What is your cloud strategy for medical imaging? Two large hospitals see it differently
Cloud strategies for storing and accessing medical images across the enterprise are front and center in healthcare IT these days. The increasing sophistication of imaging technology has resulted in substantial increases in imaging data.
The upside of this evolution is that clinicians have more imaging information available to aid in diagnosis and treatment. The downside is that the vast increase in imaging data is putting pressure on provider data centers everywhere.
As storage requirements increase with every new modality, the cloud is no longer an optional part of your enterprise imaging strategy. It is rapidly becoming an essential component. Our new cloud strategies white paper shares the experiences of two different imaging providers with a cloud strategy. Continue reading →
Centers consolidate workstations with Carestream Vue RIS and Vue PACS
Imaging technology applications have the potential to provide many benefits – including increased efficiency. With this goal in mind, Reno Diagnostic Centers of Reno Nevada implemented Carestream’s Vue RIS and Vue PACS to help streamline workflow in radiology.
“We recognized the opportunity to use technology to our advantage to increase the efficiency of the entire operation with a primary focus on making the radiologist as efficient as possible,” said Ron Milbank, Director of IT at Reno Diagnostic Centers.
The pair of outpatient imaging centers does about 75,000 exams a year across all modalities. By implementing Carestream’s RIS and PACS solutions, they were able to eliminate multiple, disparate workstations including mammography and PET-CT fusion workstations as well as regular RAD workstations.
“When you add up the cost of those stations, plus the support contracts that go along with them, the training curve for the radiologists to learn all that software, and the opportunity to lose all those stations – there’s a big benefit to consolidation,” said Milbank.
The goal for 2017? More efficiency in radiology and continued high levels of patient care.
“We continue to look for ways to have the rads interact with the software as little as possible to accomplish their job at a complexity and quality level that exceeds the competitors, and is way above the minimum standard,” emphasized Milbank.
Hear more about Reno Diagnostic Centers in this video interview. #HCIS
Access to radiology reports can help eliminate barriers and enable collaboration
The number of new innovations in health IT can be overwhelming. Hospital CIOs and administrators must help evaluate new software for referral management, applications for improved transparency, and analytics software. How can HIT directors and hospital administrators decide which technologies are worth investing in? Answer: start with the ones – like cloud hosted PACS solutions – that solve a real problem – like radiology staffing shortages.
Nicola Strickland, head of the Royal College of Radiologists, made a convincing case to The Observer in 2016 for “how the crisis in radiology recruitment will break the entire NHS system in Britain”. And in January 2017, AuntMinnie Europe painted a dire picture of how a hard Brexit would further strain the lack of radiology resources.
Other parts of Europe, especially rural areas, face a similar problem. The shortage of radiologists and other health professionals is driving medical providers with no formal or previous affiliations to find ways to pool their resources and collaborate among their sites.
Fortunately, cloud based services and teleradiology are toppling the geographic barriers. An increasing number of medical health providers in Europe are installing PACS – Picture Archiving and Communication Systems – and hosting them in the cloud. For example, Spire Healthcare, one of the largest private healthcare groups in the UK, enabled cross site reporting using the Carestream cloud. Using different cloud services from Carestream, Spire Healthcare can store and archive data to enable cross site reporting and then distribution of the reports and associated images. Continue reading →
Throughout the U.S. and worldwide, equipment decision criteria are not so different
There are clear advantages to having new, up-to-date medical devices; including gains in productivity and efficiency. Medical equipment can support the movement to reduce healthcare costs and increase its efficiency and effectiveness. This movement is worldwide, and nothing new, as a McKinsey report stated a few years ago. “Today, medical device companies operate in a different world. In developed countries, healthcare systems are under acute financial pressure…. Developing economies are transforming the environment, too…. Success in emerging markets requires a deep understanding of stakeholders’ needs.”
The challenges and pathways to creating a unified framework for capturing, distributing and accessing clinical information
What is interoperability in healthcare? Interoperability can be described as a well-functioning central nervous system, coordinating the enterprise’s many roles and tasks toward a common end: the well-being of each patient.
But when communications are slow, incomplete, or missing between any two entities — patients and providers, primary-care physicians and specialists, central and remote locations, and so on — the timeliness and quality of patient care can suffer. Many other parts of the total healthcare ecosystem can be affected as well: costs can rise, resources can be allocated inefficiently, and opportunities for constructive collaboration can be lost.
