Diagnostic Reading #4: Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

Our Diagnostic Reading Top Picks

This week’s articles describe the high priority radiologists Diagnostic Reading #5 - Radiology and Health IT Articlesplace integrating PACS with an EHR, expected growth for the global ultrasound market, patients’ desire for personalized treatment, Radiology Today’s top picks for areas within the imaging space that promise the greatest innovations and a study that indicates mentally demanding activities may play an important role in maintaining a healthy brain.

With such a wide variety of PACS and electronic health records (EHRs) in the marketplace, decision-makers at hospitals and private practices have a lot to consider when purchasing new equipment. If they want to keep their radiologists happy, they may want to make sure the PACS can be properly integrated with the EHR. According to a recent study published by the Journal of the American College of Radiology, an integrated EHR is a bigger priority to radiologists than having access to the most advanced clinical features.

The global ultrasound marke Continue reading

Diagnostic Reading #2: Five Must Read Articles from the Past Week

This week’s diagnostic reading articles describe the need to deploy Healthcare Vue for Radiology enterprise image viewers, growing adoption of telemedicine tools by healthcare providers, changes expected in data security, cloud and mobile technologies, why radiologists need to lead change and how patient-centric care can result in shorter perceived wait times and greater satisfaction.

Providers have more work to do to expand enterprise image viewing, which gives clinicians the ability to quickly view patient images without limitations on where they can view them, according to the results of a new HIMSS Analytics survey. The survey of 144 hospital, health system and ambulatory PACS/radiology leaders, follows a similar study conducted by HIMSS Analytics in late 2014 to gauge trends in provider adoption of enterprise image viewing. Less than half of respondents indicated that they use an enterprise image viewer to meet their diagnostic imaging needs.

Telemedicine tools like smartphones, two-way video, email, and wearable technology are becoming increasingly common in many healthcare settings. In 2014, HIMSS led a study that found that 46 percent of more than 400 hospitals and medical practices said they used at least one type of telemedicine. Additionally, the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM) found that 33 percent of U.S. healthcare practitioners offered healthcare services via telephone, video, or webcam visits, and another 29 percent planned to do so in the next few years.

Several industry analysts have forecast that 2016 will be the ‘year of action’ on many technology fronts, as several recent trends become commonplace strategies. Cloud computing, data security and mobile are tops among them. This article contains six predictions for what we can expect in 2016 on the mobile technology and cloud computing fronts.

Frank Lexa, MD, MBA, radiology residency director for Drexel University College of Medicine, calls upon radiologists to lead change “because if you let someone make changes who doesn’t understand what we do, it will be damaging to our industry and to your patients.” He advises radiologists to pick one project in one location, and demonstrate its value before spreading any alterations elsewhere.

Focusing on a patient’s satisfaction can lead to shorter perceived wait times and higher patient satisfaction, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Anna Holbrook, MD, Emory University School of Medicine, and colleagues studied questionnaires completed by 147 MR outpatients who had received care from a radiology department in which “patient experience” was a stated strategic priority. The authors found patients often believed the wait time was almost half what it actually was and were satisfied with the experience.

X-rays and Mom — Case Study into the State of Imaging Technology

Reposted from Imaging Technology News (ITN) with permission.

While I write a lot about medical imaging technology and how new technology can and should work, it is not often that I get to experience how things actually work in the real world. This past Thanksgiving I received a call from a paramedic explaining that my mom had fractured her leg and I should stop working on the turkey and fixings and rush to the emergency department (ED) at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Ill. She had been walking her dog on wet grass and leaves in a park when her dog took off after another dog and pulled her down. She was whipped around and the change in weight caused her to dislocate her ankle (the bottom of her shoe was facing her when she looked at her feet) and caused a spiral fracture to her fibula.

ImagingTechnologyNews December-2015 X-ray_Fractured_fibula_with_permission_of_patient_MF

A bedside screen shot of a Carestream DRX mobile X-ray in the ED of the fractured fibula.

When I got there my mom was already heavily sedated due to the pain and because the ED staff had already put her ankle back in place. The ED doctor ordered a digital radiograph (DR) of her leg to see the extent of damage. They wheeled in a new Carestream DRX mobile X-ray system and I had a live demonstration of how fast these types of systems can snap the pictures. It called up the images immediately on the machine’s screen. The image of the Pott’s fracture with fragments was really interesting as someone who covers radiology, but I also realized from a non-clinical standpoint she was really messed up and in pain. Additionally, she would need reconstructive surgery to put her Humpty Dumpty leg back together again. She was way up the creek without a paddle with it being Thanksgiving and there were no orthopedic surgeons in staff due to the holiday. The day after Thanksgiving was not much better, as we found, since most physicians were out through the following Monday. So the ER splinted the leg, wrapped it in ace bandages and sent her home with heavy pain killers.

