Diagnostic Reading #12: Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream logoIt was a busy week in the fields of radiology and healthcare IT, here are some articles that you may have missed. This week’s readings include an update from President Obama’s State of the Union address, using cost, quality, and service to improve value in radiology, an outlook on 2015 from an industry journal, news about EHR systems, and the need to improve mobile apps in healthcare.

1) Obama Touts Cybersecurity, Personalized Medicine Efforts in State of the Union Address

President Obama addressed health IT topics during his State of the Union address this week. He stressed the importance of cyber security, citing pieces of legislation that calls for increased sharing of information on cyber threats. The president also talked about precision medicine, which is an innovative way to treat each patient individually.

2) Rethinking Our Value Chain

This article talks about the relationship between cost, quality, and service. It claims that if a value chain is optimized properly, these three components should complement each other. In an industry that is trying to establish the definition of value, it is important to optimize the value chain. By applying innovation and creativity, radiologists can improve these three areas.

3) 5 Things to Watch in 2015: Our Annual Look at the Coming Year

In its first issue of the year, Radiology Today takes a look at five topics in the radiology industry that will be popular in 2015. This article addresses issues such as value in imaging, breast density notification, and lung cancer screening.  It is noted that collaboration between physicians and radiologists could improve imaging appropriateness. Finally, the article questions whether or not ICD-10 will be implemented in 2015.

4) EHR Decertification Strategy Will Require a Careful Balancing Act

EHR systems face decertification if they do not meet the most recent Meaningful Use standards. The author discusses the potential consequences that come with decertifying systems that have been gaining momentum, including the slowing down the progress towards interoperability. Finally, the author addresses the balance of political interests and progress in the health IT industry.

5) Hospital IT Departments Making Inadequate Mobile Investments, Doctors Say

A study indicated that inefficient communication in hospitals drives up costs each year. While most physicians use tablets or cell phones, only 33 percent believe that they can access medical records from their mobile devices. More secure networks are needed so that doctors can communicate and view medical information from these mobile devices.

Diagnostic Reading #11: Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

Carestream logoThis week we take a look at topics such as whether there are too many practicing radiologists in the field, how radiologists can stay healthy on the job, how facilities are making the move to be data-driven organizations, and Meaningful Use Stage 2 adoption updates.

1) A Physician Shortage, But Too Many Radiologists

The medical job market is in an interesting place. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), there is a nation-wide physician shortage. However, there is a surplus of practicing radiologists. This article analyzed the reasons for these trends, as well as the possibility of a trend reversal in the near future.

2) Avoiding Occupational Hazards: Tips for Radiologists to Stay Healthy

The radiology field comes with some occupational hazards that are not related to the exposure of radiation. As a radiologist, the sedentary lifestyle of sitting and looking a screen, paired with high levels of stress, can have a costly affect on health. Here are some unconventional, yet helpful tips on how to stay healthy while living the high-stress lifestyle of a radiologist.

3) Making the Transition to a Data-Driven Organization

Sue Schade, CIO of the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers provides insight on key elements in effectively using data in an organization. Schade talks about the different priorities between academic medical centers and community hospitals when it comes to the adoption of technology. Schade emphasizes the importance of having a strong informatics team for support during the transition.

4)Radiology: Choose Between Change or Trouble

This article reflects on the current healthcare system. The current system sees radiology as a sort of outsider. The author talks about the importance of radiologists to define quality in imaging to the rest of the healthcare world. With the definition of quality imaging, radiologist can return more consistent results and better fit the current healthcare model.

5) Meaningful Use Stage 2-Eligible Hospital Attestation Rate: 77 Percent

Meaningful Use Stage 2 is being reported at a high rate, according to figures presented at the January 13, HIT Policy Committee meeting. This article addresses some of the concerns about cooperation with Meaningful Use Stage 2, and why attestation has not been affected in the way that some thought it would.


