Diagnostic Reading #7: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

EHR TechnologyThis week’s articles include: a study that finds advanced EHRs can reduce adverse effects; the opportunity for radiologists to participate in value-based healthcare models; increased use of telehealth technology by substance abuse treatment providers; tweaks to PACS workstation software that could help radiologists cope with the data deluge; and a nationwide analysis of electronic health records that has uncovered several previously unknown risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

Patients with fully electronic health records experienced fewer adverse events, such as hospital-acquired infections, according to a study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and published in the Journal of Patient Safety.

Improve population health. Optimize the patient experience. And cut costs. That, of course, is the “Triple Aim,” the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s boiled-down 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.

Whirlwinds of Change — What Can We Anticipate?

Digital Imaging and Healthcare IT Challenges: Advances & Trends for 2016

Part One

It’s that time of year again – when industry publications, websites and blogs roll out their predictions on the imaging and IT trends that will be most influential in the coming year. As always, the changes are coming at us with ever-increasing speed.

For this post, I surveyed a range of respected industry sources and condensed many of their predictions for quicker reading. If you’d like to explore any of the viewpoints here further, the link to the complete article is always listed.

  • Healthcare IT Advances Set to Fuel Explosive Market Growth

Rajiv Leventhal reports in Healthcare Informatics that while the global digital health market is already valued at over $55.3 billion, it’s projected expected to continue expanding by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 21 percent by 2020, according to a report from P&S Market Research.The report attributes this surge to the growing demand for an advanced healthcare information systems and growing investments by health IT players. Electronic health records (EHR), mobile health (mHealth)  and telemedicine will fill a pressing need for more efficient diagnosis, treatment, care and rehabilitation. Improved patient-provider communication via mobile devices and apps will support reduced medication errors and provide better overall care.

More details here.

  • Transitioning From Interoperability to Advanced Interoperability

Gary Palgon, VP of Healthcare of Life Sciences Solutions at Liaison Technologies, writes in Healthcare IT News that compliance with the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program’s proposed rules for Stage 3 Meaningful Use will require enterprises to make a greater investment in connecting internal and external systems. With fundamental levels of interoperability largely achieved, the focus will now shift to advanced interoperability – seamlessly pulling together data from connected systems to present a holistic, uniform view of the patient’s health. This is crucial, as without advanced interoperability, there’s no way to bridge the gap between more data and meaningful data. More details here.

  • Stretching Budgets With Refurbished Equipment

AuntMinnie.com reports that the market for refurbished medical equipment will be worth $9.37 billion U.S. (8.3 billion euros) by 2019, according to a new report by MarketsandMarkets. Medical imaging equipment categories covered in the survey include x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, and others systems such as C-arm and mammography devices. This trend is being driven by a growing demand for lower-cost medical devices due to financial constraints, the need to achieve more economical specialty exam capabilities and increasing privatization in the healthcare sector.

There is some resistance among public institutions regarding the purchase of refurbished medical equipment due to a perceived lack of standardization of policies governing its sale and use. Even so, MarketsandMarkets stands by their projections for this trend. More details here.

  • Progress to Come Gradually For the Less-Than-Half of Managed Care Organizations Without Access to EMR Data

Healthcare Economics recently reported on the results of a Digital Trends Study by Precision Advisors. Based interviews with 145 managed care executives, the study concludes that while Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) are aware of the benefits big data and predictive analytics, they are not able to fully implement them. Specifically, only 46 percent of MCOs currently have access to EMR data. And, while 73 percent of MCO executives surveyed expect to see this increase by 26 percent over the next several years, the specifics of this progress have yet to be seen. Survey respondents cited interoperability challenges as a key barrier to integrating EMR data. More details here.

Part Two will be posted on 12/29/15

JianqingBennettBWJianqing Bennett, President, Digital Medical Solutions, Carestream Health

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.”

Two Heads are Better than One in Radiology Informatics

While attending this year’s NYMIIS conference in New York City—an annual radiology informatics gathering hosted by Dr. David Hirschorn that has easily become a must see event—I was awed by the refreshing insight displayed by the distinguished lineup of presenters.

