Four Reasons Multimedia is the Future of Radiology Reporting

Vue Reporting - Multimedia-enhanced Radiology ReportingWe have been touting the power of multimedia-enhanced radiology reporting for some time. We have shown the history of reporting in our industry, as well as showcased the important business cases multimedia reporting provides to departments via referrals from physicians.

In brief—multimedia-enhanced radiology reporting is the future. Still don’t believe us? Consider these four key points that highlight the benefits of these new-age reports:

1) Improved context related to patient history. This new format for radiology reports provides physicians and radiologists with more history related to the patient. With this history, radiologists gain a greater understanding of the patient’s health, as well as insight into patterns that may help with diagnosis.

2) The display of data is cleaner and easier to access. Images, lesion measurements, graphs, charts—they all exist to provide easier access to necessary information. Hyperlinks also exist within multimedia reports, so physicians can access an image splice via a hyperlinked description within the text of the report. In a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH), oncologists and radiologists agreed that quantitative interactive reporting would be superior to traditional text-only qualitative reporting for assessing tumor burden in cancer trials at its institution. Based on this study, NIH said that it aims to improve its reporting in concert with its new PACS capabilities that include semiautomated lesion segmentation, interactive reporting, and metadata management of lesions.

3) Promotes better communication between patients and physicians. With a format that is easier to read and understand, physicians have a resource that is much easier to explain to patients. By showing them their medical images, as well as associated measurements, physicians have better visuals and information to use to talk with their patients about their diagnoses.

4) The possibility of more referrals from physicians. A study conducted by Emory University School of Medicine found that 80% of physicians would preferentially refer patients to a facility with multimedia reporting. The study also found that 79% of physicians are more likely to recommend that their peers refer patients to a facility with multimedia reporting. This shows that not only is multimedia reporting better for the patient, but also for the radiologist’s department or clinic, as they are more likely to receive more patient referrals when using multimedia reporting.

Multimedia radiology reporting is the next logical stage in the evolution of the radiology report. As communication between physicians and patients becomes more commonplace and expected, doctors will need the appropriate tools to explain diagnoses to patients in a way that is easy to comprehend. The capabilities offered via multimedia enhanced radiology reporting can effectively serve as these tools and provide physicians with the valuable information they need.

Cristine Kao, Healthcare IT, CarestreamCristine Kao is the global marketing director for Carestream’s Healthcare Information Solutions (HCIS) business.



Diagnostic Reading #41: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoAnother week has passed us by, which means it is time for another edition of Diagnostic Reading. This week’s articles focus on MedPAC data on imaging growth, radiology reports, radiology value, community hospitals replacing EHRs, and mHealth tools.

Radiology Takes Aim at MedPAC data on Imaging Growth –

Advocates for radiology are criticizing new data from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) that show growth in medical imaging from 2000 to 2012. In fact, the data indicate that imaging utilization has been declining since 2009. Imaging advocates say MedPAC’s annual data book released in July paints an inaccurate picture of the specialty and its contribution to healthcare costs, which distracts from the real questions about healthcare waste.

Rad Reports Should Not Include ‘Cannot Exclude’ – Radiology Business

According to a recent commentary in the  Journal of the American College of Radiology, radiologists need to stop writing “cannot exclude” in their reports as the phrase is overused and adds no additional value to patient care. “Radiologists should list only pertinent differential diagnostic considerations and advise on the need for further imaging needed to confirm a diagnosis,” wrote Jenny K. Hoang, MBBS, of the department of radiology at Duke University Medical Center. “Radiologists’ skills are most valuable when they are used to make diagnoses, not exclude them.”

How to Offer Value When Nobody Seems to Want It – Radiology Business

David M. Naeger, MD, writes, “For years, radiologists on the vanguard have been telling us that we should consider relaying radiology results directly to patients.  We already do this in women’s imaging in the form of mammography patient letters, but there is much more room to continue this practice.

“The reasons to consider communicating directly with patients are many: We are the imaging experts, and, in many ways, no one is better suited to explain the findings and interpretation of an imaging examination. By directly engaging patients, we also have the potential to increase their participation in their care and help our referring colleagues in the challenging and time-intensive process of relaying test results.”

Community Hospitals Replacing EHRs – Healthcare IT News

As they grapple with meaningful use and grumble about usability, nearly 20 percent of community hospitals polled for a recent report are “actively looking to replace” their electronic health record vendors. Smaller hospitals are being tasked with more physician documentation for MU, and the extra time required, disrupted workflows and and frustrating EHR functionality means many providers’ patience is wearing thin, according to Community Hospital EHR 2015, by research group peer60, which polled 277 providers.