The Future of the VNA: From Centralised Storage to an Information Exchange

VNA storing and sharing information

Many hospital organisations, particularly in Europe, are implementing VNAs to store non-DICOM content as well using the Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing (XDS) standard; the XDS standard also provides greater flexibility for storing and managing clinical content.

Hospital organisations throughout the world are increasingly turning to vendor neutral archives (VNAs) to manage and exchange medical images.  However, the growth of VNAs has generally depended on the incentives hospital organisations have had to collaborate.

In the US, hospital organisations have been reluctant to promote sharing medical images across organisational boundaries for a number of reasons, including cost, incentives, technology and competition.  Therefore, VNAs have largely been used to store medical images (particularly radiology or cardiology images using the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine [DICOM] standard) within a single hospital organisation.

Health care organisations in other regions, such as Europe and Australia, have had a longer history of sharing data and more incentives to collaborate.  Many organisations in these regions see VNAs as enablers for exchanging information.  In New South Wales, Australia, for example, more than 200 public hospitals and health centres exchange radiology images through a centralised VNA.  The state government invested heavily in e-health and implemented the VNA to improve access to care, particularly for patients in rural parts of the state who may otherwise need to travel several hundred miles to see a specialist in Sydney.

The VNA enables clinicians to share medical information regardless of the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) they use to manage radiology images.  Many hospital organisations, particularly in Europe, are implementing VNAs to store non-DICOM content as well using the Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing (XDS) standard; the XDS standard also provides greater flexibility for storing and managing clinical content.

Passage of the Affordable Care Act and the creation of accountable care organisations (ACOs) are changing incentives in the United States.   As more ACOs emerge in the US, a greater need will exist to exchange information between providers.  This will generate more demand for VNAs in the US.

With all of these changes occurring in different markets around the world, we’re seeing that the future of VNAs is taking shape in the following ways:

1)      Wider scope of content storage. VNAs will go beyond the traditional realms of storing radiology and cardiology DICOM images to become a hub for a wide range of content including non-DICOM images and scanned documents.  This content will be accessible even if stored in a remote location, thanks to the increasing use of the Cross-Enterprise Data Storage (XDS) standard.

2)      Changing roles and expectations for PACS.  The growth of the VNA and related technologies will challenge the traditional role of a PACS as a combined storage, viewing and workflow tool for medical images.  New tools will emerge to take on these functions.  Under this model, VNAs will play a major role in storing and managing access to content within and outside of hospital walls.  Universal viewers will provide a single solution for viewing and analysing medical images.  PACS will continue to play a strong role in workflow functionality, such as pre-fetching of radiology and cardiology images, and in image management, such as through a radiology information system (RIS).

3)      Greater linkage between VNA and electronic medical records (EMRs).    As this develops, clinicians will have quicker access to medical images and other clinical content within their EMR.  EMR vendors have taken note of the wider scope of content stored and managed by VNAs, and have begun to work with VNA vendors to achieve this goal.

Tony Perry The Advisory Board CompanyTony Perry is a Senior Research Analyst, Research and Insights, for The Advisory Board Company.



Multimedia Enhanced Radiology Report Improves Referring Behavior and Patient Communication

Cristine Kao, Healthcare IT, Carestream

Cristine Kao, Global Marketing Manager, Healthcare Information Solutions, Carestream

Understanding the value of Radiology Report for referring community and patients is an important topic for Carestream. At RSNA 2014, we partnered with Gelareh Sadigh MD, of Emory University School of Medicine, and Richard Duszak, Jr. MD, the vice chair of Health Policy and Practice in the Department of Radiology at Emory University , and the chief medical officer at the Harvey Neiman Health Policy Institute, to demonstrate the value of using Multimedia-Enhanced Radiology Reporting (MERR),  and were pleased with the study results.