Each of the speakers discussed realistic and achievable opportunities to harness the power of healthcare IT systems to increase access to care, lower costs, shorten wait times and improve the delivery of care—all while highlighting that it cannot be done alone. Dr. Kathy Andriole of Brigham and Women’s Hospital summed it up in near perfect form in her presentation on improving decision support through innovative use of information technologies by saying that partnering with a vendor is more “than just doing business, it is about how to make optimal use of resources.”

Dr. Eliot Siegel, Baltimore VA

Dr. Eliot Siegel, Baltimore VA, giving his talk at Nymiis 2014 titled, “How Big Data is Changing the Practice of Radiology.”

Upon hearing that simple yet exacting description of what it really means for technology companies and care providers to truly work together, I was reminded of the phrase “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate” from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, spoken by Paul Newman in the role of Luke Jackson. Far too often we have all heard the words “partner” and “partnership” tossed about like rice at a young couple’s wedding. These terms are often taken to mean: “We’ll sell you something at a discounted price and you guys send us our check on time and let’s keep in touch…” A true partnership formed around a common cause and committed to the success of both parties is much deeper and significantly more valuable than such a simplistic treatment implies.

Having a reliable and trusted technology partner that will guide your organization on what is often a complex, multi-year journey to improve the management of medical imaging and information is a critically important relationship. A true technology partner will invest the time necessary to understand the unique needs and challenges faced by IT staffs, radiology managers, physicians and other decision-makers and can be counted on to make the right decisions. This enables the partner to put their knowledge and expertise to work to develop the right healthcare IT systems for your organization, using a well-structured implementation plan that optimizes precious resources while making things better for both the medical staff and their patients.

Healthcare IT innovations have made dramatic improvements in the practice of radiology and have heightened the value that radiology professionals provide to referring physicians and specialists that lead to a better experience for patients. But there is still much more to be done. Do you have the right partner for the journey?

What is your organization doing to harness the benefits that new information technologies can provide? How have you benefited from a successful supplier partnership?

Robert SalmonRobert Salmon, APR,  is director of corporate communications for Carestream, and attended the NYMIIS 2014 event in New York City on September 18, 2014.



Reflections on RSNA 2012 and the Progress in Intelligent Information Systems

On the last day of RSNA 2012, Dr. Eliot Siegel, Professor and Vice Chair University of Maryland School of Medicine Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Chief of Imaging at VA Maryland Healthcare System in Baltimore, and a member of Carestream’s Advisory Group, a collective of medical professionals that advises the company on healthcare IT trends, stopped by the Carestream booth to reflect on the focus on imaging informatics at this year’s event. Dr. Siegel comments on the opportunity to use information systems to empower and educate patients,  to make radiology more visible in patient care, and to drive the future of radiology.

What IT innovations caught your attention at RSNA? 

RSNA 2012 PACS Conversation with the University of Pennsylvania Health System

Kim Chan, Director of Radiology IT at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, talks to us at RSNA 2012 about the workflow challenges of radiologists reading reports from a variety of different hospitals with disparate PACS systems.  Chan shares why the University of Pennsylvania Health System is upgrading their picture archiving communication system to CARESTREAM Vue PACS, which will allow radiologists to read from multiple hospitals on a single PACS workstation.


Live Interview from RSNA: MidCentral District Health Board in New Zealand

Diane Orange, Radiology Department Manager, MidCentral District Health Board in New Zealand, traveled a far distance to attend RSNA this week in Chicago, but it has been well worth the trip. A highlight for Di has been the opportunity to see how her radiology department is at the forefront of many of the themes discussed as imperatives for radiology like expanding the reach of diagnostic imaging into other clinical specialties and innovative approaches to image exchange.

In the video interview featured below, Di  shares how an integrated RIS/PACS system from Carestream has reduced report turnaround. Orange also offers feedback on the new technologies she’s seen at RSNA, including the DRX-Revolution and Carestreams CS 9300 conebeam CT system. Also hear her vision for the future of image sharing.