Research: mHealth Tools Have Not Been Fully Studied – Healthcare Informatics

While smartphone apps and wearable sensors have the potential to help people make healthier lifestyle choices, evidence of these mHealth tools being effective for or reducing risk factors for heart disease and stroke is limited, according to new research. These findings are according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published in the association’s journal Circulation. The new statement reviewed the small body of published, peer-reviewed studies about the effectiveness of mobile health technologies for managing weight, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking and controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Video: Advancements in Cardiology PACS

CARESTREAM Vue Cardio is a web-based PACS that consolidates review of echocardiography, cardiac cath, ECG, nuclear cardiology and hemodynamic results with easy comparison of priors for better patient care.

In the demo video below, you will see how this cardiology PACS acts as a single solution that streamlines enterprise access and reporting of cardiovascular data for faster diagnosis, reporting, storage, and distribution of clinical data.

Diagnostic Reading #40: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoDiagnostic Reading issue #40! How time flies. This week’s articles focus on mammography exams, big data, doctors’ opinions on EHRs, the exchange of data within hospitals, and a study about contrast-related adverse events.

1) Patient Features Have Most Impact on Mammo Reads –

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, patient features such as breast density, prior mammography, and the presence of symptoms such as a lump have more effect on the interpretive accuracy of diagnostic mammograms than radiologist characteristics. Certain radiologist characteristics do help, including affiliation with an academic institution, years of interpretation experience, and exam reading volume, researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle found.

2) Where Big Data Falls Short – Healthcare IT News

A new report from the National Quality Forum outlined the challenges to making health data and analytics more usable and available in real time for providers and consumers. Whereas big data has supported improvement in certain settings, such as reducing ventilator-acquired pneumonia, data analytics has been largely overlooked in the area of healthcare costs, even though this data can inform and assess efforts to improve the affordability and quality of care.

3) Doctors Like EHRs Even Less Than They Did Five Years Ago – Healthcare IT News

According to the results of a study published by the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians’ AmericanEHR division, physicians have grown increasingly dissatisfied with their EHR software during the last five years. The survey found that about half of all respondents reported a negative impact in response to questions about how their EHR system improved costs, efficiency or productivity.

4) ONC, AHA Present Findings on Hospital Data Exchange – Healthcare Informatics

Nearly all hospitals have the infrastructure to exchange data, yet just 25 percent of hospitals nationwide are finding, sending, receiving and using data electronically, according to a report from the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). Specifically, most hospitals have certified electronic health record (EHR) technology and are exchanging key clinical information:  75.5 percent of hospitals said they had a basic electronic health record system, up from 59.4 percent in 2013; and nearly 97 percent of hospitals with basic EHR systems said they had certified EHR technology, up from 94 percent in 2013.

5) Study of Contrast-Related Adverse Events Leaves Some Questions Lingering – Radiology Business Journal

Research in  Annals of Emergency Medicine showed that patients who develop an acute kidney injury after contrast-enhanced CT are at an increased risk of major adverse effects within a year. The findings could be substantial, but Richelle J. Cooper, MD, of the UCLA Emergency Medicine Center argues that there are still too many questions to be sure.

Diagnostic Reading #38: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoIt’s time for a new edition of Diagnostic Reading. This week’s articles focuses on unnecessary CT scans to evaluate TBIs, the benefits of digital breast tomosynthesis, encrypted data in the EHR, ICD-10, and patient management duties of Radiologist Assistants.

1) Sports-related Head Injuries Spur Avalanche of CT Scans – AuntMinnie

According to a new report in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, emergency department admissions for sports-related head injuries have skyrocketed in recent years — and so have unnecessary CT scans to evaluate them. More than half received CT scans, but only 4% were serious enough to count as a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

2) DBT Boosts Mammo’s Specificity, Lowers Recall Rate – AuntMinnie

According to a new study published in Radiology, adding digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) to conventional mammography boosted the specificity of breast screening and cut the recall of women with benign lesions by more than half. Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. found that adding DBT to mammography improved specificity by about 20% across subgroups of patients with different types of breast density, dominant radiologic features, and age.

