Video: The Value of Imaging Sharing in Clinical Collaboration

With Carestream’s Clinical Collaboration Platform, you will see how more images can be shared across the enterprise from more modalities.

The ability to share more image formats across more devices is integral to making collaboration throughout the enterprise a reality.

In the animated video below, learn 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.

You can visit our Clinical Collaboration Platform page to learn more.

Importance of Viewers in Enterprise Imaging

Marianne Matthews, Chief Editor, Axis Imaging News, recently spoke with Cristine Kao, Global Marketing Director, Healthcare information Solutions, Carestream, and the focus was on viewers and the important role they play in enterprise imaging.

It is not so much the technology as what the viewer enables that makes them so important. Collaborative care between users is at the essence of what makes viewers so powerful because diagnoses and treatment planning need to be based on looking at and having access to the same information.

The interview, which can be watched in its entirety below, also toucheson FDA approvals for enterprise viewers, and which ones need to go through FDA clearance and which ones do not.

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.

1) A LOOK AT THE NEW CARESTREAM TOUCH ULTRASOUND SYSTEM

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.

2) INFOGRAPHIC: THE EVOLUTION OF RADIOLOGY REPORTING

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.

3) UNCOMPROMISED QUALITY: BONE SUPPRESSION AND CHEST X-RAY IMAGES

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.

4) DREAM JOB: APPLICATIONS ENGINEER, DIGITAL MEDICAL SOLUTIONS

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.

5) IMPLEMENTING EFFECTIVE WAYS TO REDUCE AND TRACK RADIATION DOSE FOR X-RAY EXAMS

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.

6) DIGITAL BREAST TOMOSYNTHESIS NECESSARY FOR IMAGING DENSE BREAST TISSUE

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.

7) RADIOLOGY’S RESPONSE TO HEALTHCARE CONSOLIDATION – STEP ONE: THE GLOBAL WORKLIST

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.

8) THE ROLE OF A FULLY INTEGRATED RIS-PACS: DREAM OR REALITY?

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.”

9) RADIOLOGY AND MACRO HEALTHCARE TRENDS PART II: COST

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.

10) THE THREE-PHASE PROCESS TO IMPLEMENT A PACS-DRIVEN TELERADIOLOGY SERVICE

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.

How Cobalt Imaging is Empowering Patients with Vue Motion & MyVue

Cobalt Health is a medical charity that was started about 50 years ago to support mainly oncology services. As a part of the charity, the Cobalt Imaging Centre is responsible for delivering high-quality medical imaging services and diagnoses.

The charity worked with Carestream to implement Vue Motion and MyVue. With Vue Motion, Cobalt enjoyed that the medical images were easily accessible from anywhere within the country, highlighting how there are no more discs with saved images being sent around, and that the experience of viewing and sharing images is safer, cheaper, and more efficient.

Additionally, while Vue Motion has allowed for the access of medical images for the physicians from many different localities, the MyVue portal has provided that same access to the patients. This has helped with patient education, and solidifying the diagnosis for them because they can now see and understand what the physician does.

Improving Image Access and Transfer with Online Applications

The efficiency and effectiveness of viewing and sharing diagnostic images are vital when you handle the imaging process for 24,000 exams on annual basis, with 18,000 of those also including reporting.

Our facility, Cobalt Health, has had the hardware and software in place to properly handle the massive volume of images we collect throughout a given year, but new needs have arrived where what we had was no longer enough. These needs stemmed from two major issues:

  1. Referrers may not have had access to our PACS: This resulted in a staggered, inefficient process in providing them with access to needed images and reports.
  2. Images were transferred via CD/DVD: This resulted in issues related to information governance (privacy), losing image quality in transfer to CD/DVD, and high costs related to purchasing CDs, postage, etc.
Vue Motion

Cobalt Health received positive feedback from referrers who used Vue Motion to access medical images.

We solved both of these issues through the implementation of Vue Motion and MyVue. With the Vue Motion image viewer, we needed to address the issue of providing referrers with easy and access to images and exam results. The solution needed to be intuitive to view images from anywhere, at any time. We targeted MSKCAT (MusculoSKeletal Clinical Assessment and Treatment) referrers and received feedback that the image viewer was easy to use, provided access to previous imaging exams and reports, was easy to navigate, and was seen as a clear preference over using CDs.

With MyVue, the patient portal, we saw a positive result from patients who used it. From the 31 patients who responded back to us about its use, 85% said that the portal worked well. The use of the portal was able to streamline the image access and sharing processes, and thanks to its security, provided a vast improvement in information governance.

By providing this type of ubiquitous image access via web browsers—be it on desktop PCs, or on mobile devices such as an iPad—we were able to remove our worries about referrers not being able to see the images, while the patient access eliminated the need to use CD or DVDs.

