Monday, December 26, 2011

Duh...Importing Outside Studies Into PACS Avoids Repeats

See the recent Aunt Minnie article with a similar title. Basically, someone did some research and found that if a patient has an outside study on CD, AND it imports successfully, they are less likely to undergo additional imaging.

(Graph courtesy Sodickson, et. al., August 2011 Radiology, 260,408-413.)

Gee whiz, folks, is anyone surprised? We don't have to repeat studies performed an hour ago as long as we can actually see them? Knock me over with a feather.

This is such an obvious observation that I'm really surprised at Radiology for publishing it, although I guess one has to prove everything in this day and age. The AuntMinnie article cites a talk at RSNA by Michael Lu yielding similar observations about hepatocellular cancer patients.

My thought is, of course, to avoid even the CD, and have direct transmission of the prior exam into the system where the patient now resides. lifeIMAGE, for example, does this very well. In my humble opinion, there is no longer any need for the fragile and fickle CD-ROM's. The only impediment to switching away is politics, which will be overcome sooner or later. Why not get on the bandwagon now? This is such a no-brainer, it isn't even funny.

Hat tip to The Once and Former PACSMan.

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