3) Is it Time to Encrypt Data Even Inside the EHR? Maybe So – Healthcare Informatics

In an opening keynote address, Mac McMillan, CEO of CynergisTek, laid out in the clearest possible terms for his audience of IT executives the growing cybersecurity dangers threatening patient care organizations. Among the key areas of concern he had discussed were “increased reliance”; “insider abuse”; “questionable supply chains”; “device-facilitated threats”; “malware”; “mobility”: “identity theft and fraud”; “theft and losses”; “hacking and cyber-criminality”; “challenges emerging out of intensified compliance demands”; and a shortage of chief information security officers, or CISOs.

4) Brace for Impact: ICD-10 Will Keep Radiologists Busy – Radiology Business Journal

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, radiologists should expect a 6-fold increase in the number of codes they use, as they convert from ICD-9 codes to ICD-10. The transition from more than 14,000 codes to almost 70,000 will have an “enormous technological, operational and financial impact,” according to study’s authors.

5) Study: RAs Oversee Substantial Patient Management Duties – Axis Imaging News

Findings from the Radiologist Assistant Practice Survey 2015, conducted by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, indicated that weekly responsibilities include reviewing patients’ medical records, verifying the appropriateness of exams, and advocating for patient radiation safety and protection.

What is ISO 27001 Certification and Why is it Important?

Carestream Vue CloudCarestream recently received ISO 27001 Certification in Europe. We are happy to share that this is an important accomplishment for our Healthcare Information Solutions team, as it is a vital benefit to the customers we serve.

Even if ISO Certification is something you may not hear about often in the IT space, it plays a crucial role in assuring cloud customers that their data are safe, secure, and accessible. In the following paragraphs, I will explain what ISO 27001 certification is, why it is important for cloud vendors to obtain it, and most importantly, what it means for customers to work with ISO certified vendors:

What are the benefits of ISO 27001 certification?

  • Security risks are appropriately prioritized and cost effectively managed
  • It increases confidence in our Organization as it shows we care for our customer business, and we are committed to protect patient data they entrust to us
  • It demonstrates commitment to Information Security Management to third parties and stakeholders and will give them greater confidence to interact with us
  • It provides a framework to ensure fulfillment of our commercial, contractual and legal responsibilities

What are the important business value considerations facilities should be aware of?

  • This is our commitment to information security management for interested parties verified by BSI, a founding member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
  • It protects our business against information security threats and vulnerabilities
  • ISO 27001 is becoming a customer requirement in many European countries
  • It therefore provides added value to the enterprise and its interested parties

What actions were needed for Carestream to obtain ISO certification?

We had to enhance our ISMS (Information Security Management System), which is a set of procedures, working instructions, dashboards files, reports, and documents that all together define our way to manage information security for the Vue Cloud business in Europe. The ISMS preserves the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information by applying a risk management process and gives confidence to interested parties that risks are adequately managed.

Why is Carestream given a certificate?

This is the assurance/confidence that the ISMS (Information Security Management System) is:

  • Compliant with ISO 27001 requirements
  • Capable to achieve the security policy and objectives declared by enterprise, according to its Information Security Policy and the associated Statement of Applicability.
  • Efficient, and designed as continuous improvement
  • Delivered by BSI, an independent body based on his audit of the ISMS

Who was involved in these actions?

All HCIS functions were involved in the Vue Cloud business for the selected countries, and more specifically European HCIS managers, cloud operation managers, local HCIS service teams and, the EAMER Vue Cloud Security Officer.

What exactly does certification cover?

It covers our ability to manage information security in our Vue Cloud business, according to our Vue Cloud Information Security Policy document.

This document states the commitment of the top management to the strategic importance of the information security management system (ISMS) and lists the main security objectives for HCIS.

What areas does it cover?

It covers the management of information security for the countries in which Carestream has Vue Cloud business,

Note that it is much more than just technical activities; it also concerns all service activities (implementation and support) as well as support functions, like HR, regulatory, purchasing, and IT infrastructure. It also lists who are the internal and external interested parties.

How will it improve Vue Cloud?

It improves our information technology and security techniques, by implementing recommendations of ISO 27002, Code of Practice for Information Security Controls.

What are the benefits to Carestream?

Implementing the security controls defined as good practice in the ISO 27001 and ISO 27002 standards, allows to better detecting weaknesses or vulnerabilities and fix them. It also helps to answer many security questions asked by customers.

What are the benefits to customers?

It proves to our customers that our ISMS has been controlled by an external auditor (here BSI), making them confident in our ability to manage the service and to handle patient data in a secured way. We are then already prepared when this certification becomes a prerequisite for some tenders.