What are your thoughts on improving image access and transfer capabilities? Have you been moving toward online/mobile applications instead of hard copy or CD/DVD? If so, what success and issues have you experienced?

 

Peter Sharpe, CEO, Cobalt HealthRoisin Dobbin-Stacey, Cobalt HealthPeter Sharpe (left) is the CEO of Cobalt Health, and Roisin Dobbin-Stacey (right) is the PET/CT operation manager and PACS manager at Cobalt Health. Together, they presented on their use of Vue Motion and MyVue at UKRC 2014.

 

Three Ways to Calm Patients’ Concerns about Patient Portal Security

Cristine Kao

Cristine Kao, Global Marketing Manager, Healthcare IT, Carestream

This story is all too common: another security breach leaking confidential patient information to the masses and another fine totaling in the millions—$4.8 million to be exact.

We found in our study conducted last year that security was the number one reason why participants said they would not use a patient portal. An event such as this security breach is exactly what prevents patients from being open to new technologies. While patient portal may provide benefits, whether it is secure or not is what keeps the patient from using it. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) are the two most important pieces of U.S. legislation related to patient privacy and information security. Facilities should not only be securing patient information for sake of compliance, but also to show patients that their data is safe, and easily accessible. Here are four ways organizations can work to calm concerns expressed by potential patient portal users:

  1. Educating patients about portal security. Similar to banking online, the key is to educate end users on
    MyVue Patient Portal

    Physicians should educate patients, not only on how to use patient portals, but also how the portals works and protects their information.

    how to protect their log-in information and password. Just as they would not provide someone their banking ID, so should they treat healthcare information the same. Additional education about how information is protected should also be presented to patients.This includes informing them about portal monitoring, but also telling them about security systems in place, such as multi-tiered firewalls, that protect access to the portal and track for intrusions.

  2. Educating patients on the value of a portal versus the conventional method. Compared to the alternative, which is film, paper or CD, which means if lost, that information is more accessible by someone else.While patient engagement is a requirement of Meaningful Use Stage 2, facilities cannot force a patient to use a portal. Keeping the sign-up process voluntary removes the sense of pressure and relieves anxiety felt by the patients when being forced into a situation.
  3. Being proactive with incident and response programs. The portal should be monitored proactively so that risks can be alleviated at a moment’s notice and patients can be informed in a timely manner of any issues of which they need to be aware. Assuring patients that the well-being and security of the portal is looked after 24/7/365 adds an additional level of confidence that can bring in a larger volume of portal users.

Security in the IT space is becoming increasingly complex every day, but that is not slowing down the transition to digital environments. This means that organizations must adapt accordingly, especially with security measures, or else they will continue to see large fines for violating HIPAA and HITECH practices.

What do you currently see as being the biggest barrier to patient portal adoption at your facility? Are security concerns often expressed by patients? If so, what are they and how do you alleviate those concerns?

[Infographic] Electronic Access & Medical Images: Are You Connected?

Saskia Groeneveld, Wordwide Marketing Manager, HCIS, Carestream

Saskia Groeneveld, Wordwide Marketing Manager, HCIS, Carestream

We have been talking about providing patients with electronic access to their medical images since mid-2013, and it is not a topic that is going to go away anytime soon. Patients want more control over their healthcare, and providing access to their information is a vital component to gaining that control.

The infographic below provides some statistics that prove patients want more access and control, and that electronic methods are the best ways to comply. Highlights include:

  • 80% of Americans with online access to their healthcare information take advantage of it
  • 65% of Americans who do not have access to their health information electronically say that it is important to have it
  • 2 out 3 people would consider switching to a physician who offers access to medical records through a secure internet connection

Along with these stats, we have collected additional data from a study commission with IDR Medical and via customer test cases where they allowed patients to use the Carestream patient portal MyVue. This information can be found in the final half of the infographic below.

Are You Connected Infographic

Patients and Physicians are Getting Engaged

Jeff Fleming, Vice President Healthcare IT Americas, Carestream

Jeff Fleming, Vice President Healthcare IT Americas, Carestream

Radiology patient portals contribute to savings in time and money by helping to reduce CD production, but what about patient engagement?

A radiology patient portal is a great way to transmit images and reports to referring physicians, but what about patients? Do they care about access to their images? Would they use a patient portal if they had the option? Is it too complex or unnatural for them to look directly at their own imaging information?