Compounding her mobility issues was the fact that she has bilateral knee replacements. Due to the trauma, broken bone and knowing she had these implants that further limited her ability to move around, she was prescribed a prophylactic anticoagulant.

Knowing we would need the images for a surgeon to review, I had the ED burn a CD. However, I was happy to find

ITN NEWS Orthopedic_Surgery_repair_of_Broken_fibula_with_permission_of_patient_MF_0

The post-surgical X-ray showing the bone repair, which was accessed and copied by the patient using a patient portal.

Edward is among the growing number of hospitals to grant patients access to their health records via a DR Systems Internet image/results distribution system. This technology pulls images and reports from the hospitals’ Epic EMR (electronic medical record) system and makes them available for remote viewing by clinicians outside of the hospital’s picture archiving and communication system (PACS). She also was given login instructions at discharge for a patient portal so she could access her records and images herself on a home computer or smartphone.

We managed to find one orthopedic surgeon in their office on the Friday after Thanksgiving. They thought it was great that we had a CD, but before attempting to open it, they asked which hospital she had been at. Edward was already in a health information exchange, so outlying offices such as this one from a different medical group could access her records remotely in less than a minute. They were able to call up her images and see what meds she was prescribed, which made the office visit go much faster.

She had surgery on Dec. 1, the Tuesday of RSNA 2015. The orthopedic surgeon practiced at Elmhurst Hospital in Elmhurst, Ill., across the county from Naperville. But, thanks to the remote image viewing system, they could get the ED images for reference and planning. The surgeon’s post-surgery DR image showing the reconstruction of the fibula also was available via my mom’s patient portal.

She did what most patients today do with this type of access and posted her X-rays on Facebook. Leveraging the Facebook form of patient engagement, the result was lots of sympathy, flowers and friends volunteering to help her with things around the house and groceries since she cannot walk or drive for at least two months.

While an unfortunate incident and a horrible thing to have happen to my mom, from a professional standpoint, I was happy to see the technology I cover working in the real world as it was intended. The speed in workflow efficiency, speed and ease of access to her imaging at the point of care and remotely, and access to a patient portal are all examples of how the healthcare system should work. In this case, the technology and imaging integration was flawless.

David_FDave Fornell, ITN Editor

Dave Fornell is the editor of Diagnostic & Interventional Cardiology magazine and assistant editor for Imaging Technology News magazine.

 


Imaging Case Study: Carestream Mobile DRX-Revolution

 

To learn more about the CARESTREAM DRX-Revolution, click here.

Top Five Health IT Blogs of 2015 from Everything Rad

As we near the end of 2015, it is a popular time of year to take a look back at the blogs that generated the highest interest throughout the year. In this summary, we look at some of the most popular Everything Rad healthcare IT blogs of 2015 covering value based healthcare, radiology reporting, meaningful use and clinical collaboration.

  1. Four Reasons Multimedia is the Future of Radiology Reporting – We 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.
  1. What Does Clinical Collaboration Really Mean? – Clinical collaboration was born out the use of our vendor-neutral archive (VNA). The VNA served as a housing mechanism for medical images across a variety of –ologies, not just limited to DICOM images. With the VNA, the images remain safe and accessible when necessary, however, to enable intelligent, user-based sharing, more than just storage is needed.
  1. Imaging’s Place in Value-Based Healthcare – The answer to a question asked in a SIIM 2015 Friday morning session was clear–medical imaging needs to make further progress to be in a position to provide value-based care.
  1. White Paper: Metadata – Creating Meaningful Access to Clinical Images & Data – Metadata is explored in greater depth in an effort to truly uncover its value and importance not only medical imaging, but also in all patient clinical data.
  1. Video: The Value of Imaging Sharing in Clinical Collaboration – See how image sharing on the Clinical Collaboration Platform is able to give clinicians real time, on-demand access to imaging results, as well as how it can empower patients to share their images between facilities, physicians, and specialists. 

