Automated DRX-Evolution Maximizes Both Productivity and Patient Comfort

Tim Sisco, Director of Cardiovascular and Imaging Services, Houston Healthcare

Tim Sisco,
Director of Cardiovascular and Imaging Services,
Houston Healthcare

We were looking for a new DR system that would deliver maximum productivity in our busiest radiology room, which captures 40,000 X-ray images of ER and general radiology patients at our 237-bed hospital. Our staff needed maximum productivity and versatility—and we found it with the CARESTREAM DRX-Evolution System. With this dual-detector system, our technologists are able to quickly and easily position patients for any type of exam. When an exam type is selected, the fully automated system moves the tube into position with the Bucky or table and then the technologist positions the patient. It easily accommodates patients on stretchers or wheelchairs and streamlines the capture of complex cross table and spine exams often required for trauma patients. Technologists view each image on the tube head and are able to move to the next image without leaving the patient’s side.

Exposures were reduced by 40-50 percent even though we had a DR system in the room previously. Morale has improved because this system reduces wear and tear on technologists by eliminating the need for them to constantly move the tube. And patients also benefit because we are able to capture excellent quality images with lower exposures and less discomfort. This system has been a valuable addition to our hospital and helps us enhance patient care.

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Carestream’s DRX-Evolution scored highest for overall performance in a recently released KLAS Digital X-ray report. Please visit Carestream.com for more information on our highly productive family of wireless DRX systems.

RSNA 2012 Digital Radiography Discussions: AnMed Health

Kathy Hood, Director of Radiology, AnMed Health in Anderson, S.C, discusses the role of digital radiography in her department. Hood highlights the department’s acquisition of a CARESTREAM DRX-Evolution DR Room and the ability to share DRX wireless DR detectors between equipment. Hood is looking at new technology at RSNA and shares feedback on the DRX-Revolution and how the collapsible column would benefit her technologists. Hood also comments on her vision for the future of imaging sharing in the department:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImfPdI_Rz4s&w=640&h=360]
What technology did you see at RSNA that you can’t wait to show your department? 

RSNA Hot Topics: Portable Imaging and Radiology’s Transformation

Todd Kranpitz, Executive Director of Radiology at Iowa Health, Des Moines, visited our social media broadcast center at RSNA to offer his thoughts on the transformation underway in radiology.  Kranpitz feels its important that the radiology professionals become educators and reach out to other specialties to ensure they understand ALL that diagnostic imaging can bring to the table throughout the care continuum.

Also, Kranpitz recently acquired a CARESTREAM DRX-Revolution Mobile X-Ray System and shares his feedback on the impact of the portable unit on technologist productivity. He also discusses how surgeons want the technology and he sees the potential to replace c-arm systems in the operating room with a DRX unit.

DRX-Revolution “Drives” Speed and Consistency at Tufts Medical Center

Mike Foley

Mike Foley, Director of Radiology Services, Tufts Medical Center

Our radiology services team completes nearly 28,000 portable exams each year throughout the medical center. Mobile X-ray’s role in our patient care strategy continues to grow, making efficiency and image quality paramount.

The first stage in our move to improve productivity was to convert some of our CR-based portable systems to digital radiography. This year we upgraded three existing portable units with wireless DRX detectors. These upgrades allow our existing portable systems to deliver images in less than five seconds for our most critical patients—a huge clinical advantage when compared to the 15 minutes required to transport cassettes and process CR images.

DRX-RevolutionWe also installed a DRX-Revolution mobile imaging system, which moves us to a new level of care for critically ill or injured patients. Its specialized software reprocesses the original X-ray image with algorithms that display tubes and lines so physicians can immediately verify the accuracy of placement.

Radiologists also gain greater consistency in image presentation since the system allows technologists to review previous exposure settings that produced an excellent image and re-use them. Consistency is a huge advantage when radiologists are looking for subtle differences in a patient’s condition on a daily basis.

Our technologists are also happier (and more productive) thanks to smooth maneuverability in tight spaces, a collapsible column that delivers unimpaired visibility and greater safety, and convenient storage for all the accessories needed to perform portable imaging exams.

Do your radiologists experience inconsistencies among portable exams? 

Editor’s Note: You can schedule an appointment at RSNA 2012  or stop by booth #2636 to see our latest digital radiography solutions. 

Rapid Access to High-Quality Images Improving Neonatal ICU Outcomes

This is a guest-post by Robert Whitmarsh, RT (R), CNMT, Director of Medical Imaging AdministrationSt. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center (Syracuse, N.Y.).

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, N.Y.

Our hospital retrofitted three of our portable x-ray systems with CARESTREAM DRX detectors, which are primarily deployed in our most critical environments – the ER, ICU, neonatal ICU and surgical suites. And when seconds count, we’ve seen the instant access to images they offer actually save lives.

One recent example is a case of a premature baby in our neonatal ICU. The baby’s condition suddenly started to decline. Our staff took a chest image using a portable X-ray system that had been retrofitted with a CARESTREAM DRX-1 detector. Less than five seconds later, physicians looked at the image and realized one of the baby’s lungs had collapsed.

