Computerized analysis of abnormal asymmetry in digital chest radiographs: evaluation of potential utility.
The purpose of this study was to develop and test a computerized method for the fully automated analysis of abnormal asymmetry in digital posteroanterior (PA) chest radiographs. An automated lung segmentation method was used to identify the aerated lung regions in 600 chest radiographs. Minimal a priori lung morphology information was required for this gray-level thresholding-based segmentation. Consequently, segmentation was applicable to grossly abnormal cases. The relative areas of segmented right and left lung regions in each image were compared with the corresponding area distributions of normal images to determine the presence of abnormal asymmetry. Computerized diagnoses were compared with image ratings assigned by a radiologist. The ability of the automated method to distinguish normal from asymmetrically abnormal cases was evaluated by using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, which yielded an area under the ROC curve of 0.84. This automated method demonstrated promising performance in its ability to detect abnormal asymmetry in PA chest images. We believe this method could play a role in a picture archiving and communications (PACS) environment to immediately identify abnormal cases and to function as one component of a multifaceted computer-aided diagnostic scheme. (+info)
Radiation dose to patients and personnel during intraoperative digital subtraction angiography.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The use of intraoperative angiography to assess the results of neurovascular surgery is increasing. The purpose of this study was to measure the radiation dose to patients and personnel during intraoperative angiography and to determine the effect of experience. METHODS: Fifty consecutive intraoperative angiographic studies were performed during aneurysmal clipping or arteriovenous malformation resection from June 1993 to December 1993 and another 50 from December 1994 to June 1995. Data collected prospectively included fluoroscopy time, digital angiography time, number of views, and amount of time the radiologist spent in the room. Student's t-test was used to assess statistical significance. Effective doses were calculated from radiation exposure measurements using adult thoracic and head phantoms. RESULTS: The overall median examination required 5.2 minutes of fluoroscopy, 55 minutes of operating room use, 40 seconds of digital angiographic series time, and four views and runs. The mean room time and the number of views and runs increased in the second group of patients. A trend toward reduced fluoroscopy time was noted. Calculated effective doses for median values were as follows: patient, 76.7 millirems (mrems); radiologist, 0.028 mrems; radiology technologist, 0.044 mrems; and anesthesiologist, 0.016 mrems. CONCLUSION: Intraoperative angiography is performed with a reasonable radiation dose to the patient and personnel. The number of angiographic views and the radiologist's time in the room increase with experience. (+info)
The importance of a picture archiving and communications system (PACS) manager for large-scale PACS installations.
Installing a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) is a massive undertaking for any radiology department. Facilities making a successful transition to digital systems are finding that a PACS manager helps guide the way and offers a heightened return on the investment. The PACS manager fills a pivotal role in a multiyear, phased PACS installation. PACS managers navigate a facility through the complex sea of issues surrounding a PACS installation by coordinating the efforts of the vendor, radiology staff, hospital administration, and the information technology group. They are involved in the process from the purchase decision through the design and implementation phases. They can help administrators justify a PACS, purchase and shape the request for proposal (RFP) process before a vendor is even chosen. Once a supplier has been selected, the PACS manager works closely with the vendor and facility staff to determine the best equipment configuration for his or her facility, and makes certain that all deadlines are met during the planning and installation phase. The PACS manager also ensures that the infrastructure and backbone of the facility are ready for installation of the equipment. PACS managers also help the radiology staff gain acceptance of the technology by serving as teachers, troubleshooters, and the primary point-of-contact for all PACS issues. This session will demonstrate the value of a PACS manager, as well as point out ways to determine the manager's responsibilities. By the end of the session, participants will be able to describe the role of a PACS manager as it relates to departmental operation and in partnership with equipment vendors, justify a full-time position for a PACS manager, and identify the qualifications of candidates for the position of PACS manager. (+info)
The process of converting to a near filmless operation at the University of Utah, Department of Radiology.
