Claron Awarded CE Mark for NilRead Diagnostic Zero-Footprint Medical Image …

Opens European Headquarters March 3, 2014, Toronto — Claron Technology, the leader in universal medical imaging viewers, announces that it has been awarded the CE mark for its NilRead zero-footprint viewer for the diagnostic interpretation of medical images. Coinciding with this, Claron has opened European headquarters in Hasselt, Belgium, under the direction of Tom Tilmans, director of sales. In addition to spearheading direct sales efforts, Tilmans will recruit and manage a team of European partners and distributors. NilRead is a universal, web-based zero-footprint viewer that enables diagnostic interpretation of medical images and related digital information on a variety of computers anytime, anywhere across the enterprise and beyond. It supports viewing of all cleared DICOM imaging modalities and both 2-D and 3-D viewing. Running from a remote server, NilRead requires no software download while delivering the highest quality performance, comparable with a full-featured PACS viewer. NilRead features customizable hanging protocols, prior-current comparisons and extensive measurements. Its advanced visualization features include thin/thick slabs, MIP, volume rendering, PET/CT fusion and more. NilRead delivers the highest levels of security and leaves no information on the viewing hardware when the session is complete. It is the first zero-footprint viewer supporting multi-diagnostic monitor configurations. Claron has recently extended Nil with data adapters for popular vendor neutral archive (VNA) solutions and with bi-directional Web API for integration with workflow solutions. This, combined with strong support for non-DICOM data, including native support for video and multiple image formats – such as jpeg, png, tiff, bmp, PDF and others – makes Nil the ultimate companion to a multi-specialty enterprise archive. “NilRead received FDA and Health Canada clearance for diagnostic use several months ago and has been extremely well-received in North America,” says Claudio Gatti, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Claron Technology. “With CE acceptance, we are pleased to start offering the technology throughout Europe. The functionality of both viewers will be expanded at ECR with localization in all major European languages to facilitate adoption through the European Community.” “We are extremely pleased to welcome Tom Tilmans to Claron to spearhead the introduction of Nil in Europe,” says Reuven Soraya, sales and marketing vice president for Claron. “Tom brings a wealth of experience and business connections to the company. With Tom’s expertise and the new CE mark, we are looking forward to extending the value of Nil to European customers.” Claron’s Nil family of viewers also includes NilShare for non-diagnostic use, which has been helping to meet the image sharing needs of a wide range of needs of medical facilities since 2010. Claron’s Nil enterprise viewers are in daily use at hundreds of health care facilities.  About Claron Technology, Inc. Claron is dedicated to the application of image processing, image sharing and image distribution in medicine. It has extensive experience in developing systems that help clinicians identify anatomy and tissues of interest, visualize and analyze them, and securely distribute them on a variety of different platforms from desktop to smartphones. Claron helps healthcare providers deliver more value to their patients by making physicians more efficient and ... Read more

Premier Family Practice Associates Selects RamSoft …

February 28, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Premier Family Practice Associates is a multi-specialty, family practice provider in Bakersfield, CA. Drs. Luis Cousin, Hemmal Kothary and Albert Peinado, owners of PFPA, are joined by Drs. Michaela Ginn and Mary Milkie-Andrews to offer a wider range of professional medical services to the surrounding community. They have selected PowerServer PACS for its ability to automate every aspect of their in-house radiology workflow and provide them with the tools for fast and efficient reporting. According to Dr. Luis Cousin, owner of Premier Family Practice Associates, they selected PowerServer PACS based on prior experience with the solution. “We’ve seen, first hand, how efficiently PowerServer PACS manages radiology workflow that we knew it would be the ideal solution for PFPA,” says Dr. Cousin. “It provides us with unlimited freedom to manage our radiology workflow now, and because it’s fully customizable, it will grow with our business needs. Ms. Marilyn Solano, director of sales and marketing adds “We’ve designed our PowerServer line around a single platform database for ease of use and easy customization. As a result, Premier Family Practice Associates will benefit from access from anywhere, a fully automated and customized workflow, and rapid report distribution. ” PowerServer PACS is built on RamSoft’s industry-leading single platform technology and includes a built-in workflow engine that automates every step from queuing patient data to the modality, to radiologist interpretation and report distribution. Its web-based architecture provides end users with the convenience of being accessible from anywhere without losing productivity. PowerServer PACS supports all modalities and is designed to create efficient workflow management for imaging facilities of any size with any number of locations. About RamSoft, Inc.: RamSoft, a Canadian IT software and services company with 20 years of experience, is dedicated to developing and delivering cost effective RIS, PACS and Teleradiology solutions for its clients in the U.S. and around the world. The company’s goal is to enable imaging facilities, radiology centers, and ambulatory and acute-care practices to continue offering superior patient care while improving workflow efficiencies. RamSoft, Inc. offers a wide range of affordable and feature-rich solutions such as the PowerServer™ Series of PACS, RIS/PACS, Teleradiology, and patient information management ... Read more

Sectra Signs Large Agreement with Healthcare Region in …

SECTRA, USA, February 10, 2014 - A customer in Scandinavia has signed a four-year agreement with the IT and medical technology company Sectra (STO: SECT B). The order value amounts to SEK 32 million (approx. EUR 3.4 M). The agreement includes development, maintenance and support for the customer’s regional IT solution for managing medical images and patient information, the Sectra RIS and PACS. “We work purposefully to increase customer satisfaction by providing excellent service and by working in partnership with our customers to continuously develop products and services to enhance healthcare effectiveness. This order comes from a customer who we have collaborated with for more than 15 years and is an excellent example of the type of long-term relationships we build,” says Petter Østbye, Manager Sectra’s imaging IT operation in Scandinavia. Most patients undergo radiology examinations as part of the diagnosis and treatment process for their illness or injury. This means that managing and communicating images and information rapidly and efficiently with personnel from other healthcare units is highly significant for the quality of the care provided for the patients. With the medical IT solution from Sectra, it will be easy for hospitals in the region to share patient information and radiology images with each other and with hospitals in other regions. This will facilitate the efficient utilization of resources and will increase the potential for effective and safe healthcare. About Sectra Sectra was founded in 1978 and has its roots in Linköping University in Sweden. The company’s business operation includes cutting-edge products and services within the niche segments of medical systems and secure communication systems. Sectra has offices in 12 countries and operates through partners worldwide. Sales in the 2012/2013 fiscal year totaled SEK 817 million. The Sectra share is quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm AB ... Read more

Arab Health: UAE Technologists Find Roles Transformed…

January 29, 2014 -- DUBAI - Not long ago, being a radiographer/radiologic technologist meant being an x-ray technician with limited responsibilities. But technology, demographics, and the rapidly evolving needs of the imaging department have ... Read more

Sectra Wins Best in KLAS Award for Acute Care PACS…

SECTRA, USA, February 2, 2014 - The medical imaging IT company Sectra (STO: SECT B) announced that its acute care PACS has been awarded “Best in KLAS” by the research firm with the same name in the “2013 Best in KLAS: Software and Services” report. The initial version of Sectra PACS was installed more than 20 years ago and is now responsible for managing over 70 million annual radiology examinations worldwide. “We believe that our KLAS scores are representative of an ongoing initiative to increase customer satisfaction. By becoming more systematic in seeking client feedback, as well as making special efforts in understanding the needs of our customer’s customer, referring physicians, we have significantly raised the responsiveness of our support services and improved the overall user experience. The products we have released in the past year are also reflective of our customers’ requirements for effectiveness and innovation,” says Sectra North American President, Mikael Anden. A large hospital PACS Manager commented to KLAS in December, 2013, “The latest version of Sectra PACS is the most stable yet. It does a great job of handling large image sets. Visiting radiologists prefer Sectra PACS over what they have at their home hospitals.” Sectra PACS provides radiologists the ability to perform their work smoothly and efficiently in a data-intense environment. It is designed to enhance communication and collaboration between the radiology department and its referring physicians, thereby improving diagnostic quality and minimizing report turnaround times. About KLAS KLAS is a research firm on a global mission to improve healthcare delivery by enabling providers to be heard and counted. Working with thousands of healthcare professionals and clinicians, KLAS gathers data on software, services, medical equipment, and infrastructure systems to deliver timely reports, trends, and statistical overviews. The research directly represents the provider voice and acts as a catalyst for improving vendor performance. About Sectra Sectra was founded in 1978 and has its roots in Linköping University in Sweden. The company’s business operation includes cutting-edge products and services within the niche segments of medical systems and secure communication systems. Sectra has offices in 12 countries and operates through partners worldwide. Sales in the 2012/2013 fiscal year totaled SEK 817 million. The Sectra share is quoted on the NASDAQ OMX Stockholm AB exchange. In the medical market, Sectra develops and sells IT systems and services for radiology and other image-intensive departments, orthopaedics and rheumatology. More than 1,400 hospitals, clinics and imaging centers worldwide use the systems daily, together performing over 70 million radiology examinations annually. This makes Sectra one of the world-leading companies within systems for handling digital radiology ... Read more

Expands PowerServer RIS/PACS/MU Customer Base in …

(January 29, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada) RamSoft, a developer of RIS, PACS, and Teleradiology workflow solutions, adds Stockdale Radiology to its roster of clients. Founded by Drs. David Suadi and Gabriel Gelves, Stockdale Radiology is a brand new, state-of-the-art imaging center in Bakersfield, CA offering advanced imaging services to the Central Valley. They selected PowerServer RIS/PACS/MU to manage their workflow and to collect the data required for Meaningful Use Attestation. Key factors contributing to the selection of PowerServer RIS/PACS/MU included the ability to customize the system to their specific workflow; the automated workflow engine that eliminates unnecessary steps; easy-to-use scheduler; automated report distribution; and physician portal with electronic appointment requests. Additionally, the certified complete EHR designed specifically for radiologists significantly contributed to their decision. “It was important for us to select a solution that could manage our day-to-day processes while making meaningful use attestation as easy as possible with minimal impact on our workflow,” says Dr. Suadi, owner of Stockdale Radiology. “We appreciate that RamSoft took the time to understand the meaningful use program so they could develop a solution specifically for radiologists.” PowerServer RIS/PACS/MU is an all-in-one, 100% web-based radiology workflow application running on a single-database platform. It is fully customizable and can manage an unlimited number of facilities, users and workstations while including all the tools needed to operate a medical imaging business efficiently. Its powerful workflow engine automates every aspect of the production environment, freeing up radiology professionals to focus on what they do best: providing better, faster patient care. The optional ONC-ATCB Certified Complete EHR is designed exclusively for PowerServer RIS/PACS to capture the necessary data to attest to Meaningful Use and qualify for grant monies.  About RamSoft, Inc.: RamSoft, a Canadian IT software and services company with 20 years of experience, is dedicated to developing and delivering cost effective RIS, PACS and Teleradiology solutions for its clients in the U.S. and around the world. The company’s goal is to enable imaging facilities, radiology centers, and ambulatory and acute-care practices to continue offering superior patient care while improving workflow efficiencies. RamSoft, Inc. offers a wide range of affordable and feature-rich solutions such as the PowerServer™ Series of PACS, RIS/PACS, Teleradiology, and patient information management ... Read more

Blackford Analysis Introduces Image Comparison …

Blackford enhances any image viewer to accelerate the comparison of medical images Dubai, UAE & Edinburgh, UK – January 27, 2014 – Blackford Analysis, a provider of software products that accelerate comparison of medical images, today announced it will be introducing its products to the Middle Eastern market at the Arab Health Congress 2014 in Dubai. Designed to be integrated directly into any image viewer, such as a PACS, Advanced Visualization Viewer or Universal Viewer, Blackford Analysis’ products work seamlessly within existing systems to enable instant comparison of multiple image studies with a single click. Already making strong inroads into the US market through key partnerships with imaging industry companies like Intelerad, ClearCanvas and Fovia, Blackford Analysis is participating at Arab Health as the company seeks to bring its products into new markets. “Our products help save clinician time, increase capacity and facilitate better communication, while helping to increase productivity and efficiency across the healthcare enterprise,” said Dr. Ben Panter, CEO, Blackford Analysis. “These attributes are applicable in every healthcare market in the world and we are looking forward to meeting the Arab Health delegates to show them the incredible difference that Blackford products can make to their imaging workflow.” At Arab Health, Blackford Analysis will be located in Zabeel Hall at booth Z1B10, where the company will be demonstrating the four key elements of its software: Blackford MatchedCrosshairs enhances any image viewer to allow users to simply click once on a location in any scan to instantly find the same location in multiple scans from different timepoints and/or different modalities (CT, MRI or PET). Blackford MatchedView enables any image viewer to automatically compensate for changes in patient position and acquisition planes between scans, automatically presenting views of compared exams in the same position and plane, and enabling like-for-like comparison. Blackford AutoSync gives image viewers the ability to perform slice synchronization across exams automatically, regardless of differences in acquisition protocol and patient positioning, so that you can start reading immediately when compared exams are displayed. Blackford Fusion enables image viewers to display accurate anatomical location of functional imaging findings by displaying fused views of exams from the same, hybrid, or complementary modalities. Julia Brown, director of life and chemical sciences, Scottish Enterprise, said: "Blackford Analysis is a great example of a company that is proactively targeting overseas markets in order to help realise its ambitious growth plans. Our field office in Dubai has worked with the company to research the Middle East market and we look forward to continuing to work with them to increase their international outreach." About Blackford Analysis Blackford Analysis is a developer of software solutions for the radiology sector. The company’s lead product is a software tool designed to accelerate routine radiology – saving time and increasing radiologist capacity. Founded in 2010, and with operations in the United Kingdom and the United States, Blackford Analysis is backed by Archangel Informal Investment, one of the UK’s leading business angel ... Read more

Agfa HealthCare Workshop in UAE Showcases ICIS Imaging …

Agfa  HealthCare recently held a workshop in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) highlighting new technologies that enable healthcare providers to view multidisciplinary image information by unifying the patient record across departments and create a true longitudinal patient-imaging record. ICIS (Imaging Clinical Information System) is a workflow-centric enterprise imaging solution that unifies medical imaging and integrates it with clinical data across borders: regional, hospital or departmental. His Excellency Christian Tanghe, Ambassador of Belgium to the UAE, attended the event and emphasized the expertise of Belgian healthcare industries in the demanding field of medical imaging technology. Mr. Mike Reagin, CIO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD), presented the significant technical challenges of a modern multi-site healthcare organization and how they were able to build a highly advanced medical imaging network. Together with Agfa HealthCare’s solutions and expertise, the hospital aims to become a truly state-of-the-art healthcare institution in the region. A comprehensive view of multidisciplinary patient images ICIS is an enterprise clinical IT platform that provides a comprehensive view of multidisciplinary patient imaging records. It unifies the patient record across regions, facilities and departments, creating a true longitudinal patient-imaging record, and allows data sharing across hospitals, whether or not the same vendor delivered their individual PACS. Jean-Pierre Slabbaert, Agfa HealthCare’s Director of Information Technology for the Export region, remarked, “The ICIS technology enables healthcare providers to create, collaborate, exchange, and manage a comprehensive medical imaging record through the continuum of care. It is a solution that lets hospitals go beyond the borders of a single, individual department, enhancing care collaboration.” Offering a new level of digitization The workshop underscores Agfa HealthCare’s commitment to the region. Zyad Benaissa, Managing Director of Agfa HealthCare Solutions, Middle East, reflected on the longstanding relationships between Agfa HealthCare and the most important healthcare institutions in the region, including CCAD and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). He highlighted, “We introduced digital imaging to the region in 1999 with our first PACS installation in a radiology department. Since then, we have extended our installed base of imaging IT solutions across the Middle East. Today, we are very proud to be able to introduce ICIS, a new imaging platform that will allow our customers to build a true enterprise imaging ... Read more


The 99th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) is scheduled from December 1 – 6, 2013, at Chicago's McCormick Place. It is where all the latest discoveries, techniques, and innovations of the medical imaging world are shared, discussed, and viewed. Below are some of the headline new medical studies scheduled to be presented in the RSNA’s scientific news conferences: "Imaging Shows Long-term Impact of Blast-induced Brain Injuries in Veterans"  Scheduled at 09:00 a.m. ET, Monday, Dec. 2 – Blast-induced mild traumatic brain injury, or trauma resulting from mortar fire and improvised explosive devices, affects up to 20 percent of recent war veterans and results in brain changes that last for years. “Cardiac MRI Reveals Energy Drinks Alter Heart Function” Scheduled at 09:30 a.m. ET, Monday, Dec. 2 – Healthy adults who consumed energy drinks exhibited increased heart contraction rates an hour later. Researchers utilized cardiac MRI on 18 healthy volunteers prior to and following consuming an energy drink having taurine and caffeine. MR images revealed volunteers who drank energy drinks had considerably higher contraction rates in the left ventricle. “MRI Technique Reveals Low Brain Iron in ADHD Patients” Scheduled at 10:30 a.m. ET, Monday, Dec. 2 – An MRI technique known as magnetic field correlation (MFC) imaging was used on adolescents with ADHD. Results revealed that those ADHD patients who had never been on medication had considerably lower MFC than the control group who had been on psychostimulant medication. The MFC technique’s capability to noninvasively detect low iron levels may help improve ADHD diagnosis and guide optimal treatment. “New Research Shows Promise for Possible HIV Cure” Scheduled at 09:00 a.m. ET, Tuesday, Dec. 3 – Researchers employ radioimmunotherapy (RIT) to eradicate residual HIV-infected cells in the blood samples of patients treated with HAART. HAART suppresses duplication of the virus, but does not kill the infected cells. Additionally, by using RIT, the researchers were able to treat HIV-infected cells in the brain and central nervous system. "Breast Tomosynthesis Increases Cancer Detection and Reduces Recall Rates" Scheduled at 09:30 a.m. ET, Tuesday, Dec. 3 – Digital breast tomosynthesis, a 3-D mammography technique, led to fewer false positive findings and an increase in cancer detection in a large breast cancer screening program. "International Study Finds Heart Disease Similar in Men and Women" Scheduled at 10:30 a.m. ET, Tuesday, Dec. 3 – Coronary computed tomography angiography shows that men and women with mild coronary artery disease and similar cardiovascular risk profiles are at similar risk for heart attack. "MR-guided Ultrasound Offers Noninvasive Treatment for Breast Cancer"  Scheduled at 09:00 a.m. ET, Wednesday, Dec. 4 – A method that utilizes focused ultrasound under magnetic resonance imaging guidance to heat and eliminate tumors while sustaining healthy surrounding tissue may offer a safe and effective treatment for breast cancer. "Blood Vessels Reorganize after Face Transplantation Surgery" Scheduled at 09:30 a.m. ET, Wednesday, Dec. 4 – Researchers have found that the blood vessels in face transplant recipients fluctuate and form new networks, leading to an understanding of the biologic changes that happen after full face transplantation. "Mammography Screening Intervals May Affect Breast Cancer Prognosis" Scheduled at 10:00 a.m. ET, Wednesday, Dec. 4 – Women who undergo screening mammography more often have a considerably lower rate of lymph node cancer, as opposed to women who go more than 18 months between mammograms. For more information, please visit ... Read more

Viztek Unveils New PACS Platform at RSNA…

Viztek, which is the leading provider of complete digital software and hardware diagnostic imaging solutions, recently announced the introduction of its new PACS platform. The company provides state-of-the-art; web-based Opal-RAD PACS and RIS, ... Read more

Radiology Workflow Solutions Serve to Decrease Imaging …

Based on a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, radiology workflow solutions automatically alert radiologists of all new exams that call for custom protocoling based on a health plan’s denial conditions. However, the exclusion of these denial conditions in utilization management for advanced diagnostic imaging won’t lead to an increase in imaging. For fully-realized and effectively designed radiology workflow solutions do away with errors preceding data reporting, leading to a reduction in claim denial follow-up. Claim denial has made its way to the head as health insurance plans have applied broad-based utilization management systems whose process includes denial provisions. Therefore, in an effort to control medical imaging costs, health plans may (and have) refuse to pay for requested studies that have been performed. The findings of the study are in harsh contrast with the view that denial provisions, which decline payment for studies not regarded suitable by the preauthorization system, diminish use, and that allowing clinicians to order exams not certified by the system would lead to utilization growth. “A collaborative utilization management system that does not deny payment, interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, or force test substitution could reduce the friction associated with utilization management without necessarily increasing expenditures on imaging,” wrote Jeffrey D. Robinson, MD, of University of Washington, Seattle, peers, and authors of the study. According to Health Imaging, results of the study were predicated on a retrospective review of records from HealthHelp, a national imaging utilization management company that deals with health insurance plans. “The company’s process is similar to other radiology benefits management systems in that it sets rules for which exams are considered appropriate based on indications and suggests alternatives, if a requested study doesn’t meet guidelines. However, unlike other systems there is no denial provision, and a provider may go ahead with a request that isn’t indicated,” explained Robinson. The researchers examined a health plan that used a no-denial pre-authorization system for CT, MRI, PET and nuclear cardiac imaging in all but four of its geographic markets, which turned into the experimental group. They retrospectively reviewed 247,117 advanced imaging requests 21 months before and 16 months after the eradication of the denial provision in the experimental group. Compared with matched control markets, in which a shared model was used for the entire study period, the utilization growth rate in the experiment group declined slightly by 0.10 requests per 1,000 covered lives, reported the authors. Approval rates however remained unaffected. Robinson and colleagues recommended that the educational process provided by the authorization consultations worked against the natural tendency of people to take what they can get, even if at the end of the process an imaging request is approved regardless of its appropriateness based on guidelines. The researchers theorized that a joint consultation between a radiologist and ordering physician, without the threat of denial of payment, would not lead to higher imaging utilization. They believe that an educational process that requires an imaging professional to provide a rationale for appropriate imaging “would counterbalance the natural tendency of people to get as much as they can until someone says, “No.” Precisely capturing medical coded data with a radiology workflow solution is critical to make sure that radiology departments obtain optimum repayment and collect comprehensive benchmarking data to help improve clinical and financial decision making, facilitate health policy approvals, and track patient ... Read more

Imaging Platform Incorporates PACS, RIS, Connectivity, …

  A next-generation departmental imaging platform called Impax Agility, manufactured by Agfa Healthcare (Mortsel, Belgium), is a departmental imaging platform developed to enhance and advance productivity, efficiency, reduce cost, and deliver high quality outcomes. The novel system reconstructs and merges abilities usually found in a radiology information system (RIS), multidepartment picture archiving and communication system (PACS), voice recognition reporting, and connectivity into only one system. The system streamlines navigation with a dynamic user interface and native diagnostic tools to support enhanced productivity. A powerful task-based workflow engine helps to make sure that users follow the proper, necessary steps for each procedure and circumstance, from ordering to result distribution. This enables the hospital in meeting regulatory obligations and workflow best practices, in addition to improving clinical communication through mobile applications (apps). “Agility is much more than a PACS; it is a modern IT [information technology] platform with an innovative approach to consolidate and simplify IT integration efforts, which supports our vision of cost-saving image management across the healthcare continuum,” said vice president and global head of imaging informatics, Agfa HealthCare, James ... Read more

Embedded Reading Rooms Bolster Communication with …

Newly acquired research shows that healthcare institutions equipped with embedded reading rooms witness higher rates of communication between radiologists and clinicians. Due to the existence of PACS, it is less accessible and feasible for radiologists to interact face to face with their clinician colleagues. And because of this, some healthcare facilities have embedded radiology reading rooms in clinical areas in attempts of enhancing and advancing direct communication between radiologists and referring physicians. Fourth-year medical student at the University of California at San Francisco, Allison Tillack, Ph.D, and her peers examined a tertiary care U.S. academic hospital to assess whether embedded radiology reading rooms are linked to increased rates of direct communication between radiologists and clinicians. Tillack’s research was funded by a 2011 Fujifilm Medical Systems/RSNA Research Medical Student Grant and has since been published in the May 2013 edition of the Journal of the American College of Radiology. Tillack uncovered a “highly significant positive correlation” between the location of the reading room and communication between clinicians and radiologists. Embedded reading rooms provide the best opportunity of maximizing that correlation. Data revealed more visits to embedded reading rooms by referring clinicians than to reading rooms located in a different area of the facility. “This could be the first quantitative study that shows radiologists integrate better with the remainder of our clinical colleagues if we are in a reading room that is embedded in their clinical service,” said vice-chair of the radiology department at the University of Colorado at Denver and Dr. Tillack’s scientific advisor and co-author of the study. Dr. Borgstede chairs the RSNA Research & Education (R&E) Foundation Board of Trustees, James Borgstede, M.D. “The type, quality and length of communication all seem to be more appropriate when radiologists are in close contact geographically with their clinical colleagues,” he commented. The facility presented in the study offered two embedded reading rooms (breast and musculoskeletal) and two non-embedded reading rooms (body and neuroradiologic imaging) situated in the hospital’s basement. Tillack collected data upon occurrence, form (telephone, in-person visits and via Veriphy, a Joint Commission-recommended system for communicating critical test results), duration, and general reasons of communications. Over a span of eight weeks, she observed communications and gathered 175 incidents, 100 of which came from embedded reading rooms. Personal trips to the embedded breast and musculoskeletal reading rooms significantly outperformed those to the non-embedded body and neuroradiology reading rooms (46 percent as opposed to 7 percent), while non-embedded reading rooms had a higher rate of Veriphy use than embedded reading rooms (40 percent versus 7 percent). “This was a highly significant difference, but we couldn’t say for sure that it was caused only by the location difference. It’s certainly one of the hypotheses, and I think a very likely one, but we had to factor in the nature of different reading room work as well as culture. We couldn’t say for sure that this wasn’t just a particularly pro-interactive group of orthopedic surgeons or musculoskeletal radiologists, for instance,” said Tillack. Additionally, Tillack noted that the musculoskeletal reading room was placed directly across the hall from the orthopedic surgery dictation room while the Rheumatology Department was just down the hall, making in-person visits expedient. No doors were attached to the reading room and clinicians regularly seen stopped by to discuss specific cases. “It was a very collegial, friendly atmosphere. Orthopedic surgeons we talked to were excited about the convenience and said it was great to be able to drop by and look at a case with the radiologist without having to go downstairs,” she said. Yet phone calls were still the most prevalent form of communication regardless of the reading room locations. Moreover, there was no noteworthy difference in the number of calls to embedded reading rooms (47 percent) and non-embedded ones (53 percent). Tillack recognized that implementation of the study does have its share of limitations and restrictions, particularly regarding multispecialty clinics and/or private practices. In multispecialty practices it becomes difficult to decide where the reading room would be embedded. In the example of abdominal radiologists, would find it difficult to decide whether they should embed with gastroenterologists, nephrologists or urologists. Researchers admit the study was met with restrictions and said they wish to carry out further research in the area, they assert that embedding supplies value for those seeking to enhance communications and raise the profile of radiologists within their work environments. “The important thing is that the concept is out there. We’re in a different era than a generation ago when clinicians came to radiologists to look at film studies that could only be viewed in one place at a time. Now that’s not true. It’s a new paradigm and if they aren’t going to come to us, we have to go to them,” said Borgstede. While Tillack acknowledges and thanks the RSNA for providing her with the proper funding to make such a study feasible. “The RSNA grant was the inspiration for the project and allowed me to make the research happen. Learning to develop a very targeted question, work it through, do the analysis and take it to publication is really a valuable and fantastic experience. Making those connections with my mentor and other people who helped in the research has also been so valuable,” she ... Read more
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