Detecting a pneumothorax is notoriously difficult, particularly in premature infants. Carestream’s DRX-detector delivered the exceptional visualization needed for our physicians to see the problem so they could correct it. They immediately inserted a chest tube to re-inflate the lung.

Taking the image, making the diagnosis and correcting the condition were ALL accomplished in less time than it takes to process a CR image.

We believe having high-quality digital radiography images available on our portable systems saved that baby’s life—and significantly improves care for other critically ill and injured patients.

Editor’s Note: You can schedule an appointment at RSNA 2012  or stop by booth #2636 to see our latest digital radiography and pediatric imaging solutions. 

Speeding Trauma Care with Digital Radiography

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest blog post by Gillian Tickall, Chief Radiographer at The Alfred. The Alfred is a major tertiary referral teaching hospital that provides the most comprehensive range of specialist medical and surgical services in Victoria, Australia. Tickall kindly shares how converting to digital radiography has helped to shave off 9 to 10 minutes when working on trauma patients.

A pacesetter in Australia’s national healthcare system, The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne sees 60 percent of the traumas in Victoria. For our radiology department, this equates to about 2,400 exams per year.  Like any public hospital, one of our key challenges is increasing patient throughput while also improving the patient experience and outcome. This challenge is no small feat as capital funding decreases, pushing the lifespan of our equipment from 10 to 15 years.

One way we’ve addressed this challenge and financial constraint has been to use CARESTREAM DRX detectors and mobile retrofit kits to bring our imaging technology in both the main department as well as the emergency department, into the realm of modern technology.  For example, we were able to convert a conventional x-ray room, to a fully functional DR x-ray room, capable of meeting the demands of inpatient, outpatient and emergency examinations in a way that is of benefit to our patients.

Carestream detectorIn addition to inpatients from the hospital’s burns and trauma units, the room also supports a large population of outpatients, used for multiple exam types, from elderly patients in traction with broken limbs who have to be lifted onto the table to follow-up multi-trauma traffic accident victims. In these cases, it’s particularly helpful to have a wireless detector that you don’t have to reposition between projections.  If the detector is positioned incorrectly, the image is accessible immediately and if anatomy is clipped, the radiographer can retake the image after slight repositioning of the detector, which is already behind the patient, thus less distress to the patient.

The benefits in intensive care are significant, through the use of Carestream’s tube and line visualization software, doctors, while by the bedside can see immediately if they have put a nasogastric tube down correctly or not. They can see the image on the monitor allowing them to make an immediate assessment and correction if required. This feature is fantastic. You don’t need another exposure, if you are not quite sure of where the nasogastric tube is going into the stomach you take a copy of the diagnostic image and then apply the software tool and it’s beautiful. The line shows up perfectly and that is a huge benefit. The ICU doctors think it’s fantastic.

Another benefit is when we go to a code blue in the ward, when the patient has just arrested and we are not sure what could have caused it, we do an x-ray. All the necessary doctors and staff are there and they can see the image straight away. They then have the ability to make a decision immediately while the patient is critical. For us to go all the way back to the department , process the image, put it on  the network and bring it back to the code blue team takes time the patient doesn’t have and can result in a negative clinical outcome.  We managed to shave off a good 9 to 10 minutes when working on trauma patients, which is an awful lot of time when you think about the standard golden hour with traumas.

The DRX detectors also allow us to share between the dedicated imaging rooms and ED. For the purpose of ED we have a room that has 2 wireless detectors, 1 for the vertical bucky and 1 for the table bucky, which can be taken out and used on the trauma trolleys For the odd time you need to do a mobile you can take one detector out of the room and the room will still function, the ability to maintain effective concurrent room and mobile workflows is terrific.

We also have 3 of the new cesium iodide [DRX-1C] detectors, which provide the same image quality with a lower dose as compared to detectors in the ED room and retrofit room in the main department. These are used on the mobile units for mostly in the intensive care unit and the wards. The actual exposure is minimal compared to what we used to use. We used to use the exposure settings of 85 KV on 5 or 6 MAS for a chest X-ray and [with the DRX-1C] we are using now 90 KV on 1.6 MAS. This represents a significant dose saving for the patients who may have to have 1, 2, 3 x-rays a day while they are in intensive care. Given, these images are absolutely necessary, all the more reason radiation dose exposures need to be as minimal as possible and monitored.

When it comes to evaluating the value of our conversion to DR, I look at it in terms of its ability to allow more time for my radiographers to spend with the patient, decreasing the pain effect on the patient and also having the ability to see the image instantaneously.  It does mean that we can get more patients through, while still achieving a better patient experience and better outcome.

Bedside Imaging at San Antonio’s University Hospital

Andy Mendoza

Andy Mendoza, Medical Sales, Carestream

Living in Helotes, Texas – a suburb of San Antonio – I, like many residents, have sense of pride about the hospitals in our area.  U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of “best hospitals” for 52 U.S. metropolitan areas, featured five San Antonio hospitals, placing University Hospital  at #1 and ranked nationally. We can feel good about the care available to us in this area.

