With its ability to enhance the management of medical imaging studies from imported CD/DVD images, a new digital medical imaging sharing system is improving workflow at the University of Maryland’s R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, said PACS team manager Michael Toland, during a scientific session at SIIM 2013.
The trauma center received more than 2,400 patient transfers from area hospitals in fiscal year 2012. With many of these transferred patients, the sending facility had performed medical imaging exams and included a CD/DVD of the exams as part of the transfer process.
Too Many Repeated Medical Imaging Exams
Lacking a solid, consistent workflow for managing outside medical imaging exams made the process of utilizing the patients previous medical imaging studies difficult. Leading often to repeated medical imaging exams, their old process resulted in additional radiation exposure for the patient along with more time expended during a crucial period in which expeditious diagnosis and initial management are critical.
Evaluating the situation led the team to the realization that developing a new medical imaging workflow was essential. The center had been using a paper-driven film library to import trauma transfer medical imaging from CD/DVDs. It was slow. Adding to the problem – it was staffed only during normal business hours.
Seven-step Medical Imaging Workflow Process
Seeking to improve medical imaging workflow, the center constructed a model that could import CD/DVD medical imaging studies while providing a method to view and send them to PACS. The key criteria in designing the workflow was speed and ease of use, while retaining the standard requirements for data integrity for PACS. This lead to a seven-step workflow process:
- Trauma patient arrives with CD/DVD
- Trauma nurse uploads CD to a medical imaging sharing system
- Trauma clinician reviews study in the medical imaging sharing system
- Trauma clinician orders “Trauma Outside Consult” in HIS
- Technologist schedules the order in RIS
- Trauma radiologist is notified of the pending consults and sends the study to PACS
- Trauma radiologist reads the exam on PACS
The center began the medical imaging sharing system pilot in October 2011 and recorded a significant increase in the number of exams that were imported into PACS for trauma patient transfers.
Full integration with the McKesson Radiology™ PACS radiology information system makes it possible to manage workflow across the entire medical imaging department regardless of size and complexity.
What does your medical imaging workflow process look like?