Jean-Jacques GrondinJean-Jacques (JJ) Grondin is Carestream’s Vue Cloud Security Officer for Europe


Diagnostic Reading #37: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoTime for another edition of Diagnostic Reading. This week’s articles focus on enterprise archiving, mobile access to patient data, radiation’s effect on breast cancer, radiation reduction, and clinical decision support.

1) Archiving and the Enterprise – Radiology Today

Traditionally, data backup and disaster recovery were part of an imaging department’s PACS. As a result, business continuity and disaster recovery tended to be compatible exclusively with that PACS. Fast-forward to 2015 and the need to share and access data across departments has grown exponentially. Today, many imaging departments, especially larger ones, are finding that their PACS-based disaster recovery solutions are no longer sufficient.

2) Survey: Docs Going Mobile to Access Patient Data – Healthcare Informatics

More than half of ambulatory practice physicians currently access patient records and/or reference data from a mobile device, according to a new survey from Black Book Market Research. The survey also revealed that 70 percent of all clinicians indicated they aim to use mobile EHR devices and software by the end of 2015.

3) Additional Radiation Reduces Breast Cancer Recurrence for Some Patients – Imaging Technology News (ITN)

A study has found no increase in overall survival but a reduction in breast cancer recurrence when the lymph nodes receive additional radiation beyond the standard treatment of whole-breast irradiation after breast-conserving surgery. The research, which examined the addition of regional nodal irradiation to whole-breast irradiation compared with whole-breast irradiation alone, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

4) AHRA: Reducing Radiation Is Simple But Not Easy – AuntMinnie

“Radiation management is becoming more complex,” presenter Robert Pizzutiello of Landauer Medical Physics told AHRA attendees. “Advanced imaging and treatment choices, healthcare consolidation, and tougher regulations and standards are raising the bar for radiation safety. But it is possible to manage dose successfully, especially through a team approach.”

5) AHRA: Is Clinical Decision Support a Blessing or Curse? – AuntMinnie

Imaging has been under scrutiny, with policymakers touting techniques such as prior authorization and clinical decision support (CDS) as ways to reduce inappropriate exams. But how effective are these techniques, particularly CDS? It’s not yet clear, according to a presentation given this week at the AHRA annual meeting in Las Vegas.

Diagnostic Reading #36: Five Must-Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream LogoTime for a new issue of Diagnostic Reading. This week, we will be focusing on mammography radiation dose, the appropriateness of ordering certain imaging exams, the U.S. House of Representatives passing the 21st Century Cures Act, pain points of big data, and a clinical decision support learning network.

1) AAPM: Mammo Radiation Dose 30% Lower Than Thought – AuntMinnie

Women receive about 30% less radiation during screening mammography than has long been assumed, which suggests that the “harm” of radiation dose in mammography also has been overestimated, according to research presented on July 15 at the 2015 American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) meeting in Anaheim, CA.

2) JACR: Radiologists Order CT, MR Exams Appropriately – AuntMinnie

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, radiologists are making good use of all available prior imaging before recommending additional exams, and they aren’t ordering many unnecessary exams. These findings relate to CT and MR exams.

3) House Passes 21st Century Cures Act to Improve U.S. Medical Innovation – Imaging Technology News

The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the 21st Century Cures Act, designed to improve the U.S. healthcare innovation infrastructure. The bill calls for providing resources to researchers working on next-generation medical devices and therapies. The legislation is aimed at addressing concerns that U.S. healthcare innovation is lagging behind the rest of the world due to large amounts of time-consuming and expensive regulatory oversight requirements that some feel are stifling innovation and the ability of startup companies to bring new products to market.

4) 7 Pain Points of Big Data – Healthcare IT News

A new report by the BPI Network, “Accelerate How You Innovate: Data Center Evolution in the Era of the Cloud,” examines how organizations are adapting to a new model of business-responsive data centers and networks. Based on this, healthcare IT directors are looking a seven pain points that will need to be addressed as they evolve.

5) Feds Look to Fund Clinical Decision Support ‘Learning Network’ – Health Imaging

The PCOR CDS Learning Network will have three primary objectives: 1) “Engage clinicians, patients, professional associations, health IT developers and other stakeholders who can help promote the incorporation of PCOR findings into clinical practice through CDS; 2) “Identify barriers and facilitators to the use of CDS as a means to disseminate and to implement PCOR findings in clinical practice; and 3) “Provide consensus-based recommendations to the field of CDS developers, CDS implementers, and other stakeholders about CDS design and implementation best practices.”