The poster that Dr. Sadigh presented at RSNA 2014 is embedded below with highlights of the findings, as well as details behind the study processes. Some examples of key findings include:

  • 80% believed MERR would represent an improvement over current format of radiology reports
  • 67% believed using MERR, they would be more likely to review report text and images with patients
  • 65% believed using MERR, they would be more likely to provide patients access to report text and images

Most surprising, was the significant increase in perceived value as 80% indicated an increased likelihood of preferentially referring patients to facilities that offer MERR, and 79% indicated an increased likelihood of recommending peers use facilities offering MERR.

Along with these benefits came some concerns from participants, who said that MERR could be time intensive, and that it may not fit within clinical workflow. Those concerns, along with quotes, can be found on slide 17 of the presentation.

While concerns were to be expected, it is clear to us that the benefits outweigh them—allowing reports to provide more context around patients’ histories, and also improving the referral rates for facilities.

The complete study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of American College of Radiology.

Diagnostic Reading #10: Five Must-Read Articles from the Past Week

VNA storing and sharing information

Technologies such as a VNA can provide telemedicine advantages by bringing data together under a single location.

Being the end of the work week, it is time to share a few articles from the medical imaging industry that you may have missed. Last week, we took a look at what 2015 might hold for healthcare, as well as articles about breast density and health information exchanges. This week’s readings cover more possible trends for 2015, industry news, health IT, and patient engagement. These articles include insight on the Congressional agenda for 2015, educating patients and physicians about breast density, how to use mobile health apps and telemedicine to ensure better patient care, and a Forbes article that addresses some potential monetary trends for healthcare in 2015.

1) Patient Engagement Isn’t Easy When mHealth Apps are Subpar

Patient engagement remains a major topic in 2015. This article discusses the need for mobile platforms that patients view as helpful. Healthcare providers should use reliable portals from recognized healthcare software developers. In order to best engage customers, the author says that healthcare professionals need to understand what patients want from the mobile experience and promote interaction between patients and healthcare providers though patient portals.

2) Five Health IT Pieces of Congress Agenda for 2015

With the changes that the U.S. elections brought to Congress in 2014, we may see some actions taken in healthcare legislation. This article addresses the policy changes that might be fought for in 2015. Topics include FDA corrections, telemedicine, EHR and data interoperability, meaningful use, and privacy and data policies.

3) Half of California Primary Care Doctors Unaware of Breast Density [Notification] Law

Though radiologists are required to inform women of dense breast tissue during mammograms, many primary care physicians are not familiar with the law. The law was put into place in 2013 so that radiologists would encourage women to begin conversations with their doctor. This article attributes the lack of knowledge to several factors, including patients that do not know the significance when they are informed that they have dense breast tissue.

4) Physicians Take on Telemedicine to Bolster Care Delivery

This article discusses the impact of telemedicine on the healthcare industry. The AMA details important aspects of telemedicine that will ensure better patient care. These elements include enabling appropriate payment, reporting and coverage as well as other topics surrounding telemedicine and patient care.

5) Five Healthcare Megatrends that May Prove Costly in 2015

Forbes details trends from 2014 that could potentially have an adverse affect on the financial side of the healthcare industry this year. These trends relate to the expanded coverage of health insurance, the cost of technology and the impact that big data will have on the industry this year.



Webinar: Full Presentation of “The Future on Displays”

We announced this webinar back in November 2014, but are now pleased to provide “The Future on Displays” in its entirety.

Ing. Juergen Heckel is EIZO’s worldwide VP of Medical Business Sales and Marketing. He has over 13 years in the medical industry and has worked with a large network of key hospital decision- makers and radiologists.

In the webinar, Heckel covers the need for medical monitors versus conventional monitors, the vital screen elements that have an impact on image quality, and quality control standards to follow.

The webinar was originally presented to the Carestream VIBE (Very Important Board of End-Users) User Group, which is a community strictly available only to Carestream’s healthcare information solutions (HCIS) customers. If you are a Carestream HCIS customer and are interested in joining the community, you can sign up via the VIBE User Group’s website.

