Hamilton opens innovation centre for healthcare IT

Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) of Canada has launched a state-of-the-art, IT innovation centre with over 80 ICT team members are working together to run simulations and troubleshoot new systems in a secure test lab located on site before they are widely implemented across HHS’s five hospitals and cancer centre.

The $1.5 million innovation centre was launched earlier this month after six years of planning.Staff at the centre will focus on help desk, infrastructure, customer service, project management, production support and web development.

One of the solutions currently being developed for prime time is Microsoft’s unified communications running on Hewlett-Packard hardware. The solution will allow staff to work wirelessly and still remain connected to telephone, voice mail and e-mail anywhere, anytime, enabling healthcare providers to stay in touch with colleagues and gain quick access to information they need, at the patient’s bedside, or anywhere in the hospital or outside its walls– a technological first in Canada within a healthcare organization.

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IMAGINE employs iPhone dashboard app

World Domination for iPhone? I reckon not.

But things are starting to roll for iPhone deployment in the world of Medical Imaging.

“Medical billing technology developer IMAGINE software has released its IMAGINEradiology iPhone dashboard application, allowing physicians and administrators to monitor their practice’s performance and revenue stream.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company said its dashboard works in conjunction with its practice management system.

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Read More, Click Less

“Read More, Click Less”, that seems to sum up the goals of an effective PACS implementation, in fact, the first sentence of the original article reads “When it comes to PACS, there can be too much of a good thing”. I’m going to have to agree with that 🙂

The original article of “Read More, Click Less” discuss about modern PACS being are pack with “more buttons, more toolbars, more mouse clicks, and more ways to communicate, consult, and report” and all those powerful features can be cumbersome to the end user, slowing down workflow in an environment where high patient volume is paramount, the trick to attaining effectiveness is to creating more intuitive ways to utilize those features, so that radiologists can diagnose more and click less.

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Metrics guide PACS budget forecast model

Steve G. Langer, PhD, associate professor of radiologic physics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. has developed a model for estimating infrastructure capital for the ongoing maintenance of PACS, which was published online before print in the Journal of Digital Imaging.

“A PACS is not a one-time only purchase; new modalities, software applications and upgrades, expanding access to an existing system and increased storage requirements are among the many elements that a system administrator may be called on to implement. Hence, determining the correct amount of capital to reserve annually for the information technology infrastructure can be a difficult process for the administrator of a medical center,”

While this is correct, there are many more aspects Technical Systems Administrators have to look out for in their work.

Dr Langer came up with his model to guide the financial planning for the ongoing maintenance of PACS at his facility but it is not without assumptions:

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Ramblings: Experts says that Britain’s Stonehenge was ancient healing site

 While this is not really Healthcare (nor IT) related, I think its a pretty interesting article so here goes.

LONDON (AFP) – Two bluestone fragments found at Britain’s prehistoric Stonehenge monument could prove that the mysterious stone circle was once a centre of healing, archaeologists said Monday.

The first excavation inside the circle since 1964 uncovered fragments of stone that could have been used as lucky charms, said Professors Tim Darvill and Geoffrey Wainwright as they presented the preliminary findings of their two-week dig last April.

The archaeologists believe the Stonehenge monument was a temple constructed round the bluestones, which they believe were brought to the site in Wiltshire, southwest England, at 2,300 BC — 300 years later than previously thought.

They said people may have believed the stones had magical, healing qualities which attracted pilgrims to the site.

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Ramblings: Do You CHIU?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to CHIU – Committee of Healthcare Informatics User for the Asia region.

Aimed at representing Physicians, Paramedical Professionals (including Nurses, Radiographers, Cardiology Technicians etc) IT professionals, Biomedical Engineers and professionals in related disciplines, CHIU’s mission statement is to ‘raise the bar’ in the adoption and implementation of Healthcare Informatics through active intellectual participation, collaboration as well as the promotion of knowledge exchange and ongoing vendor neutral educational activities of our members via its online platform.

Well, one may wonder what CHIU has to do with binaryHealthCare.com. For starters, we are the official contributing partner (web master, content contributor and editor etc) and most importantly, the concept of CHIU was co-developed with us (we even registered the domain name – www.DoYouCHIU.Asia ).

CHIU is in the preparation stage and will be launched officially in Oct 2008, at the 17th Asean Congress of Cardiology, if you are interested to be part of this initiative, contact Adam now 🙂

Intel enters healthcare arena with patient-monitoring device

“Intel has made its foray into the medical market with the release of a care management system that allows physicians to monitor patients with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from their homes.

After two years of development, the release will likely be the first of many medical devices introduced by Intel in the coming years, according to the Portland Business Journal.

The new system, dubbed the Intel Health Guide, is a touch-screen computer that has video conferencing capabilities and a multimedia health education library for patients. Scheduled “check-ups” may be initiated with patients several times a day, asking health-related questions and collecting vital signs, which are sent digitally to medical providers.

Several compatible medical-monitoring devices measuring weight, blood pressure and blood-oxygen levels may accompany the device, depending on patient needs, Intel said.

According to the Portland Business Journal, experts in home-monitoring technology believe Intel may be faced with an uphill battle in getting insurance companies and government agencies to pay for the device, despite the increasing prevalence of medical devices in patients’ homes, as the population ages and the shortage of medical professionals intensifies.”

Makes one wonder what is coming out next 🙂

Carestream unveils first wireless DR detector

“Carestream Health has released a wireless digital radiography (DR) detector that is the size of a standard cassette and can be used with existing wall stand- or table-based buckys.”

I personally think that this is a fantastic idea. I first heard about the wireless DR suite about 2 months ago but seeing that that expected release date is in the first quarter of 2009i makes me excited – simply because of the workflow enhancements that can come out from it.

“The Carestream DRX-1 system incorporates a console and a wireless 14- x 17-inch cassette-size DR detector that provides conversion for users of radiographic film or computed radiography (CR) systems, requiring no modifications to existing analog equipment, according to Carestream. The DRX-1 system also delivers preview images in less than five seconds.

The company also said its wireless detector can be used wherever it is needed—with the wall stand bucky, table bucky, or for tabletop shots and other difficult views.”

PACS powers productivity improvements

“One of the primary cost justifications for implementing a PACS is the expectation that its deployment will result in a productivity increase for the clinical specialty. A five-year retrospective analysis conducted at one of the largest academic hospitals in the United Kingdom and published in the July issue of Clinical Radiology, delivers hard data affirming this contention.”

Seriously, how much more ‘proof’ and ‘studies’ are needed to confirm the facts and obvious? It has been proved time and again that effective PACS implementation brings benefits so why not spend the time and money doing research / studies in how to further improve these benefits?

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Ramblings: I made a visit to the Dentist today

That’s right, I visited the Dentist today, a new one actually and while throughout the process (from waiting to getting my teeth checked etc), I was observing the workflow and how a Dental PACS would fit it. ( I reckon this topic warrant a full article so I’ll just touch on it briefly).

What really caught my interest was the process of how the dental x-ray was taken for me.

The dentist referred his assistant as a nurse but she performed the dental radiography for me and assisted the dentist throughout the procedure, I reckon she really is a dental assistant but in order to impress the patients (or avoid confusion), the assistant was referred as a ‘nurse’.

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