The answer is a resounding, “We love our images!” Carestream studied more than two thousand patients at Houston Medical Imaging over a three-month period. 56% actually activated their patient portal to access their images or transmit them to a referring physician. This level of engagement, considerably higher than the level that would satisfy the Meaningful Use engagement criterion, was consistent across the entire study period. To validate the results, Carestream commissioned an in-depth quantitative study by IDR Medical titled, “Patient Attitudes Regarding Use And Utility Of A New Patient Portal Platform.” The following facts emerged:

76.5% of patients interviewed stated they would be more likely to recommend an imaging center to a friend or colleague if they were offered an online imaging portal solution.

79.3% of patients said they would be more likely to return to the facility for future scans.

Both the report on the Houston Medical Imaging clinical trial of the MyVue radiology patient portal and the independent study of patient attitudes toward patient portals are available here. You can also view a summary of the study in the infographic below.

Portals Provide Benefits to Physicians and Patients, With Few Barriers to Access

Cristine Kao

Cristine Kao, Global Marketing Manager, Healthcare IT, Carestream

Clinical applications continue to be a vital part of our ever-evolving health care system as Meaningful Use Stage 2 increases in adoption and patient engagement receivers a higher participation rate. Not only is engagement occurring between patients and physicians in regards to accessing their EHRs, but patients are increasingly asking for access to their medical images so that they have their entire medical history at their fingertips. As proof of this, we have seen the value of providing patients with access to medical imaging portals, and the long-term benefits it has for both them and physicians, according to a study conducted by IDR Medical GmbH [full disclosure: the study was commissioned by Carestream].

From the study, it became clear that physicians need to be offering patients access to these portals because the patients are demanding it. Among the 1,000 people surveyed, the results found that 83% of the patients see value in being able to access their medical images via a patient portal. The financial advantage for providing patients with access is that patient satisfaction increases, according to the study. Respondents said (76.5% of them) they would recommend such a portal, and a physician who provides access to the portal, to family and friends.

Patient satisfaction allows healthcare providers to engage their patients in a way that both improves the overall care for the patient and allows for providers to retain and attract more patients. The study showed that 79.3% of respondents would return for future scans based on having access to their medical images via a portal. With Meaningful Use Stage 2, healthcare providers must have patient engagement capabilities in place with at least 5% of their patients. The reason being that engaged patients are more educated about their healthcare and because of this knowledge, they will want to be more invested in their care.

It is common for healthcare providers to claim that not only do patients not want the access to portals (which the study says is not true), but that there are barriers that would prevent patients from adopting the new technologies.

  • Age: Older populations take more medical images and receive medical care more often than younger patients. The study sought to answer whether age would be a detriment to portal deployment and adoption, and it turns out that age is not a barrier. On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being “extremely unlikely” and 7 being “extremely likely,” all seven age-segmented groups rated their likelihood of using this tool greater than 4.75. Most importantly, while patients age 71 and above scored the lowest at 4.76, the age group 51-60 scored the highest at 6.08. A score of 4.76 still shows a more likely interest in portals, with the overall results being high.
  • Technology: On the same 1 to 7 scale, respondents who characterize themselves as having very basic, moderate and advanced levels of IT competence scored 5.44, 5.79 and 6.09, respectively, for the likelihood of using an imaging portal. Similar to age, level of knowledge about technology will not prove to be a barrier to patient portal adoption among patients.
  • Image retakes: A hypothesis about image retakes hindering the use of an imaging portal was proven incorrect in the study. On the 1 to 7 scale, those who have not had to undergo an image retake scored 5.8, compared to those who have needed to have their image retaken at 6.0. Respondents’ overall scores ranked from 5.75 to 6.02 across X-ray, ultrasound and mammogram testing. Like age and technology, having images retaken proves not to be barrier with interest remaining high across all segments.

Patient portals are now in a phase where they are a “must-have” for healthcare providers. Aside from Meaningful Use mandates and incentives, the benefits of deploying a patient portal are proving that these technologies are benefitting both the healthcare providers and the patients. A more educated and knowledgeable population of patients is not only inevitable, but is already here. Mobile and wearable technologies are keeping people more in tune with their bodies, and now patient portals are keeping them in tune with their medical visits and exams.

Patient Portals Enable Immediate, Secure Access to Medical Images

Cobalt Imaging Center is a medical charity that provides state of the art imaging for a large population in Southwest England. The facility recently adopted Carestream’s MyVue patient portal to enable patients’ immediate, secure access to their medical images via the web. Peter Sharp and Roisin Dobbins-Stacey of Cobalt Imaging spoke with us at RSNA and emphasized the need for a patient portal over CDs–their current means of sharing patient images—which are costly and timely.

Patients want access to their images now and a patient portal allows them instant access at their fingertips to share with whoever they want whether it’s the referring physician, or friends and family. The facility will slowly roll out MyVue and get patients adapted to a timely, functional, and secure way of sharing medical images.

Hear more about the benefits a patient portal brings to patients and imaging facilities in the video below.