Diagnostic Reading #9: Five Must-Read Articles from the Past Week

Happy New YearIt is a new year, which means that it is time to hit the ground running. Last week, the articles covered 2014 summaries, as well as expectations for 2015, and that has seeped over into this week’s edition of Diagnostic Reading. This week’s articles cover topics such as the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) expectation for Imaging 3.0 moving forward, mixed messages related to breast density as a risk factor, speculation on whether 2015 will be the year of telemedicine, HIE lessons from six states, as well as a list of the top hospitals in the U.S.

1) Will 2015 Deliver the Promise of Telemedicine? VentureBeat highlights three occurrences that must take place if telemedicine is to be effective in 2015. These include: combining virtual diagnosis and on-the-spot treatment, the best connected devices are used, and post-treatment care and compliance are provided.

2) ACR Leaders Focus on Moving Radiology Forward: Bibb Allen Jr., MD, chair of the ACR board of directors, notes that today’s model of radiology isn’t sustainable and contributes to commoditization. The article goes on to highlight the Imaging 3.0 initiative and the benefits it will bring to the radiology area if embraced by the professionals.

3) Mixed Messages About Breast Density as Risk Factor: It was presented at RSNA 2014 that “radiologists have learned…Dense breast tissue doesn’t necessarily raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer – instead, it more directly affects the sensitivity of the test she receives.” Those with dense breast tissue are more at risk not because the dense tissue causes cancer but because it makes it more difficult to detect.

4) Health Information Exchange Lessons from Six States: The presents four findings from looking at the HIE’s in six states– Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. Such findings include the important of context to making a HIE work, the need for setting tangible goals, the importance of collaboration, and the importance of pulling policy and regulatory “levers.”

5) Leapfrog Names the Top Hospitals of 2014: Leapfrog evaluated hospitals on patient safety, quality, efficiency and management structures that reduce medical errors. While there are 1,000 fewer rural hospitals in the U.S. compared to urban hospitals, rural hospitals accounted for nearly 28% of Leapfrog’s list.

How a VNA Unifies Clinical Data Throughout an Enterprise

VNA storing and sharing information

The archive preserves information in a vendor-neutral format, and is available across the enterprise for access.

Mater Health Services in Queensland, Australia, is well known for incorporating technology into its business, which consists of hospitals, health centers, a medical research institute, and a pathology and pharmacy business. It is a Catholic not-for-profit ministry with more than 7,500 staff and volunteers.

Mater first installed Carestream’s Vue PACS, and the organization then got to work implementing a VNA once the PACS  deployment was complete.

The biggest issue for Mater was around electronic images. The organization needed a technology that could encompass all of the imaging modalities. Once installed, Mater realized that more than 60% of the data stored in the VNA was not radiology-specific. As stated by Steven Parrish, CIO and Executive Director, Information and Infrastructure, at Mater Health Services:

“Any image at Mater should be within the CARESTREAM Vue PACS and VNA systems, because that is the single point for clinicians to access and view anything that is image-related to a patient.”

The VNA consolidates disparate imaging systems into one repository using the latest interoperability standards. Combined with CARESTREAM Vue Motion (a universal image viewer), the Vue Archive VNA provides secure, real-time imaging, accessible at an enterprise level and beyond.

Simply put, what was once a siloed process for storing and accessing images has now been broken down and unified with the help of a VNA, meaning that all of the images, photos, and videos are stored and viewable via a centralized location.

For the complete story of Mater Health Services’ deployment of its VNA, you can read the embedded testimonial below, or access it via SlideShare.

Diagnostic Reading #8: Five Must-Read Articles from the Past Week

Happy New YearAs we near the end of 2014, it is a popular time of year to take a look back at the stories and news that had the biggest impact on us throughout the year, as well as look ahead to the trends and issues that will affect us the most in 2015. In this week’s summary, we look at some of the biggest healthcare IT stories of 2014, two studies that look at mobile device use and who orders the most imaging, the top IT technology trends for 2015, as well as the 2015 changes in radiology billing and coding.