Radiology Insights #55: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

This week’s articles focus on the move to personalized medicine, increased imaging use in the ED, an IDC reportCarestream, Radiology that predicts increased cyberattacks on patients’ healthcare data, the value of data stored in RIS and PACS systems for effective decision support, and a study that compared radiology findings with diagnoses provided by other clinical data sources.

Top 5 trends from RSNA 2015 in Chicago – AuntMinnie

This year, RSNA cast its gaze forward, looking at the trends that will shape medical imaging in the years to come. The move toward personalized medicine and data analytics will enable radiologists to find circumstances where imaging can be used most efficiently and economically. There is no doubt that the future of healthcare will be technology-driven, and it’s hard to find a medical specialty more grounded in technology than radiology.

Overall imaging use has slowed — but ED rates still high – AuntMinnie

Despite an overall slowdown in the rate of noninvasive diagnostic imaging in other settings, imaging use rates have continued to increase in the emergency department (ED), according to a study presented at the RSNA 2015 meeting by researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Why do imaging use rates in the ED keep climbing? It could be because emergency departments are a significant source of medical care in the U.S. In fact, nationwide ED visits increased from 95 million per year in 1997 to nearly 140 million in recent years, which translates into higher imaging use rates, Patel said. Other factors include defensive medicine, dependence on technology, and the difficulty of evaluating complex patients under tight time constraints, she said.

Cyberattacks will compromise 1-in-3 healthcare records next year – ComputerWorld

Consumers will see an increase in successful cyberattacks against their online health records next year. A new report from IDC’s Health Insights group claims that because of a legacy of lackluster electronic security in healthcare and an increase in the amount of online patient data, one in three consumers will have their healthcare records compromised by cyberattacks in 2016. “Frankly, healthcare data is really valuable from a cyber criminal standpoint. It could be 5, 10 or even 50 times more valuable than other forms of data,” said Lynne Dunbrack, research vice president for IDC’s Health Insights.

Too much Big Data may not be enough – Health Management Technology

The quest to mine and analyze meaningful, reliable, and useful data from the burgeoning plethora of electronic and online sources, healthcare organizations can allow the big picture to overshadow many underlying and valuable components contributing to patient care improvement. The clinical data and diagnostic images in radiology information systems (RIS) and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) remain two examples. For clinical imaging and radiology executives, these visual clues and cues are necessary for effective, efficient decision support. Certainly a growing number of manufacturers and information technology companies recognize this. As a result, they’re offering providers a light at the end of the tunnel.

System compares radiology results with downstream clinical information – Health Imaging

A system comparing radiology findings with diagnoses provided by other clinical data sources was recently put to the test in a study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.  Early indications are that it passed. Lead researcher William Hsu, PhD, of Medical Imaging Informatics Group in Los Angeles, and colleagues evaluated their system, which pulls data from electronic health records and examines clinical reports for imaging studies relevant to the diagnosis. They said the goal of their system was “to establish a method for measuring the accuracy of a health system at multiple levels of granularity, from individual radiologists to subspecialty sections, modalities, and entire departments.”

Diagnostic Reading #54: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoThis week’s articles focus on interoperability trends to watch in 2016, how socioeconomic factors affect patient care in radiology, FDA and PACS users, embracing the value-based payment model, and the population health management market.

HIE and Interoperability Trends to Watch in 2016 – Healthcare IT News

As the healthcare industry moves toward a more patient-centered mission, security measures and interoperability will progress at a steady rate, according to DirectTrust, a healthcare industry alliance created by Direct exchange network participants. The six predictions DirectTrust made for 2016 include: 1. Patients and consumers will participate in electronic health data exchange; 2. ‘Freed’ data will provide unimagined personal and professional enrichments; 3. Federal and state agencies will move toward increased interoperability; 4. Meaningful use will face forced, early retirement; 5. Security, privacy and identity will reign; and, 6. Direct exchange reliance will continue to increase.

Socioeconomic Factors Affect Patient Care in Radiology – AuntMinnie

According to a presentation at RSNA 2015, racial, social, and economic disparities can negatively affect patient access to radiology, and this adversly affects not only clinical outcomes, but also for a department’s bottom line. One way to examine these disparities is to look at missed radiology appointments, which can result in delayed diagnosis. The reasons patients may not appear for their appointments range from language barriers and cultural differences to practical issues such as transportation, child care, and an inability to miss work.