The Department of Radiology at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center has made the transition from a traditional film-based department to a near filmless operation. The University of Utah is a large teaching hospital and the transition from film in an educational facility will be discussed. This transition has had its difficulties and its success is dependent on the support of departmental leadership and hospital administration. We have had more than 100 years of experience with film, and current procedures were efficient given the limitations of the medium. While motivated by the traditional reasons for moving to a picture archival and communications system (PACS), such as film savings, unavailable films, and faster reports, we found the intangibles to be the larger issue, as well as a source for the largest benefits. This report will discuss the implementation process and the affect it had on all areas of the hospital, including its impact on hospital physicians, radiologists, file room personnel, and technologists. Procedure changes to the flow of patients, film, and electronic images will also be described. This process cannot be viewed as a one-time change, but must be viewed as a continuous process as areas of improvement are identified and new and improved technologies are developed. (+info)
Maintaining continuity of clinical operations while implementing large-scale filmless operations.
Texas Children's Hospital is a pediatric tertiary care facility in the Texas Medical Center with a large-scale, Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM)-compliant picture archival and communications system (PACS) installation. As our PACS has grown from an ultrasound niche PACS into a full-scale, multimodality operation, assuring continuity of clinical operations has become the number one task of the PACS staff. As new equipment is acquired and incorporated into the PACS, workflow processes, responsibilities, and job descriptions must be revised to accommodate filmless operations. Round-the-clock clinical operations must be supported with round-the-clock service, including three shifts, weekends, and holidays. To avoid unnecessary interruptions in clinical service, this requirement includes properly trained operators and users, as well as service personnel. Redundancy is a cornerstone in assuring continuity of clinical operations. This includes all PACS components such as acquisition, network interfaces, gateways, archive, and display. Where redundancy is not feasible, spare parts must be readily available. The need for redundancy also includes trained personnel. Procedures for contingency operations in the event of equipment failures must be devised, documented, and rehearsed. Contingency operations might be required in the event of scheduled as well as unscheduled service events, power outages, network outages, or interruption of the radiology information system (RIS) interface. Methods must be developed and implemented for reporting and documenting problems. We have a Trouble Call service that records a voice message and automatically pages the PACS Console Operator on duty. We also have developed a Maintenance Module on our RIS system where service calls are recorded by technologists and service actions are recorded and monitored by PACS support personnel. In a filmless environment, responsibility for the delivery of images to the radiologist and referring physician must be accepted by each imaging supervisor. Thus, each supervisor must initiate processes to verify correct patient and examination identification and the correct count and routing of images with each examination. (+info)
Establishing radiologic image transmission via a transmission control protocol/Internet protocol network between two teaching hospitals in Houston.
The technical and management considerations necessary for the establishment of a network link between computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) networks of two geographically separated teaching hospitals are presented. The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Department of Radiology provides radiology residency training at its primary teaching hospital and at a second county-run hospital located approximately 12 miles away. A direct network link between the two hospitals was desired to permit timely consultative services to residents and professional colleagues. The network link was established by integrating the county hospital free-standing imaging network into the network infrastructure of the Medical School and the main teaching hospital. Technical issues involved in the integration were reassignment of internet protocol (IP) addresses, determination of data transmission protocol compatibilities, proof of connectivity and image transmission, transmission speeds and network loading, and management of the new network. These issues were resolved in a planned stepwise fashion and despite the fact that the system has a rate-limiting T1 segment between the county hospital and the teaching hospital the transmission speed was deemed suitable. The project has proven successful and can provide a guide for planning similar projects elsewhere. It has in fact made possible several new services for the teaching and research activities of the department's faculty and residents, which were not envisaged before the implementation of this connection. (+info)
Sophisticated hospital information system/radiology information system/picture archiving and communications system (PACS) integration in a large-scale traumatology PACS.
Picture archiving and communications system (PACS) in the context of an outpatient trauma care center asks for a high level of interaction between information systems to guarantee rapid image acquisition and distribution to the surgeon. During installation of the Innsbruck PACS, special aspects of traumatology had to be realized, such as imaging of unconscious patients without identification, and transferred to the electronic environment. Even with up-to-date PACS hardware and software, special solutions had to be developed in-house to tailor the PACS/hospital information system (HIS)/radiology information system (RIS) interface to the needs of radiologic and clinical users. An ongoing workflow evaluation is needed to realize the needs of radiologists and clinicians. These needs have to be realized within a commercially available PACS, whereby full integration of information systems may sometimes only be achieved by special in-house solutions. (+info)
Using commercially available off-the-shelf software and hardware to develop an intranet-based hypertext markup language teaching file.
This presentation describes the technical details of implementing a process to create digital teaching files stressing the use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software and hardware and standard hypertext markup language (HTML) to keep development costs to a minimum. (+info)