Healthcare Cloud Solutions: Evaluating 4 Key Components of Data Security

A technical brief for assessing cloud solution providers

Michael Romansky, Carestream Health

The use of healthcare cloud solutions is on the rise. Research firm MarketsandMarkets predicts that healthcare spending on cloud services will reach $9.48 billion by 2020, a big leap from $3.73 billion in 2015.

Several drivers are fueling the surge including addressing medical staffing shortages. Other drivers are cost efficiency, patient facing tools, access to information, telemedicine, and necessary computing power for big data analysis, according to CloudTech. Also, new modalities for diagnostic imaging bring with them increased storage requirements, making the cloud an essential part of an enterprise imaging strategy, according to Winthrop-University Hospital in NY.image of lock on a cloud Continue reading

White Paper: What to Look for in an Enterprise Image Viewer

Enterprise image viewers aren’t all equal; get the guide

Joe Thornton, Carestream Health

An enterprise image viewer is your organization’s connection among stakeholders, linking radiologists with referring physicians, patients with doctors, and clinicians at home with specialists across the country.

It’s understood that the most crucial aspect of every radiology diagnostic report is the image. Yet referring physicians and other clinicians typically see only words—the written reports and conclusions dictated by looking at images on tablet

An enterprise image viewer – also known as an universal image viewer – bridges the gap, displaying images of many types—not just DICOM—and other clinical data such as JPEG photos, videos, ECGs, and scanned PDF clinical documents.  A new white paper, “Enterprise Access Viewer”, explores and explains the requirements for an effective universal image viewer.

Enterprise image viewer – easy access helps minimize cost and dose Continue reading

Columbus Regional Health Gets Creative When 3 RAD Rooms are Eliminated

Reliability, redundancy and mobility help provider keep pace with imaging needs

An interview with Bill Algee, Columbus Regional Health

Many radiology departments are feeling the pressure of “doing more with less”. For Columbus Regional Health in Indiana, the pressure was literal: the medical provider had to eliminate three RAD rooms yet maintain the same Bill-Algee-Columbus-Regional-Healththroughput. The hospital is meeting the challenge by transitioning to DR and adding mobility to the modality mix.

The provider started by converting its CR mobile X-ray equipment to DR with Carestream’s mobile retrofit kit. That retrofit was followed by the purchase of a Carestream mobile DRX-Revolution.

“Mobility is essential to bringing imaging to where we need it,” said Bill Algee, Radiology Manager at Columbus Regional Health. “Our staff drove it around for a little bit and fell in love with the product.”

Next, the hospital outfitted its imaging room in the emergency department with a DRX-Evolution Plus. The product’s high level of reliability is critical to meeting the needs of the busy ED, which was relocated a considerable distance away from the imaging department.

“It absolutely has to be reliable because it’s the only imaging solution in that area of the hospital,” said Algee. “The reliability factor was really important to us.”

Also, the product’s extended tube column and wall stand provide make it flexible enough to meet the varying imaging needs of patients coming in to the ED.

The hospital has an added level of support from Carestream’s DR Detectors. The wireless DR detector can be used with imaging systems throughout the facility.

“Having uniform detectors gives us an added layer of redundancy. If a cassette goes down in emergency, we can replace it with one from diagnostics,” explained Algee. “And the software is always the same no matter what room we go in to. The technologist doesn’t have to take the time to figure out what to do in different rooms.”

The combination of retrofitting existing equipment and purchasing new products helped Columbus Regional Health transition from CR to DR to meet the U.S. Consolidated Appropriations Act at their own pace.

“We kind of took it in baby steps and that worked well for us. Our staff didn’t feel overwhelmed,” said Algee. “Carestream was the right partner to help us through it; they had the right methodology.”

Watch the video interview with Bill Algee to learn more about Columbus Regional Health’s transition to DR. #radiology #AHRA2016

Erica Carnevale


Erica Carnevale is a marketing manager at Carestream Health in the United States and Canada Region.

CIO eBook: A Healthcare IT Journey in 8 Chapters

CIO eBook chronicles healthIT migration from paper to electronic record keeping

Julia Weidman, Carestream Health

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). image of Carestream CIOebook

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

Diagnostic Reading #5: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

This week’s articles focus on: automated email messaging to engage patients in their own care; five healthcare trends to watch in 2016; why the IT transformation is creating a growing need for CIOs; adding an annual pledge for healthcare facilities that participate in the Image Wisely program; and the move to spend more healthcare IT dollars on analytics, patient engagement, customer relationship management and cybersecurity.