RSNA 2012: Patient Engagement Helps Imaging Center Differentiate and Grow

Erica Carnevale

Erica Carnevale, Digital Media Manager, Carestream

An article in Forbes.com recently explored a timely question that is on the mind of those of us at RSNA, “Is there a business case for engaging patients?”

Throughout the halls of McCormick Place you’ll hear lots of consensus on the positive impact of patient empowerment on consumer health—no surprise at a meeting themed “Patients First.” But you’ll also hear lots of questions about the administrative burden, controlling costs and return on investment.

At RSNA I spoke with Dr. Randall A. Stenoien, who is also CEO of Houston Medical Imaging, about his experience empowering and engaging his patients with Carestream’s MyVue* Patient Portal and the impact on his business.

Diagnostic imaging in Houston is extremely competitive—Dr. Stenoien faces competition from large provider networks, hospitals and the Texas Medical Center. At the same time, a number imaging centers and family practices were purchased by hospitals. Houston Medical Imaging saw  a number of its referrals disappear. Differentiating its services became paramount.

Dr. Stenoien knows he can compete with hospitals on price. He can compete on quality. But he needed to bring something different to the table. MyVue gave him a way to engage with patients in a way that none of his competition can match, putting them 100 percent in control and empowering them to be better healthcare consumers.

This engagement is buoyed by the fact that they now see more referrals being driven by patients versus physicians. Patients saw Houston Medical doing something a little different and request to be referred—Dr. Stenoien is seeing business growth as a result.

For Houston Medical Imaging, the business case for patient engagement is strengthened with streamlined operations and cost savings. Dr. Stenoien estimated his current image sharing costs at $9 per CD. With 5 percent of his patients getting access to the patient portal that’s significant cost savings in the first year.

Dr. Stenoien shares more about his MyVue trade trial experience in the video below:

What additional factors should be part of the business case equation?

Stop by booth #2636 at RSNA and let me know or share your thoughts in the comments.

*Available February 2013

From Departmental Silos to Streamlined Patient-Centric Workflow

Cristine Kao

Cristine Kao, Global Marketing Manager, Healthcare IT, Carestream

A recent Auntminnie article spotlights the challenges of storing documents in PACS or RIS and encourages healthcare facilities to instead turn to vendor-neutral archiving (VNA).

As the world’s second largest supplier of vendor-neutral archiving (InMedica Report, April 2012), Carestream manages more than 2 petabytes of managed data and 80 million studies managed at 10 data centers.  We’ve seen interest in VNAs grow as they offer the ability to collect images and data from a variety of departmental systems to create a cohesive patient portfolio that contains imaging exams, lab and pathology data, video files, and JPEG images. A VNA can provide the patient’s clinical record via the Web or existing EHR/HIS virtually anytime, anywhere – no matter where images, documents and data originate or are stored.

radiology information lifecycleHowever, it’s important to note that healthcare providers will understandably favor data storage platforms that deliver information access without the need to migrate existing archives. Integrating or replacing legacy RIS/PACS or Archive systems can be costly. One option is to select a platform that synchronizes multi-vendor and multi-site RIS+PACS  to create a streamlined multi-site workflow to leverage your existing investment. Solutions like Vue Connect allow you to:

  • Synchronize patient data from multiple sites in real time, including metadata, with or without image data
  • Handle DICOM and non-DICOM images, regardless of vendor platform, age, location or network speed
  • Manage multiple patient IDs via MPI systems; accommodates IHE profile compliance such as XDS repository
  • Permit retention of autonomous, single-site reporting while allowing the  referring community to view all patient data, regardless of originating site
  • Automatically retrieve studies from their most accessible locations
  • Expand the system organically as new sites are added to your enterprise

Eliminating departmental silos of information is an urgent goal for healthcare providers worldwide. Meaningful use requirements and the desire to offer access to patient data through an EHR are both spurring the implementation of both vendor-neutral archives AND alternative platforms that can help deliver a cohesive, patient-centric view of medical data within your budget.

Schedule an appointment at RSNA 2012 to speak with our healthcare IT solutions architects about vendor-neutral archives and synchronizing multi-vendor and multi-site RIS+PACS.