FDA Reminds PACS Users About Compliance Requirements – AuntMinnie

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning healthcare facilities that it may take compliance action if their PACS fails and images are lost due to preventable reasons. n a recent MQSA Insights article, the FDA noted that several recent Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) compliance cases highlight the need for PACS maintenance and upkeep to remain in compliance with legal requirements for retaining mammograms.

Survey: Payers Embracing Value-Based Payment Models – Healthcare Informatics

An overwhelming majority (73 percent) of surveyed health insurance executives are planning major, technology-driven transformation at their organizations, with even more (80 percent) moving towards value-based payment models, according to recent research from Burlington, Mass.-based vendor HealthEdge. The survey results of more than 100 payer executives show that while health insurers understand the significance of participating in a variety of new healthcare business models including value-based payments (80 percent), exchanges (69 percent) and accountable care organizations (ACOs, 55 percent), they remain hampered by a number of key factors that prevent them from effectively participating in these new approaches.

Population Health Management Market Will Double in Size to $31.9B by 2020 – Healthcare Informatics

As more hospitals and health systems transition to population healthcare delivery and payment arrangements, this movement is driving strong growth in population health management (PHM) software and services, with the global market expected to reach $31.9 billion by 2020, according to a report from Tractica. The report from Boulder-Colo.-based market intelligence company Tractica analyses the market for PHM and the report focuses specifically on software and services deployed with the goal of improving patient care while reducing costs.

eBook: Radiology as an Enterprise Model for Collaboration

Collaboration has become a key component of today’s healthcare system. Department silos are breaking down and fading away, and from the rubble is born multidisciplinary teams with a focus on interoperability across departments.

Meaningful Use (MU) has served as a great incentive to make patient information universally available to clinicians through the EHR, but too often the collaborative benefits of the technology fail to become available to the “-ologies” in the health system.

But there are examples of successful collaboration delivering real benefits to the medical community and patients.  One of the best is the University of Virginia (UVA), where the EHR-driven radiology workflow not only provides full clinical information to radiologists, but the collaborative workflow adopted by UVA has also helped the UVA Physicians’ Group attest to MU Stage 1 and receive nearly $1.5 million.

Cree Gaskin, MD, Vice Chair, Informatics at UVA outlines their process in a recent chapter of our CIO eBook. The key to this EHR-driven radiology workflow was the life-cycle of the PACS. Specifically, the fact that it has reached a maturity level that is the third and final phase of the evolution, as seen in Dr. Gaskin’s graphic below.

EHR-driven radiology workflow

This third stage involves the PACS becoming integrated and interoperable with the EHR. This allows workflow to become optimized, and images and reports to become accessible via the EHR. From this, collaboration among clinicians and other stakeholders is supported in full and information can be accessed immediately. This ongoing gathering of data informs clinical decision support and big data analysis.

From within the EHR, the radiologist can identify what would be useful, depending on the case. That information can then be served up to radiologists so they do not have to spend time searching for it. If the information is identified in advance, then it can be made accessible, as almost all of the necessary data is housed in UVA’s EHR.

The key is to establish an EHR-driven workflow, as demonstrated here in Dr. Gaskin’s graphic.

EHR-driven workflow

How it works at UVA is that one central login at a workstation allows access to:

  • Protocoling
  • Reading Studies
  • Chart reviews/search
  • MU
  • Teaching file
  • Tech work lists
  • Manager referrals
  • Audit trail
  • Report creation and signing
  • MD performance metrics
  • Administrative reports
  • Peer review (prior while reading)
  • Charting—orders, notes
  • “Watch patients; results tracking
  • Communication with providers

The interoperability between UVA’s Epic EHR and Carestream PACS permits the EHR-driven workflow or the EHR-enslaved workflow which is PACS-driven. In the PACS-driven workflow, the doctor selects a study from the PACS integrated worklist, and the corresponding patient record will be opened in Epic.

UVA reports that the results of such capability have included improved report turnaround time (RTAT), and more important, with stratification by level of priority, and nearly $1.5 million MU Stage 1 incentives for the UVA Physicians’ Group.

For a more detailed look at UVA’s story, you can read the interactive eBook, “Clinical Workflow in an Era of Interoperability,” which contains interviews and soundbites from Dr. Gaskin, as well as Dan O’Malley, MS, UVA’s director, informatics and business services.

Julia, Weidman, Marketing Manager, Healthcare Information Solutions, CarestreamJulia Weidman is the Healthcare Information Solutions Marketing Manager for the US and Canada at Carestream.

 

Global Worklist and the Connected PACS

Cheshire & Merseyside PACS sites

Dark blue crosses are Carestream sites, and light blue other PACS sites.