A healthcare startup made a wild pitch to Cara Waller, CEO of the Newport Orthopedic Institute in Newport Beach. The company said it could get patients more engaged by “automating” physician empathy and told Waller Diagnostic Reading, Patient Engagementits messaging technology would improve their satisfaction and help keep them out of the hospital. High satisfaction scores and low readmission rates mean higher reimbursements from Medicare, so Waller was intrigued. So far, she’s been surprised at patients’ enthusiasm for the personalized—but automated—daily emails they receive from their doctor. Continue reading

How to make emotional connections with patients through image sharing

Belimar Velazquez, MBA, Director of Marketing and Inside Sales, United States & Canada, Carestream

Belimar Velazquez, MBA, Director of Marketing and Inside Sales, United States & Canada, Carestream

Healthcare providers work every day to deliver the best quality of care and the best experience to their patients. In many cases, a provider’s compassionate care creates a special bond and once this connection is created, patient satisfaction and loyalty is established.

However, in some cases, as is the case for radiology professionals, this emotional connection is a little harder to establish.  Consider the “invisible radiologist”:

  • 80 % of radiologists don’t meet their patients
  • 50 % of adults surveyed don’t know that radiologists interpret x-rays
  • Focus group participants were split as to “whether a radiologist is a licensed physician or a technician”

Yet, images – the very medium that defines the radiology role – presents a unique opportunity to establish connections. Think about the rampant proliferation of image sharing online:

Image sharing apps like Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat all have one purpose in common to connect and elicit an emotional reaction through images (and words).  Imaging professionals are at the right place and the right time to help the enterprise establish an emotional connection with their patients through image sharing.

And guess what?  Patients want to see their radiology images and they want to share them.  We partnered with IDR Medical to conduct a survey of 1000 patients across the US with various backgrounds and found that patients place great value on the ability to share images online:

  • 61 % want to share their medical images with family members and friends
  • 88 % want to share with other physicians
  • Only 4 % would not share their own images

A recent Diagnostic Imaging meme portrayed just this fact.


While the meme was supposed to be funny, a quick search on Instagram shows this image sharing is happening now for mammograms, ultrasounds and x-rays:

Ultrasound Mammogram X-Ray
3,645 photos tagged 5,736 photos tagged 1,571 photos tagged

*Source Webstagram Search  – various hastags indicating images in each category, i.e. xraypictures, ultrasoundpic, mammogramscan

How do you put images into the hands of your patients to build this emotional connection?

The radiology community can turn to secure applications that allow patients and radiologists to share images.   These applications, usually compatible with the EHR/EMR, allow radiologists to establish communication with the patient and “tell a story” through both, images and words.  Here’s how it works:


Building an emotional connection through image sharing can bring radiologists out of the dark and directly influence patient satisfaction. Our patient attitudes study found that:

  • 79 % of patients would return to a practice that offers online image access
  • 77 % would refer family and friends to a practice that offers online image access

What do you think? Can online image sharing play a more role in fostering direct connections with patients? 

Four Reasons Why Medical Images Must Be Included in Patient Portals

Ami Halperin, R&D PACS Product Manager, Carestream

Ami Halperin, R&D PACS Product Manager, Carestream

Electronic health and medical records (EHRs and EMRs) are commonplace in today’s medical environments. The rise in use of digitized records is in an effort to improve efficiency for physicians, and establish improved channels of communication between doctors and patients.

Often left out of the patient engagement equation are medical images. The biggest reason behind this is that radiologists and patients do not often interact. Radiologists typically send the images directly to the referring physician, leaving the patient in the dark.

As a testament to the importance of including medical images in the patient portal, we offer four reasons why patients should have access:

  1. Completes the health record. The health record does not start and end with data. The medical images provide a complete picture of patients’ history. Providing patients with access to the images in addition to data gives them a detailed and more complete picture of their exams and health history.


    A patient portal with medical images can improve patient engagement rates for physicians.

  2. Structures the reporting. Adding images to the report makes the information easier to understand, allowing the patient to match reference numbers to the image they correlate with. When patients are engaged and can easily read their reports, they’re more likely to return to the portal.
  3. Connects patients to their physicians. While an obvious benefit to patient portals as a whole, the inclusion of medical images sweetens the deal. In a study with IDR Medical, we found that 79% of patients would be more likely to return to a facility that offers medical images via a portal and 76% indicated they would recommend the facility to others.
  4. Brings the radiologist into the picture. Radiologists often do not have the chance to interact with patients. Including medical images in a patient portal enables the radiologist to become involved by providing more context around the images and accompanying reports. At this year’s American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) annual meeting, one study showed that 47% of participants would appreciate having contact information for the radiologist who interpreted their exam, and 14% wanted to have the option to meet with the radiologist.

The patient portal creates new communication channels and enhances the relationship between patient and physician. This is a capability that patients are coming to expect from their health providers facilities’ are working on making it a reality.