On Friday, San Antonio’s local news station, KENS 5, took a look at new bedside imaging technology at University Hospital that is speeding the radiology process and allowing radiologists and physicians to make faster diagnosis. [ Click the Image Below to View]

Click to ViewI worked closely with the hospital on their decision to invest in this Carestream DRX-Revolution Mobile X-Ray System.  As KENS 5 reported, with 12 floors to tackle on rounds, 140 patient x-rays per day and more than 4,000 images a month, the hospital needed a portable unit that was easy to transport and could transmit images in seconds for real-time decisions.

It was nice to see medical imaging getting some mainstream attention. University Hospital’s director of radiology Rick Pena said it best: “When you have good image quality, you feel good about the diagnostics that you provide.”

As a member of the local community, I also hope stories like these make us feel good about the caliber of care available to us in San Antonio.

What role does bedside imaging play in your department’s approach to patient care? 

Attending AHRA 2012 in August? Schedule a DRX-Revolution test drive.

Our Focus is Your Success – Meet Our Employees and Customers

Helen Titus

Helen Titus, Marketing Director, Digital Capture Solutions, Carestream

It’s an exciting and challenging time to be in the medical profession. Change is happening fast. New treatments.  Competing reform priorities. Evolving technologies.

Yet, a patient’s hopes, fears, and need for expert care remain constant—as does a doctor’s commitment to providing exactly that.

It’s our shared commitment to improving the health and lives of people around the world that drives our focus on innovation to continually raise the bar for image capture and management. At Carestream, our focus begins with listening and we look at issues from your perspective. Every day, we learn from providers large and small about the constraints you face and the problems you need to solve.

When you succeed, we succeed.  You are the beginning and the end of everything we do. We focus our research and innovation, design and manufacturing, and global approach to service and support precisely on your needs.

We know, for example, that providers are under intense pressure to restrain capital. We respond by focusing our energy on solutions that can help providers do  more with less, enhance efficiency and boost productivity—all while helping improve patient care.

In today’s environment, commitment must be more than a word. I invite you to view the video below to meet our people and hear from customers like Blessing Hospital in Illinois what Carestream’s focus means to them.  For Steve McDonald, Superintendent Radiographer at Royal Liverpool University Hospital in England, Carestream’s focus means:  “It used to take a staff of seven and three CR rooms to handle our 66,000 patients each year. Our upgrade to two CARESTREAM DRX-Evolution Systems now lets us serve the same number of patients with only a staff of four and redeploy the additional staff to meet other critical needs of the hospital. It also means having access to Carestream’s service team around the globe to troubleshoot any problems and maximize uptime.”

What do you look for in a technology partner? How do you define focus at your facility?

How We Lowered Pediatric X-Ray Exam Dose By One Third

Editors Note: We asked Kathy Hood, Director, and Cathy Atkins and Judy Wilson, Managers of Diagnostic Radiology, at AnMed Health in Anderson, S.C. to share an inside look at how they have lowered pediatric dose.  

Everything about AnMed Health Kids’ Care is tailored to children—from the alphabet puzzle at the check-in desk to the board-certified pediatricians and the x-ray imaging systems. Our urgent care facility is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. We treat babies, children and adolescents with a variety of conditions—from flu and asthma attacks to sports injuries, cuts and burns.

AnMed Health Kids' Care Center

AnMed Health Kids' Care Center

We see 5,000 patients a month and conduct an average of 2,000 imaging exams a month. Almost all of those exams are performed with CARESTREAM DRX-1 Systems that recently replaced a CR system used with existing analog radiography equipment.

Converting from CR to DR has resulted in a tremendous advantage for our patients, physicians and staff. Because children are more radiosensitive to radiation and doses are cumulative over a lifetime, our primary goal was to reduce exposure dose wherever possible and the implementation of the DRX systems has allowed us to do that. Since implementing wireless, cassette-size DRX-1 technology in the general x-ray rooms, we have lowered exposures by 30-50%. After conducting tests on phantoms, the equipment was calibrated and our staff set up reduced techniques and reprogrammed the x-ray systems.

The ability to capture, view and transmit images directly to our PACS without the extra processing step required with CR has been a big productivity improvement.  Wait times for the pediatrician and patients have been reduced and diagnosis and treatment can begin immediately. This is especially important when our patients are very ill or in pain.

The Kids’ Care Center is in the same building as AnMed Health Women’s and Children’s Hospital and many of the pediatricians’ offices. The building houses four general radiology rooms, all equipped with DRX-1 detectors that allow us to offer excellent care for our pediatric patients and keep their parents and families from congested emergency rooms.

Mobile DR Can Save 10-20 Minutes in Surgery

Larry Kirschner, Radiology Team Leader, Heartland Regional Medical Center, is using Mobile DR in the operating room.  For his facility this results in a quantifiable return:  Surgeons can save 10-20 minutes per case, which can mean an extra surgery per day per room.

How is your facility using imaging during surgery?