I will be taking part in two presentations at the European Society of Radiology’s ECR 2015 Congress, and each one will be related to the use of our Carestream Multisite Virtual PACS.

The first is a poster titled, “Establishing a regional on-call radiology service using a shared virtual PACS,” and was completed with co-workers K. Slaven, S. Dyce, and L. Anslow

Out-of-hours radiology has been delivered by radiology residents working on-call rotations in individual hospitals. As the intensity of work has increased, out-of-hours work has seriously impacted time spent during the day in the department. The need for compensatory rest has led to significant loss of training in what is already a relatively short training scheme.

Cheshire and Merseyside is a small but complex health economy in the North West of England. The system has the following facilities:

  • Seven acute hospitals
  • One tertiary cardiac hospital
  • One neurosciences centre
  • One tertiary paediatric centre
  • One cancer centre
  • One specialist obstetrics/gynaecology hospital

Six acute sites have resident radiology specialist registrars in rotations between four and nine in size.

None of the rotations were compliant with the European working time directive (EWTD). Four of the sites were on shared RIS/PACS, and the other two had PACS from different vendors.

The move to a shared global worklist (Vue Connect) and shared RIS has meant that the acquisition of images and reporting can be accomplished on separate sites. This also means that one resident can be on-call for more than one site at a time.

By combining the registrar workforce, we have been able to achieve compliance with the EWTD and significantly reduce the number of nights worked, hence allowing for a significant increase in training hours within the base  departments.

We are about to incorporate the last two acute sites. We have placed a Carestream agent on the last two sites, which allows image sharing seamlessly across all the sites including systems from other vendors. We plan to move to PACS-based reporting soon, so the residents will have a single workflow for their out-of-hours work, and to avoid having to work in three different PACS and three different RIS.

Our PACS has some unique features that makes this possible, and will be presented in the second presentation:

“Development of a shared multi-site virtual PACS”PACS - Cheshire & Mersyside

The co-authors for this presentation are S. Dyce, N. Pfirsch and S. Lomax.

As mentioned previously, Cheshire and Merseyside is a complex health economy. The previous system procured during the National PACS programme in England had PACS supplied by a single vendor in our region. However, image sharing was never a part of the programme and images had to be transferred by CD, DICOM push and latterly by a bespoke email-like system—the Image Exchange Portal.

There was a huge movement of patients from one acute site to another, or to specialist centres. Frequently, previous imaging was not available in a timely fashion, studies were reported in isolation, or even repeated when they could not be accessed. Regional multidisciplinary meetings were a massive effort to ensure all imaging was available for discussion, and image transfer was a huge overhead for all of our departments.

The goal was for all 10 trusts to have left the national PACS programme by June 2013 and this was achieved.

During procurement, we looked for a system that would behave as a single virtual PACS with seamless display of all current and prior studies. There was also a requirement to be able to view and report images from any site, and a requirement to support images from the two hospitals that had PACS from other vendors. A single mega PACS was a possible solution, but individual institutions wished to keep ownership of the images.

We selected our vendors based on these requirements:

  • Single master identifier – the NHS number
  • Acquisition and reporting are kept separated
  • Single instance of a study so annotations and reformats are applied to a single study
  • Seamless display of priors; the reporter could be unaware of the location of prior studies, but they appeared in local PACS

Carestream was chosen as a vendor that could support this workflow and deliver it in the six-month fixed timetable. The system was delivered before the cut-off date, and over 100TB of data was migrated into the system.

All of the above objectives were achieved, as well as the following:

  • Seamless multidisciplinary meetings with display of priors
  • Major reduction in overhead of image transfer
  • Specialist reporting e.g. paediatric, neuro is supported
  • Centralised on call centre for radiology residents
  • Significant Cost Reduction

The live presentation for “Development of a shared multisite virtual PACS,” will be given at ECR 2015 in SS 1805, on Sunday morning from 1030-1200.

Dr. Peter Rowlands, NHSDr Peter Rowlands, consultant radiologist at Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust (RLBUHT).

 

 

Webinar: The Future on Displays

EIZO

Click the image to go to the sign-up page for the webinar, “The Future on Displays.”

On Tuesday, November 18, I will be presenting a webinar titled, “The Future of Displays.” The goal of this presentation is to provide attendees with an idea of what they can expect to see in the evolution of medical-grade monitors they work with on a routine basis, and how they differ from conventional displays.