1) Top 10 Healthcare IT News Stories of 2014: The list of articles includes such big healthcare IT news such as the delay of ICD-10, big HIPAA breaches, and EHR news related to the future of the business, as well as a few court cases that made news throughout the year.

2) Gartners Top 10 Tech Trends Through 2015. The trends address such popular topics as mobile devices, data centers, and big data, and expand on how these areas are going to be changing in 2015.

3) Who Orders the Most Imaging?: The Advisory Board Group addresses a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine by the ACR’s Neiman Health Policy Institute that says that advanced practitioners ordered the most imaging at 2.8% compared to physicians at 1.9%.

4) Radiology Billing and Coding: 2015 Coding Changes: The Radiology Today article states that “as of this writing, the complete authoritative guidance and reimbursement information has not yet been released for the new 2015 procedure codes, but we do have the codes, which provide a good idea of potential questions and concerns.”

5) ASRT: Smart Device Use Leads to Burnout: A study by by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT), found that being connected to the workplace through smart devices leads to job burnout. The survey found that about 61% of respondents were connected to their workplace every hour of every day, with about 19% saying that they never ignored workplace communications they received on their smart devices during non-work hours.

Diagnostic Reading #7: 10 Most Popular Blog Posts from the Second Half of 2014

CARESTREAM Touch Ultrasound System - 1Carestream has worked hard to provide content of value throughout 2014. We have used our blog to deliver information about Carestream technology, address major industry trends, and inform readers about the medical imaging and IT fields. In this edition of Diagnostic Reading, we look at our most read blog posts since July. The topics include, the recent unveiling of our newest technology, industry infographics, image quality, digital 3D mammography, and dose reduction.


Carestream unveiled its newest technology in Chicago at RSNA 2014. The CARESTREAM Touch Ultrasound System officially moved the company into the ultrasound market. This post contains information about the new technology, including images that explain its features and capabilities.


This infographic follows radiology reporting throughout history. It covers traditional hand written reports, transcribed reports, and voice recognition. Pros and cons of these types of report are listed. Ultimately, the evolution brings us to multimedia reporting and highlights its benefits.


Since being FDA approved earlier this year, radiologists are 58% more confident in their ability to read chest x-rays with bone suppression software. Since the software produces 2-D images rather than 3-D images, it also reduces the typical dose for patients receiving chest x-rays.


This Q & A with Marty Pesce asks questions about his experiences as an applications engineer for Carestream. The interview discusses the nature of a job as a radiologic technologist. Pesce also had the opportunity to answer questions about his personal experiences in the radiology field.


El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California, has taken measures to dramatically track and decrease patient dose. The hospital attributes this success to their transition from CR to DR technology. It claims that better imaging software leads to less repeated imaging.


This post emphasizes the importance of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT), or 3-D mammography for women with dense breast tissue. Numerous studies are noted by the author, including a JAMA study that found that by using DBT, there was a 41% increase in the detection of possibly lethal cancers.


With hospital mergers becoming prevalent, this post suggests that interoperability will continue to be a challenge. The adoption of software such as CARESTREAM Vue Connect could ease the transition. Combining data allows for both institutions to access their own information, as well as having access to new patient information.


Seventy-eight percent of office based physicians use some sort of electronic health record system (EHR). This post addresses the possibility of  radiologists and physicians working together using RIS and PACS to document patient records. There are inevitable challenges, but ideally this could mean “one patient, one record.”


In a time when Americans find it difficult to afford medical bills, radiologists must be conscientious about cost. Inappropriate imaging exams and lack of quality drive up costs, this post discusses how imaging appropriateness and effective reading of images can reduce costs in the field of radiology. Additionally, the post addresses other ways that health IT can help lower imaging costs.


Innovative Radiology adopted CARESTREAM Vue Motion. Since the implementation, efficiency has been higher. Additionally, Vue Motion connected Innovative Radiology with more than 40 sites in early 2014.