Temporomandibular joint pantomography using charge-coupled device, photostimulable phosphor, and film receptors: a comparison.
Our objective was to compare the accuracy and practicality in use of three available imaging receptors for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) imaging; namely, two computer-assisted and one traditional analog x-ray film system. A standardized tissue-equivalent encased human skull specimen was imaged using lateral and posteroanterior (PA) pantomographic projections with the Orthopantomograph OP 100 (Instrumentarium Imaging, Tuusula, Finland) and three different receptor modalities: (1) Ektavision film with Ektavision screens (Eastman Kodak, Rochester, NY); (2) DenOptix photostimulable phosphor screens (Dentsply/Gendex, Chicago, IL); and (3) the charge-coupled device (CCD) receptor, DigiPan (TREX/Trophy Radiology, Marne-la-Vallee, France). The effective focal trough was found for each receptor using lead resolution grids placed at fractional millimeter distances along empirically determined beam projection angulations. The time to acquire and process images was also established. We found that the CCD system permitted real-time display, whereas the use of traditional film took 2 minutes to load the cassette in a darkroom and perform the exposure, and then a further 2 minutes to unload and process. The storage phosphor took 3 minutes to unload the cassette and process the image and a further 20 seconds to clear the plate following laser scanning. Film produced the greatest maximum resolution followed by the storage phosphor and the CCD. In conclusion, CCD-based TMJ pantomography provided an instant image. The photostimulable phosphor system used was the least satisfactory in terms of the time expended to obtain an image, but provided better spatial resolution than the CCD. Ektavision film/screens provided the best spatial resolution in this investigation. (+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)
Enhancing availability of the electronic image record for patients and caregivers during follow-up care.
PURPOSE: To develop a personal computer (PC)-based software package that allows portability of the electronic imaging record. To create custom software that enhances the transfer of images in two fashions. Firstly, to an end user, whether physician or patient, provide a browser capable of viewing digital images on a conventional personal computer. Second, to provide the ability to transfer the archived Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) images to other institutional picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) through a transfer engine. METHOD/MATERIALS: Radiologic studies are provided on a CD-ROM. This CD-ROM contains a copy of the browser to view images, a DICOM-based engine to transfer images to the receiving institutional PACS, and copies of all pertinent imaging studies for the particular patient. The host computer system in an Intel based Pentium 90 MHz PC with Microsoft Windows 95 software (Microsoft Inc, Seattle, WA). The system has 48 MB of random access memory, a 3.0 GB hard disk, and a Smart and Friendly CD-R 2006 CD-ROM recorder (Smart and Friendly Inc, Chatsworth, CA). RESULTS: Each CD-ROM disc can hold 640 MB of data. In our experience, this houses anywhere from, based on Table 1, 12 to 30 computed tomography (CT) examinations, 24 to 80 magnetic resonance (MR) examinations, 60 to 128 ultrasound examinations, 32 to 64 computed radiographic examinations, 80 digitized x-rays, or five digitized mammography examinations. We have been able to successfully transfer DICOM images from one DICOM-based PACS to another DICOM-based PACS. This is accomplished by inserting the created CD-ROM onto a CD drive attached to the receiving PACS and running the transfer engine application. CONCLUSIONS: Providing copies of radiologic studies performed to the patient is a necessity in every radiology department. Conventionally, film libraries have provided copies to the patient generating issues of cost of loss of film, as well as mailing costs. This software package saves costs and loss of studies, as well as improving patient care by enabling the patient to maintain an archive of their electronic imaging record. (+info)
Evaluating the impact of workstation usage on radiology report times in the initial 6 months following installation.
Picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) workstations are reported to improve workflow by making studies immediately available for review upon their completion. This study tested the hypothesis that a workstation would decrease the time from completion of a study to dictation of results (report time). A four-monitor, 2K x 2K workstation (Imation Cemax-Icon, Fremont, CA), was installed in a body imaging computed tomography (CT) reading room. Use of the workstation by the staff radiologists was voluntary. Images were also printed on film and films continued to be hung at the routine hanging times. To evaluate the workstation's maximum impact, data were collected for report times for studies completed during the routine day shift of the staff radiologist (Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM). Data were collected before workstation installation (August 1997 to November 1997) and for the subsequent 6 months. Histograms of the number of studies (743 v 103) versus report time (mean, 11.7 v 7.4 hours) showed a bimodal distribution, with peaks at approximately 6 and 24 hours, both before (8/97-11/97) and after (6/98) the workstation's installation. However, the number of studies dictated greater than 60 hours (25.2% v 20.4%) and the percentage of studies in the second peak (16 to 48 hours; 4.4% v 0%) both decreased. In conclusion, the workstation decreased the mean (11.7 v 7.4 hours) and standard deviation (19.8 v 9.1 hours) for report times. This was due to a decrease in both the number of cases dictated the day following their completion and the number of outliers (markedly delayed dictations). The decrease in outliers is probably due to a decrease in the number of "lost" film-based studies. (+info)
Electronic imaging impact on image and report turnaround times.
We prospectively compared image and report delivery times in our Urgent Care Center (UCC) during a film-based practice (1995) and after complete implementation of an electronic imaging practice in 1997. Before switching to a totally electronic and filmless practice, multiple time periods were consistently measured during a 1-week period in May 1995 and then again in a similar week in May 1997 after implementation of electronic imaging. All practice patterns were the same except for a film-based practice in 1995 versus a filmless practice in 1997. The following times were measured: (1) waiting room time, (2) technologist's time of examination, (3) time to quality control, (4) radiology interpretation times, (5) radiology image and report delivery time, (6) total radiology turn-around time, (7) time to room the patient back in the UCC, and (8) time until the ordering physician views the film. Waiting room time was longer in 1997 (average time, 26:47) versus 1995 (average time, 15:54). The technologist's examination completion time was approximately the same (1995 average time, 06:12; 1997 average time, 05:41). There was also a slight increase in the time of the technologist's electronic verification or quality control in 1997 (average time, 7:17) versus the film-based practice in 1995 (average time, 2:35). However, radiology interpretation times dramatically improved (average time, 49:38 in 1995 versus average time 13:50 in 1997). There was also a decrease in image delivery times to the clinicians in 1997 (median, 53 minutes) versus the film based practice of 1995 (1 hour and 40 minutes). Reports were available with the images immediately upon completion by the radiologist in 1997, compared with a median time of 27 minutes in 1995. Importantly, patients were roomed back into the UCC examination rooms faster after the radiologic procedure in 1997 (average time, 13:36) than they were in 1995 (29:38). Finally, the ordering physicians viewed the diagnostic images and reports in dramatically less time in 1997 (median, 26 minutes) versus 1995 (median, 1 hour and 5 minutes). In conclusion, a filmless electronic imaging practice within our UCC greatly improved radiology image and report delivery times, as well as improved clinical efficiency. (+info)
Patterns of use and satisfaction with a university-based teleradiology system.
The Radiology Department at the University of Arizona has been operating a teleradiology program for almost 2 years. The goal of this project was to characterize the types of cases reviewed, to assess radiologists' satisfaction with the program, and to examine case turnaround times. On average, about 50 teleradiology cases are interpreted each month. Computed tomography (CT) cases are the most common type of case, constituting 65% of the total case volume. Average turnaround time (to generate a "wet read" once a case is received) is about 1.3 hours. Image quality was rated as generally good to excellent, and the user interface as generally good. Radiologists' confidence in their diagnostic decisions is about the same as reading films in the clinical environment. The most common reason for not being able to read teleradiology images is poor image quality, followed by lack of clinical history and not enough images. (+info)
Testing optimum viewing conditions for mammographic image displays.
The viewbox luminance and viewing room light level are important parameters in a medical film display, but these parameters have not had much attention. Spatial variations and too much room illumination can mask real signal or create the false perception of a signal. This presentation looks at how scotopic light sources and dark-adapted radiologists may identify more real diseases. (+info)
Anatomy of picture archiving and Communications systems: nuts and bolts--image acquisition: getting digital images from imaging modalities.
Digital acquisition of data from the various imaging modalities for input to a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) is discussed. Essential features for successful clinical implementation including Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) compliance, radiology information system (RIS)/hospital information system (HIS) interfacing, and workflow integration are detailed. Image acquisition from the inherently digital cross-sectional modalities are described, as well as digital acquisition of the conventional projection x-ray using computed radiography (CR), direct digital radiography (DDR), and film digitizers. (+info)