Hospital Information Systems


Functionality, ease of use, flexibility are key

Middle East Health speaks to David Hatton, Healthcare Information Systems Business Manager for the Emerging Markets region at Carestream Health, about the companyís PACS / RIS.

Middle East Health: What new PACS offerings have you recently introduced?
David Hatton: Carestream had a banner year for new PACS offerings in 2012 including: a vendor-neutral Vue Motion viewer that provides referring physicians with convenient access to images and reports on web-enabled devices including iPads; a semi-automatic lesion management module native in Vue PACS that tracks and trends oncology followup; a digital breast tomosynthesis module that enables reading from its PACS workstation for DBT exams (along with other digital mammography modalities); and MyVue, a secure patient imaging portal that allows patients to access, manage and share their own imaging exams and reports with other healthcare providers. We also debuted a native voice recognition/digital dictation module that includes automatic population of DICOM measurements and a real-time radiology dashboard that provides valuable insight into departmental performance.

What do customers look for in PACS?
Healthcare providers look for functionality that delivers a highly productive workflow, ease of use, and a flexible platform that can integrate with other systems and support new features that address emerging demands. Radiologists are specifically looking for a single PACS solution that enables them to look at images, perform post processing and read imaging studies Ė all at the same time.

What new RIS offerings have you introduced over the last year?
We introduced the storage and tracking of radiation dose information on our RIS, which is laying the groundwork to support cumulative dose tracking Ė an important patient care initiative worldwide. Carestreamís RIS tracks and displays dose history by capturing exposure information from the modality. In the future we will be able to allow physicists at user sites to enter formulas that can be used to calculate dose and ultimately will enable tracking cumulative dose for each patient. Last year Vue RIS became one of the first RIS platforms to be certified as both a complete EHR for eligible providers and an EHR module for hospitals.

MEH: Have you noticed more of a demand for vendor neutral archiving?
Customers are looking for an intelligent vendor-neutral archiving solution that can offer advanced features such as: on-site or cloud-based disaster recovery; scalable archiving to handle the needs of multiple departments, sites or even facilities (and handle multiple patient ID or DICOM tags); and builtin intelligence that manages multiple storage platforms for economies of scale. Healthcare providers also want a standards-based, vendor-agnostic platform that can interface with any front end image management solution. Carestreamís Vue Archive, combined with its vendor-neutral viewer, meets these challenges.

MEH: What products have you introduced that are compatible with mobile devices like smartphones and iPads?
Clinicians can use our Vue Motion viewer on their iPads to view imaging studies, reports and other patient data and the MyVue patient portal allows patients to access their studies and radiology reports from web-enabled devices including iPads.

What else have you seen customers ask for in terms of PACS and RIS?
Itís time for many healthcare providers to replace their legacy PACS or RIS systems, but data migration to newer architectures can be both costly and time consuming. Carestream addresses the need for a better option with our ability to ítake overí a legacy DICOM archive. This allows healthcare providers to upgrade PACS solutions while avoiding data migration and enabling uninterrupted service. The funding that would be required for data migration can then be invested in flexible RIS/PACS/archiving solutions that will meet needs for years to come and support future upgrades.

MEH: What are some of the challenges you feel the industry is facing?
DH: Diagnostic reports and imaging studies are becoming commodities. To avoid commoditization, medical imaging service providers need to interact within the larger enterprise Ė such as providing tools that enhance collaboration with referring physicians and enable clinician access to patient image data from the EMR. Greater patient engagement can be achieved through a secure online portal that allows patients to easily download and share their imaging studies and radiology reports with healthcare providers of their choice.

MEH: Do you have any predictions for the future of the industry?
DH: The future of radiology lies in smarter solutions that collect and deliver information in a way that makes it more useful for physicians and clinicians. For example, the format for a final diagnostic report can be enhanced to provide referring physicians with more clinical insight into the patientís condition. This will benefit providers through increased referring physician satisfaction and utilization. For example, Carestreamís reporting solution can embed a key image, anatomical bookmarks and even oncology assessments within the report to aid clinicians in making treatment decisions.

 Date of upload: 20th May 2013


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