For more information about patients’ reactions and thoughts on using patient portals, you can click the link to download the study conducted by IDR Medical.


HIMSS 2013: Securing Mobile Devices and Applications in the Age of Patient Access

Cristine Kao

Cristine Kao, Global Marketing Manager, Healthcare IT, Carestream

Healthcare trends are perpetually moving in the direction of handing over more control to the patients. Much of this control lives in the form of online resources and patient portals that provide the ability to send non-urgent communications with health providers, request or cancel appointments, and view medical history.

As patient portal adoption increases, health providers are expanding access beyond desktops and software-as-a-service (SaaS) models, and relying more on mobile devices as access points. According to Pew Research, half of smartphone owners use their devices to get health information and one-fifth of smartphone users have a health-related application on their device—numbers that have increased steadily over the past two years. There are important concerns that must be addressed as mobile health usage and adoption increases. Personal health record applications make up one of the smaller segments of health apps being used and this is because it carries one of the biggest concerns with it– securing patient information.

In 2012, the Government Accountability Office released a list of the most common mobile vulnerabilities and how to combat them. Below are the four I selected as being of the most important to healthcare providers who rely on mobile devices and apps to provide patients with access to their health information. The list includes the three areas of mobile patient access that must be addressed by the healthcare providers, vendors, and even the patients—the mobile device, the network, and the back-end data storage:

Unoriginal passwords and no two-factor authentication: Unfortunately, passwords such as “password” and “123456”remain as some of the most common passwords used. To combat this, health providers and companies relying on password-protected access must educate patients on the importance of writing unique passwords. The inclusion of two-factor authentication provides an additional security layer after the password. By providing information such, “What city your father was born in?” or “What was the name of your high school?” it creates another layer between the sensitive data and the hacker.

Wireless transmissions are not always encrypted: Data encryption across wireless networks is a necessity, especially when it concerns patient data. HIPAA regulations requires stored patient data to be encrypted since network eavesdropping is a common security breach tactic among hackers.

Software on mobile devices may not be up to date: Users are at an increased security risk if they are not updating their software on a routine basis when their providers alert them to. Many of these operating system updates include enhanced security, and if users are using an older system then that means that they aren’t receiving the highest level of security protection possible.

Securing data center hardware: With Carestream’s MyVue* and Vue Motion being made available for iPad access, we, like others in the mobile healthcare application space, must host the programming and data in secure data centers. When deployed from Carestream own private cloud environments to host the data, Carestream controls the security, management, and maintenance, while optimizing the access performance.

There are two key areas of education that healthcare providers must provide to patients when encouraging them to access their data via mobile devices. The first is that the provider must be able to educate why the portal/ application is important to the patients. Secondly, the healthcare provider must also provide information containing the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of accessing medical information online or via a mobile device. This is sensitive, personal information, and it is vital that vendors work with the healthcare providers and patients to ensure that data remains safe, secure, and reliable.

*Available March 2013

Join us in booth #2727 at HIMSS13 for to discuss health IT strategies and solutions that facilitate secure image exchange, mobile access and patient engagement. Click here to read about the products from the Carestream Vue portfolio that will be demoed at the trade show and provide a look into the integration of imaging and information management.  

Mobile Devices, Imaging Apps, and the Future of Healthcare

Cristine Kao

Cristine Kao, Global Marketing Manager, Healthcare IT, Carestream

Physicians are incorporating iPads and other mobile devices into their practices at an unprecedented pace. A 2012 study conducted by Manhattan Research, involving 3,015 U.S. practitioners in over 25 specialties, revealed that a remarkable 62% of doctors now utilize these devices – nearly doubling the adoption rate since 2011.

Recently, I read an article in the N.Y. Times exploring this trend and its potential impacts on the future of Medicine. The piece notes that the proliferation of mobile devices has created something of a “generational divide” in the medical field. It contends that while most younger doctors enthusiastically embrace the digital revolution, some older practitioners have a serious concern – namely, that the growing focus on technology may erode the “human connection” historically at the foundation of the doctor-patient relationship.

This is an issue worthy of discussion. And certainly, technology is no substitute for a caring and engaged bedside manner.  But as a leading provider of healthcare imaging applications for iPads and other devices, we at Carestream are convinced that when properly employed, tablet technology has great potential to actually strengthen the doctor-patient relationship.

Our own Vue Motion, FDA cleared for use on iPads, is a good example. It’s a zero-footprint viewer that provides physicians with easy and intuitive access to patient images and exam data on mobile devices. Vue Motion benefits the physician-patient relationship in many ways.