Information generated by different systems, on different networks and for different purposes becomes far more useful when a unified framework is in place for capturing, distributing and using the information. Ideally, with the appropriate security credentials, any individual user or collaborative team should be able to interact with the information they need, in the format they prefer, on their choice of device.
Why is interoperability important to healthcare?
Every stakeholder in the healthcare delivery process stands to benefit from interoperable systems built on interoperability standards that deliver collaborative transparency and efficiency. These stakeholders include patients who want to take more active responsibility for their own health; primary care physicians and specialists who are seeking meaningful collaboration, without information gaps, delays, or redundancies that could compromise quality; and providers in remote and rural areas who need the ability to share clinical images and data with centrally located specialists. Continue reading →
Preparing for the next-generation of medical imaging data and analytics
Today, the cloud is a grownup with a seat at the IT table. The major issues around the cloud (security, access and speed) have been satisfactorily resolved by industries outside of healthcare: technology, software, financial services, and retail have been using the cloud for years.
Of course, healthcare does have its own unique issues of privacy, security and access that make it slow to adopt any new technology, and the cloud has been no exception. But progress has been made. In a recent annual study of 125 large and small cloud users, for the first time in 2016, security was not the first concern mentioned. Technology has jumped ahead to meet the challenges of healthcare’s journey to value.
The cloud is an essential part of the healthcare industry’s IT structure/restructure to reduce costs, increase clinical collaboration and speed up clinicians’ access to information. As larger study files boost storage requirements, Intel and Carestream have partnered in Intel’s Storage Builder Program. The purpose of the collaboration is to blend Carestream’s expertise in healthcare information systems with Intel’s technological prowess to increase the performance of Carestream’s PACS and RIS systems and to make them more useful to clinicians. For example, Carestream recently deployed the new Intel® Solid-State Drive (SSD) Data Center (DC) Family for PCle® P3700 featuring Non-Volatile Memory Express™ (NVMe™) and observed a threefold increase in throughput in that portion of the Carestream Vue workflow.
Carestream product capabilities support precision medicine
Access to, and analyses of, large databases of patient medical records, associated information, and content-rich imagery are core mechanisms for identifying precisely defined subpopulations – and the personalization of healthcare. Progress toward the personalization of healthcare is made possible by defining patient subpopulations that reflect minimized variability with respect to the effectiveness and prognostic outlook for specific courses of treatment. The data about an individual patient can then be correlated with the treatments that produced the best results (together with the associated prognosis) for the subpopulation of patients and pathologies having similar characteristics. Healthcare IT infrastructures, high resolution 3D capture, functional imaging and data analytics represent key elements for the advancement of this paradigm.
In the news: reducing inappropriate imaging and archiving POC ultrasound studies
Articles include: a study that finds radiologists can work with referring physicians to significantly reduce inappropriate imaging; the topic of deconstructed PACS is creating controversy; telehealth initiatives are beginning to gain ground; a study reports it’s relatively easy to increase the number of ED point-of-care ultrasound studies being archived on PACS; and functional MRI might help settle an open question over “second impact syndrome” in child and teen football players.
Radiologists who participate in a radiology benefits management program (RBM) by consulting with referring physicians can help reduce inappropriate imaging by at least 20%, according to a new study published in the July edition of the American Journal of Roentgenology. This finding is good news for a specialty long considered to be behind the scenes in patient care.
There are few topics that create more controversy in the imaging informatics marketplace than the topic of deconstructed PACS, which could alter revenue flow in imaging IT while yielding a profound impact on vendors’ go-to market strategy.
Everyone has social networks; some online and others offline. These social networks are built around interpersonal relationships among friends, family and acquaintances. In contrast, the foundation of online communities is mutual interests rather than personal relationships.
In healthcare IT, the common interest is using technology solutions to their fullest and sharing ideas for innovations to improve productivity and patient care. The online community becomes even more powerful when users of technology are connected to the provider of the solution, giving everyone a comfortable forum to learn and benefit from each other. As a result, new and deeper relationships can be formed, and a greater level of trust can be achieved.
Carestream has a worldwide virtual community for users of its health IT product portfolio, Carestream Vue. The group, called VIBE (Very Important Board of End Users) is a forum for our IT customers to communicate, collaborate and educate each other – and with Carestream. Direct collaboration between Carestream and our end users is essential to making sure that our products are in synch with the market’s changing needs. Our users are very active in the online forum, with a 40% engagement rate – much higher than the industry benchmark of 15%. Here’s why they participate: