May 22

Improving the Patient Experience: A Hospital Room Redesign

Have you ever walked into a hospital room and wondered, what is all this stuff? Hospital rooms are filled with peculiar lights, buttons, switches, cords, and miserably uncomfortable chairs. All this “noise” can be distracting to patients and providers alike. That’s why the Patient Safety Movement Foundation is working to redesign patient rooms to create a more streamlined, safe, and comfortable experience for all involved.

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May 20

Overtesting & Overtreatment in Healthcare

Earlier this month, an article was published by the New Yorker that questioned the mounds of unnecessary medical care doctors prescribe and the physical and financial effects on patients. “Overkill” by Atul Gawande, a surgeon, highlights the many patients and situations he’s seen that have been subjected to overtesting and overtreatment.

We know that some medical imaging can be unnecessary, and it’s estimated that a third of all CT scans are, costing patients and taxpayers money­ all while exposing the patient to additional radiation. It’s estimated that 2% of cancers, which lead to approximately 15,000 deaths per year, are directly caused from the radiation exposure of CT scans. The FDA has even created the Initiative to Reduce Unnecessary Radiation Exposure from Medical Imaging, which asks that imaging only be done when absolutely necessary, and that when imaging is taken, the least amount of radiation be used.

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May 18

Telemedicine & Rural Areas : Improving Accessibility

Do you think it's a pain to schedule a doctor's appointment? Imagine if you lived in a rural area and an additional 4-6 hours of travel time needed to be factored into your decision. Would you still make the appointment? A quarter of the US population lives in rural areas yet only about 10% of physicians live in those same regions.

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May 14

Save Time, Save Lives : The Importance of the Cloud in Trauma Transfers

The clock starts ticking from the second a medical emergency occurs. There is no time for delays, fumbling with images on CDs, or waiting for a patient’s imaging to arrive. Lost time could have severe consequences for hospitals and patients alike.

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May 13

The Why & How of Second Opinion Programs

These days, everybody wants a second opinion.

I know whenever it comes time for me to make a purchase, I scour the Internet for reviews and ask friends and family for their opinions. And when it comes to major health decisions, you can bet I do the same.

I’m not alone in knowing that gathering other opinions is a good idea. The fact is that half of all patients seek second opinions. And it turns out that's a great thing–Grand Rounds, a company that connects patients with top doctors to provide second opinions, found that of the patients that were coming to them for a second opinion, roughly 65% were originally misdiagnosed or mistreated.

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May 08

This Mother's Day, Keep the Women in Your Life Healthy

In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s talk women’s health. Along with skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women. And while sunscreen can help protect your skin, one of the best ways to protect yourself from breast cancer is through early detection. Fortunately, regular breast exams can help catch cancer at a more easily treated earlier stage. Traditionally, these have been done through mammograms, but a new, advanced mammogram called digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) has proven to be even more successful at detecting cancer.

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May 07

Medical Images in the World of Trauma Transfers

 

Note – This blog post is an excerpt from our latest eBook, Medical Images in the World of Trauma Transfers. Make sure to download a copy for more information on the topic covered below.

In chaotic situations, it’s easy for CDs to go missing, or for patients to be transferred without discs. To make matters worse, sometimes the data contained on discs is in a propriety format making it impossible for the receiving team to read. In many cases, losing or missing data that occurs during the transport process leads to rescans, exposing patients to additional radiation exposure. It’s a scary statistic, but most studies have found a repeat imaging rate of 60% when patients are transferred to major trauma centers. A portion of this percentage is attributed to missing data or the inability to interpret outside data on compact discs. Not only does this delay care and expose patients to extra radiation, but it can also tack on significant costs to healthcare services.

Introduction to “Cloud” Technology for Trauma

Cloud-based image management tools are quickly gaining traction in the world of trauma transfers. Using web-based technology, DICOM images can quickly and safely be sent from outside facilities before and during patient transport. Cloud-based sharing solutions, like DICOM Grid’s, support image transfer and upload from a variety of inputs including modalities, PACS, or CDs. The upload and transfer process can be accomplished by accessing the system through a web-based portal for image sharing. Gateway software can also be set-up to facilitate point-to-point connections through the Cloud. Additionally, routing rules can be configured within DICOM Grid’s system to push studies from outside facilities directly into the PACS in the trauma room or surgical suite.

Benefits of using Cloud-Based Sharing

Using Cloud technology can save time, cut down costs, improve interoperability, and enhance the control of a patient over their own health.

To read more, download the eBook below!

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May 06

A Patient Centered Look at The Internet of Things

We’ve previously discussed the Internet of Things (IoT), and we’ve gone over the broad strokes of what these new technologies–and a world of connected things–could mean for healthcare. Now it seems the industry is starting to focus on how the Internet of Things will manifest itself and how healthcare can use it to the best of its ability. This has been called the next phase for entrepreneurs by Karen DeSalvo of the ONC.  While talking about the opportunities that IoT presents in healthcare is exciting, we also have to think about those most impacted by these developments: the patients and consumers.

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May 04

Saving for a Rainy Day: How Cloud PACS Can Reduce the Total Cost of Ownership

 

Note – This blog post is an excerpt from our latest eBook, Saving for a Rainy Day: How Cloud PACS Can Reduce the Total Cost of Ownership. Make sure to download a copy for more information on the topic covered below.

Saving money for a rainy day is not as easy as it sounds, and sometimes we make a very big mistake along the way. You know exactly which one I’m talking about – that mistake where you don’t take the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) into account. Total Cost of Ownership goes beyond the initial fee to consider the full cost of a product over its life. For example, let’s say you live in a city and come to the realization that your rent would be the same cost as a mortgage. You purchase a modest home in the suburbs but don’t factor in your transportation costs, home upkeep and maintenance, and property taxes. Oops – turns out, your total cost of home ownership was much higher than expected.

The same principle is true in the world of medical imaging. The purpose of this whitepaper is to highlight that whether you are a small practice, large hospital enterprise, or clinical research facility, total cost of ownership is a factor you must take into account when determining whether a traditional PACS or Cloud PACS is best for you.

So what’s the difference between a traditional onsite PACS versus a Cloud PACS? 

Traditional PACS

A traditional PACS system uses hardware and software onsite to lock imaging data inside of the system. Although the onsite location is convenient, it must be noted that the full responsibility of maintaining and operating the PACS belongs to the facility where it is located. The facility also remains responsible for implementing HIPAA compliant security and disaster recovery features.  In fact, many states require that images be kept in storage for a specific length of time, requiring facilities to purchase additional data center space. Because the facility has total ownership and control of the system, IT staff must also be hired to monitor, update, and maintain the system. In smaller facilities, providers and staff may have to take on IT related duties as well.  

Cloud PACS

A Cloud PACS solution uses a vendor off site to digitally store images – images are automatically streamed into the Cloud.  Additionally, users with the appropriate login credentials can access this data anytime and anywhere.  The Cloud PACS vendor takes ownership of managing the security settings through an encryption technology and provides an automated storage and disaster recovery program. Let’s take a look at who is responsible for key stress points and costs within these systems.

To find out more, download the whitepaper!

 

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Apr 30

The Future of Health IT: An Optimist’s Perspective

We’ve recently talked a bit about how technology in healthcare seems to be lagging behind, despite recognition that digital health is critical to the importance of healthcare. This sentiment seems to be pretty universal as some big names in both IT and healthcare recently discussed the disappointment of digital health thus far, and that it is not yet fully scalable.

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