Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Guess What I'm Thinking

I made another discovery whilst on call this weekend. Impax has a "clone window" feature which spawns a window duplicating the series that is currently on-screen. Our PACS people have created Wizards that use the clone tool to create a four-viewport rendition of the current series displaying the same data in multiple window/level settings. We have a Wizard for head and body studies, and this is quite valuable. We need to go through this rigamorole because Agfa does not allow us to deploy the same data in multiple viewports as does just about every other vendor from Merge eFilm on up. With Amicas, for example, I have a hanging protocol that automatically gives me this display. But I digress.

Over the weekend, I was asked to look at a patient with two separate CT series contained in a study. I had the first series displayed on Monitor One, and the 4-window clone on Monitor Two. I was told that the data had been reformatted to thinner slices, and that this data was contained in the second series of the study, so I dragged the second series' thumbnail to Monitor One, an action that should have displayed it. There was no change, no indication that anything had gone wrong, no electric-shock to my chair to tell me that I had violated the rules. Since the data had the same slice thickness, I could only assume that the techlings hadn't done the reformatting, and so I called and yelled at them.

But alas, I was wrong. The second series DID contain the reformatted data. It seems that the clone window locks its parent display. Most embarassing for me.

When I bitched complained about this, our PACS folks did some investigating:

I just spoke with AGFA GSC. Once the Wizard has been activated, you can go to the next series by hitting the arrow key at the top of the Wizard- then IMPAX will allow you to drag that series into display.

Oh, of course! Why didn't I think of that? Mainly because it is not intuitive for the clone window to be controlling the rest of the display, now is it?

Here again we have an example of a tool or function that made sense to its designer, but doesn't actually work very well in my real-world busy radiology practice. This is one of those things that should have come out in testing, but obviously didn't.

I don't think anyone has to guess what I'm thinking at the moment. . .

1 comment :

CT Tech said...

You owe your techlings a candy bar!