Diagnostic Reading #35: Five Must-Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream LogoA new week and a new issue of Diagnostic Reading. This week the articles focus on the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), another controversial study about breast screening, using SPECT to identify traumatic brain injuries, a new American College of Radiology commission on patient experience, and the U.S. Congress’s telehealth push.

1) Radiology Averts Cuts in Proposed 2016 MPFS – AuntMinnie

Radiology received no payment increases or decreases in the 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) released on July 8 by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Other subspecialties will see payments increase, but some will see decreases. As of January 1, radiation oncology and radiation therapy payments will be slashed by 3% and 9%, respectively.

2) New Study Again Questions Screening Mammography – AuntMinnie

A new research study published online July 6 in JAMA Internal Medicine is again questioning the effectiveness of widespread breast screening. Mammography screening of the general U.S. population mostly just produces overdiagnosis, with no measurable effect on mortality. Welch and colleagues found that rising rates of screening produced more breast cancer diagnoses, particularly of smaller cancers, but death rates from breast cancer remained the same. The findings indicate that widespread breast screening is ineffective and should be replaced by a program in which screening is more directed to individuals who are at high risk of breast cancer, according to the authors (JAMA IM, July 6, 2015).

3) Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Now Be Identified With SPECT – Imaging Technology News (ITN)

After comparing more than 20,000 brain scans, researchers have identified differences between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) despite both conditions sharing common symptoms. researchers used single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to obtain biological differences between TBI and PTSD in the brain. This neuroimaging method and landmark study “demystify” these two conditions that both may appear with symptoms like anxiety, depression, mood dysregulation, irritability and other cognitive breakdowns

4) New ACR Commission on Patient Experience to Advance Patient Centered Radiology – American College of Radiology

The new commission will develop recommendations on how radiology practices can enhance the experiences of patients and their families; provide information regarding how best to measure radiology patient outcomes; work with other ACR commissions to develop tools, metrics and policy that help members meet Merit-based Incentives Payment System and alternative payment model requirements; and, work closely with the RSNA Radiology Cares Campaign.

5) Congress Makes a Big Telehealth Push – Healthcare IT News

A bill was introduced in Congress that, if passed, would mean important advancements for telehealth in the U.S. The bill would add physical therapists, speech language pathologists, audiologists and others to the list of providers eligible to administer telehealth services, as well as include the patient’s home as an allowable care site for specific hospice and home health services.

Diagnostic Reading #34: Five Must-Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream LogoTomorrow is a holiday in the U.S., so this week’s issue of Diagnostic Reading will be taking place a day early. This focus of this week’s articles include data interoperability, how dense breast tissue affects mammograms, CT radiation dose levels, cybersecurity, and new findings by the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound.

1) Q&A: A New Diagnosis for Radiologists – Diagnostic Imaging

An article published in Radiology by the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound recommending that elastography techniques can be used to distinguish patients with no or minimal liver fibrosis and differentiate them from patients with severe fibrosis or cirrhosis. There were two significant outcomes from this recommendation: patients no longer need invasive liver biopsies to diagnose liver fibrosis, and radiologists will play a huge role in diagnosing diffuse liver disease, a part they did not play before.

2) How Breast Density Can Affect Cancer Screenings – Imaging Technology News (ITN)

Susann Schetter, DO, co-medical director of Penn State Hershey Breast Center recently published comments in an edition of The Medical Minute, a weekly health news feature produced by Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, on how when it comes to breast cancer screening, the fibroglandular density of breasts affects how well a mammogram can detect cancerous tissues.

3) Cybersecurity is an Increased Business Priority for Healthcare Leaders, Survey Finds – Healthcare Informatics

“The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) surveyed nearly 300 healthcare leaders across the industry on the issue of securing patient data. Nearly every single one, 87 percent in all, said cybersecurity was increased business priority over the past year due to the increasing threats to PHI. Two-thirds of the respondents said their organization had experienced a significant security incident.”

4) CT Radiation Dose Levels in Clinical Trial Surprise Researchers – AuntMinnie

“A group of researchers studying the use of CT for kidney stones were surprised by the radiation dose levels they discovered in their multicenter clinical study. Not only were many doses too high, they also varied widely between centers, concludes a research letter published June 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.”

5) Innovation Pulse: A Better Road to Data Interoperability? – Healthcare IT News

Tom Sullivan, executive editor, HIMSS Media, takes a look at how enabling one doctor to use one EHR to access patient information residing in a different hospital’s EHR from a different vendor may not be best way to give doctors the data they need. He looks at the ability to overlay technologies, one on top of the other, as it might bring us close enough to interoperability.