.
To understand the journey, read the eBook, “From Trust to Use and Beyond,” for a look at the major factors that have been driving clinical collaboration and change in healthcare IT. The interactive eBook takes a case study approach to the critical issues that are at the root of healthcare IT: trust, access, data, mobility, interoperability, integration and VNAs. Here’s a summary of what you’ll learn:
The issue of trust is at the heart of Chapter 1 in our CIO eBook. Clinicians are coping with change by placing trust in the things that have worked for them in the past. They know that when they spend time with patients, outcomes improve. Yet there is never enough time available. Meanwhile, adopting new procedures and a new workflow, no matter how promising the results might sound, is perceived as taking time away from patient care. So clinicians are skeptical. Chapter 1, “Building Trust”, is the story of Maureen Gaffney from Winthrop-University Hospital on Long Island, NY. She is a clinician—physician’s assistant (PA-C) and RN who has ascended to Senior Vice President Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO).
Ms. Gaffney’s approach to transforming her hospital was clear from the start. She began by enlisting the buy-in of senior management at the hospital, ensuring resources and transparency. Most of the actions taken on behalf of her project were guided by multidisciplinary committees which always included a clinician and an informatics specialist as members. The starting place was to ensure data integrity, coupled with an understanding of how the data would be used, and how the electronic version would fit into the clinical workflow. Continue reading
Articles include an imaging technique that helps with cancer research; and survey shows large practices are increasingly more satisfied with their EHR vendors
A study reduces fears that use of clinical decision support systems could result in imaging exams being referred to other locations; an article reports telemedicine has the potential to dramatically transform the delivery of healthcare for millions of Americans; researchers report that observing eye-movement patterns in radiologists interpreting scans indicates each radiologist’s expertise and level of experience; new research through imaging shows a specific calcium molecule (TRPV6) is linked to aggressive cancers when it stops regulating itself properly; and a new survey shows large practices are increasingly more satisfied with their EHR vendors.
How to evaluate, use imaging clinical decision support
A study conducted by physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital reduces fears that using clinical decision support (CDS) systems for imaging exams could lead to referring physicians sending their imaging orders to other locations. After reviewing 4,866 studies that had been initially flagged as low value by CDS software and were subsequently canceled by the referring provider, the team found that 111 were ultimately performed within 60 days. Continue reading
Sonographers, practice managers and manufacturers can help reduce musculoskeletal disorders
Ultrasound’s expanding clinical capabilities and its relatively low cost make it a popular imaging choice. And its growing popularity is impacting sonographers’ workload. An imaging department that performed 10 to 20 exams daily in the past might be completing 50 or more today. Often, this growth is managed with the same number of staff, requiring individuals to perform 12 to 15 exams a day. This increased volume is placing added strain on sonographers who are already at risk of injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive motions. Up to 90% of ultrasound professionals report work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) injuries at some point in their careers.
It takes a surprising number of movements to capture a good diagnostic image. Numerous movements are required to place a patient in the proper position. This is followed by a series of actions – back and forth and up and down – to place the equipment properly; and many ultrasound models have significant weight to them.
Directors of radiology work closely with their sonographers to help reduce their risk of injury not only because they care about their welfare, but also because of the potential economic impact on
the practice. A sonographer with a serious musculoskeletal disorder can be out on disability for an extended period of time. Continue reading
Top news includes clinical decision making, EHRs and personalized recommendations in healthcare
This week’s articles include: radiologists playing a more active role in clinical decision making; use of EHR and CPOE systems create added clerical work for doctors; new systems can deliver a doctor’s personalized recommendations to patients to enhance compliance; a color-coded, user-friendly dashboard that tracks ER exams allows medical staff to better monitor patients; and companies are experimenting with ways to reach lower-income patients through apps, text messaging and video conferencing.
Radiologists Take On Bigger Role in Diagnosis – Wall Street Journal
At one of the top radiology departments in the country radiologists are now playing an active role in helping clinicians make medical decisions for their patients. Radiologists at NYU Langone Medical Center provide their analysis of imaging studies (via computer screen) as medical staff make their rounds in pediatric intensive care units, where frail patients are imaged daily to monitor their progress. The initiative to involve radiologists in making treatment decisions is led by Michael Recht, chairman of the radiology department, who oversees more than 200 physicians
EHRs are making things harder for physicians – DotMed Healthcare Business News
Physicians who used an EHR and CPOE were 30 percent less likely to be satisfied with clerical burden, according to a Mayo Clinic physician who was the lead author of a study. Doctors spend hours placing orders for patient procedures such as imaging exams and lab tests and are also spending more than 10 hours a week using the EHR on nights and weekends, according to the study. Continue reading
Rental, retrofit and trade-in are financial options for moving to digital radiography
The benefits of moving from CR to DR are widely recognized by the medical imaging community. Radiology Today summarizes them as, “the technology is more efficient, quicker, and, most importantly, requires less dose to the patient.”