Multi-modality hybrid diagnostic displays are essentially the future of image viewing in radiology. The image quality and versatility these monitors offer for facilities have been able to improve efficiency and allow for remote access to images from a central point, which also allows the execution of remote calibration and performance monitoring.

After the webinar, it is my goal that attendees can take away the following information:

1) Why medical monitors are needed over conventional monitors. This is especially true for telemedicine. We must ensure that radiologists conducting the readings have the same set up and same calibration as the technologies at the physical imaging center, so that they are both viewing the same image.

2) Screen elements that have an impact on image quality. Luminance, sharpness, brightness, contrast, gamma, uniformity, grayscale, and panel technology are elements that will be discussed. These image technologies, in addition to panel size customization, are what contribute to high-quality images on a medical monitor.

3) Quality control is vital for medical-grade monitors and certain standards must be followed. Standards define the condition, how monitor should be checked and controlled, and that this should be done every quarter. There are many countries that buy medical equipment and do not understand why one image looks different between two different screens. I will cover the different quality control standards facilities need to adhere to in order to ensure high image quality, as well as how these standards change among different regions and modalities.

4) Thorough understanding of the required type of display. Everyone understands the workflow, but when it comes to the image quality for different modalities—ultrasound, mammography, MRI, CT—how should the colors/greyscale be displayed? What happens when the monitor is not calibrated?

You can click the following link to the sign up for the webinar, “The Future on Displays.” It will be taking place on Tuesday, November 18, at 10 AM EST.

Juergen HeckelIng. Juergen Heckel currently serves as EIZO’s worldwide VP of Medical Business Sales and Marketing. With over 13 years in the medical industry, he has worked with a large network of key hospital decision- makers and radiologists – making him an authority on market trends and needs regarding display solutions.

Challenges to RIS+PACS Integration

Makori Arnon, Clalit Health Services

Makori Arnon, MD, MHA, Director of Imaging Informatics, Clalit Health Services, Tel Aviv, Israel

The world of radiology sees frequent use of the term “integration,” but this term can easily mean many things to different people. When used in conjunction with describing implementation of a RIS+PACS platform at a hospital, it demands we clearly define our expectations up front to minimize the challenges and disruption that can accompany integrating a new RIS+PACS platform into our workflow.

In the current environment we see that RIS, PACS and capture modalities are separate yet complementary entities that are really more bundled than they are integrated. We all know that RIS is a separate platform that is slowly being absorbed into the PACS or into EMR. PACS joins together both clinical information systems with the organization’s IT network and a successful implementation should have a very positive impact upon workflow.

Radiologists need to read images and dictate their findings, and being able to easily integrate images directly into the report via the RIS will help improve workflow. Integrating images into a RIS means that vendors will need to put more emphasis on developing improved RIS technology to provide higher-end throughput. By improving the RIS interface to better address workflow issues, a single-platform vendor will have a big advantage over another third party.

Carestream Radiology Information System

Integrating images into a RIS means that vendors will need to put more emphasis on developing improved RIS technology to provide higher-end throughput.

In the contemporary radiology department, knowledge is everything. This knowledge goes outside the walls of the healthcare facility with the advent of patient portals that allow patients to electronically access, store and share their medical images. With a well-integrated RIS+PACS platform, radiology professionals expect amplified clinical, business and IT benefits that include:

  • Greater value and insight resulting from the generation of clinically-rich reports
  • Improved workflow
  • Greater cost control and a streamlined data flow
  • Increased patient engagement and satisfaction with an intuitive patient portal; and
  • The ability to foster clinical collaboration without boundaries.

To achieve this, we need to improve upon the current integration process by providing a system or single platform for the reading and distribution workflow. Successful RIS+PACS vendors are making this a key focus of future product development activities.

Another issue to consider is that radiologists continue to change how they work. We are now seeing more “point of care” imaging where you have physicians creating medical images by capturing images with handheld ultrasound or endoscopy units. These physicians (not radiologists) are creating a workflow that is “orderless” or “non-scheduled”—and the organization will need to accommodate this workflow by supporting the input of these images into the PACS. Point-of care imaging is an integration point that we will need to see in future development efforts since it is clearly on the rise.

How is your organization handling the integration of RIS+PACS?

What will your RIS+PACS platform look like in the next 10 years?

Makori Arnon, MD, MHA, is the Director of Imaging Informatics at Clalit Health Services in Tel Aviv, Israel.