For example, consider this scenario – one that can really shake a patient’s confidence: the individual has been sent for X-rays and returns to the primary care physician to learn the results. But the doctor begins this follow-up visit by leafing slowly the patient’s folder, intently studying various documents. This goes on for some time. The patient begins to wonder – is the doctor reading my test results for the first time? Or worse yet, is he trying to remember my previous appointment and the details of my health problem? I’ve been in this very situation myself more than once, and it made me quite uneasy about where I stood on the doctor’s priority list.

With Vue Motion it’s a whole different story. The images and report data aren’t in a folder, on a CD, or on a piece of film somewhere. They’re right at the doctor’s fingertips, instantly accessible on a web-enabled device, with no download required.

The intuitive user interface requires no special training, so it’s as simple as opening up a film jacket and displaying the critical information. This makes it fast and easy for the physician to review the patient’s images and clinical portfolio – earlier in the day or just prior to the appointment – and enter the exam room in full command of the situation and its details. This helps maximize the patient’s trust and confidence.

In addition, Vue Motion is an overall time-saver and productivity booster, allowing the doctor to spend more time with patients. This is highly beneficial in strengthening the doctor-patient bond. Here’s an insightful article by Dr. Suzanne Koven in The Boston Globe that focuses on how that extra time can dramatically elevate the quality of care.

Vue Motion also has great potential to improve doctor-patient communication. Physicians and patients can now view diagnostic images together in the office or at bedside. This “visual aid” allows the doctor to explain more clearly and give the patient a fuller understanding of his or her condition. Finally, Vue Motion makes it easy for physicians to collaborate with other clinicians, across town or across the country, to raise the both the standard of care and patient satisfaction.

Putting digital healthcare information in the patient’s hands is another way to strengthen the patient-provider relationship. Our MyVue* offering lets doctors empower patients to play an active and important role in their own care. When patients have x-rays taken, they can then go online in the comfort of their own homes and view those images. Not long after, they can read the radiologist’s report as well. All data remains secure and confidential.

Moreover, MyVue allows the patient to share their images and reports with their primary-care doctor, specialists, or healthcare facilities. They simply authorize the selected individuals to log in and view their images. And, they can revoke that authorization at any time – so they always feel that they’re in control.

With MyVue, patients feel included and trusted by their doctors. In fact, it lets them partner with their doctors in the management of their healthcare – and further strengthens the physician-patient bond.

And how is MyVue going over with patients? A recent case study showed 50% patient engagement, with patients actively using and sharing their healthcare information. This was supported by an implementation combining simple technology, intuitive design and appropriate education.

As physicians’ use of iPads and other devices continues to grow, I believe we’ll be seeing an example of how technology can actually serve to support the vital human connection at the core of quality care.

*Available February 2013

IT Will See You Now – The Seamless Patient Engagement Experience


Randall A. Stenoien, MD, CEO, Houston Medical Imaging

Houston Medical Imaging’s experience with Carestream’s MyVue Patient Portal* is no stranger to Everything Rad. I’ve previously shared our patient engagement figures and examples driving our patient portal business case, but a question I continue to be asked is “what burden did this place on your IT staff and resources?”

I’ll admit it. Before we embarked on our MyVue trial I had a few sleepless nights worrying about how many patients would be able to adopt this technology and how difficult it would be.

We all have that friend, co-worker or family member who struggles with technology. You know, the one who thinks their computer is frozen but their elbow is resting on the space bar. I think my IT guys call them “PICNICs” – Problem. In. Chair. Not. In. Computer.

But even the most tech savvy of us can get lost in the simplest online banking site and need IT support to make an account transfer.

What percentage of my engaged patients would require dedicated training and assistance? Do I have the resources I need to support them?

Surprisingly, three months into our trial, the migration to MyVue has been seamless because it is so user-friendly.

With MyVue, a unique and secure log-in is generated and emailed to each patient after their exam. Patient images can be accessed through the secure log-in from a variety of devices.  Once registered, patients can view their study and manage who they want to share with.

We’ve had patients at our front desk and we’re explaining to them you’re going to get two emails a welcoming email and then an email that tells you how to log on and in a matter of seconds it’s on their phone and we’ve had patients say “Oh! I’ve already got it.”

I expected the phones to be ringing and my IT people to be complaining and yelling at me, but that just hasn’t happened. Patients are able to do it by themselves the majority of the time.

In fact, of our 2662 unique patient accounts, we only received 47 support calls—primarily for password resets. That’s less than 2 percent. Compare that to the IT industry benchmark of an average of 1.2 calls per month per end user to a service desk.

Houston Medical Imaging Trial

The biggest surprise of our trade trial was how quickly and easily our patients have adopted and how little extra work it has caused for our IT department or medical records people to have to bare.

By combining an intuitive platform with good planning and strong first-time user education, we’re able to offer an innovative technology service that keeps my IT team becoming part of the primary care team.

You can download the full case study of our MyVue experience.

*Available February 2013