They also include a more productive radiology workflow than computed radiography (CR). In fact, WellStar North Fulton Hospital told 24×7 magazine that DR reduces their processing time by 90 to 95%. With fast and efficient DR technology, they can see more patients and gain higher utilization of their assets.
The advantages of DR – along with upcoming reimbursement cuts for film and CR exams as a result of the U.S. Consolidated Appropriations Act (also known as HR 2029) – make a strong case for facilities to transition to digital x-ray. Yet at least 8,000 CR systems are still in use today, according to IMV Medical Information Division’s “2015 X-ray Market Report”. Why the delay?
Some medical xray facilities are reluctant to make the transition because their CR systems are working reliably. For others, the biggest hurdle is finding a cost-effective path to upgrade their existing technology. Facilities also need to weigh whether they should make the move from CR to DR one room at a time or in one swoop.
Carestream Health recommends that radiology managers consider the age of each existing X-ray system, its current operating condition, and whether it provides all the necessary imaging capabilities. In some cases, the X-ray imaging system might need to be updated to deliver advanced features or enhanced productivity. In other cases, installing a DR detector can deliver a rapid conversion to DR technology that makes high-quality images available in seconds.
Carestream offers three smart options to help customers in the United States move from CR to DR without a large upfront capital investment: rental, retrofit and trade-in. Continue reading
Top news includes impact of collaboration with radiologists and telemedicine
This week’s articles include: radiologists who collaborate with referring physicians can achieve better utilization of imaging exams; mobile devices can give patients control of their health data; VP Biden announces new data sharing initiatives to boost effectiveness in the fight against cancer; Americans are more concerned with healthcare costs than terrorist attacks; and the AMA embraces telemedicine after previously questioning its viability.
Utilization management program points out positives of radiologist involvement
When radiologists collaborate with referring physicians to proactively manage imaging utilization, their participation has more weight tipping the scale toward success than does the specialty of the referrer. And the rad’s input has the greatest impact on primary care physicians who are heavy users of imaging exams.
‘Medicalized’ smartphones to put health data in hands of patients
The world is on the verge of a fourth industrial revolution, characterized by artificial intelligence, robots, big data and deep learning and analytics. But medicine is still stuck at the beginning of the third industrial revolution, which has already brought digital capabilities to billions of people worldwide. A Scripps Health cardiologist sees mobile devices as the technological enabler for the “democratization” of medicine by giving patients control of their own health data, which has historically been the exclusive domain of doctors. Continue reading
Insights from a new graduate
In the world of ultrasound, there are incredible amounts of changes in technology that cause equipment to get outdated quickly. The differences in devices are especially evident to students and graduates as they transition from the classroom to clinical practice.
Kayla Sickles, a Technical Director, Echocardiographer and Vascular Sonographer at a private outpatient office, says when older technology is used in the classroom, students don’t gain experience or have the opportunity to practice on the equipment that they will actually use in the field.
“Ultrasound is very user dependent,” explains Sickles. “If you don’t take a picture, the radiologist doesn’t see it and therefore could give a wrong diagnosis.”
To help provide a better real world experience for students like Sickles, Carestream is donating $1 million in new ultrasound systems to the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program to be installed in RIT’s new Clinical Health Sciences Center. The donation will help RIT faculty provide a richer academic experience for students through involvement with a broader variety of ultrasound systems. Continue reading
Todo lo que hacemos en Radiología Médica necesita mejorar la precisión, elevar la capacidad diagnóstica y disminuir los riesgos
Miguel Ángel de la Cámara es uno de los comunicadores españoles más activos en el área de la radiología. Con la vista siempre puesta en incrementar el conocimiento de la radiología 1 entre profesionales y pacientes, conjuga día a día su labor como técnico en radiología en el Hospital de Talarrubias (Servicio Extremeño de Salud) y su inquietud como divulgador polivalente 2. Su trabajo le ha llevado a estar entre los top influencers de salud en España 3. Everything Rad ha querido pedirle su opinión sobre el 3 3 Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Radiología celebrado en Bilbao y el futuro de la radiología.
Apasionado por las nuevas tecnologías y su aplicación a la radiología, de la Cámara destaca el entusiasmo de los nuevos residentes y el encuentro que un grupo de tuiteros celebró en el Congreso
¿Qué destacaría del Congreso de Bilbao desde la perspectiva del profesional de la radiología?
Creo que están emergiendo algunas novedades importantes como la construcción colaborativa del conocimiento. En radiología, todo está conectado y, aunque el informe radiológico es el valor principal, estamos creando valor respecto a muchos procesos que antes no eran tan visibles como son la cultura de seguridad o el postproceso complejo. Creo que se está yendo mucho más allá del informe radiológico, aunque sigue olvidándose, por ejemplo la enorme cantidad de actividad radiológica que hay en atención primaria. La radiología no está sólo en el hospital.