Ideas in Hospital-Based Imaging

by Elaine Sanchez

Modular MRI Proves an Attractive Option
HIS/PACS for Community Hospitals

Patients Take Advantage of Toshiba Vantage

A couple of key features of the 1.5T Vantage Titan MRI system from Toshiba, Tustin, Calif, have increased the number of recommendations from referring physicians and patients to Health Scan Imaging, which operates nine locations throughout Southern California.

"The quietness of the Vantage Titan is dramatic, wh en comp ared to other MRI systems on the market," said Bill Kelly, MD, founder and medical director of the medical imaging network. "Our radiologists, employees, and especially patients have all noticed the distinct reduction in noise. Additionally, our patients really appreciate the more comfortable, wider bore."

Toshiba’s Vantage Titan is 18% larger than competitors’ MRIs. The larger bore can alleviate problems stemming from claustrophobia and obesity.

Recently installed at the network’s new 5,000-square-foot facility in Temecula, Calif, the Vantage Titan features a 710-cm opening, which can alleviate problems stemming from claustrophobia and obesity. Furthermore, the company’s Pianissimo technology helps to reduce acoustic noise, which, according to Toshiba, is the most significant

cause of patient discomfort during an MR exam. Those who exhibit sensitivity to contrast agents have the option for a contrast-free MRA exam.

According to Toshiba, the MRI’s open bore is 18% larger than its competitors in the market, and it features a large 71-cm patient aperture. In addition to its enhanced homogeneity, the system has a 55- x 55- x 50-cm field of view and a 30/130 gradient platform. Also, it sports a guaranteed homogeneity specification of two parts per million over a 50- x 50-x 50-cm DSV and a 1.4-meter magnet length.

"Maintaining our reputation for high levels of patient care due to outstanding image quality was paramount in our purchasing decision," Kelly said, adding that the system’s field of view for abdominal, pelvic, and spine studies played a huge role in his decision to acquire the system. "Alternative short bore systems on the market did not meet our needs because of limitations in z-axis field-of-view and excessive noise."

Through the Vantage Titan MR system, patients can take advan tage of Toshiba’s proprietary contrast-free MRA techniques, which include fresh blood imaging, contrast-free improved angiography, time-spatial labeling inversion pulse, and time and space angiography.

Philips, STERIS to Offer Hybrid Cardiovascular Surgical Rooms

Trends have shown that more and more hospitals are moving away from inpatient procedures and toward same-day and minimally invasive surgery.

In the past two decades, a substantial growth has occurred in outpatient surgery, with more than half of patients today leaving the hospital on the same day as their operation. Furthermore, the use of catheter-based treatments is on the rise, replacing open vascular work for all cardiac procedures.

What this shift has brought is a demand for hospitals to reconfigure their operating rooms in order to readily adapt to different surgical procedures and accommodate a wide range of current and future surgical technologies.

Addressing this need, Royal Philips Electronics and STERIS Corporation, Mentor, Ohio, have announced a collaboration to provide hybrid operating rooms for open and minimally invasive cardiovascular surgical procedures.

"Improvements in the way procedures are carried out have resulted in reduced recovery times and lowered chances of inflammation or infection due to smaller wounds," said Bert van Meurs, senior vice president of cardiovascular x-ray, Philips Healthcare. "All of this means that patients can get back to their daily lives quicker. Less time spent in hospital also means lower overall costs."

With Philips offering its cardiovascular x-ray systems in conjunction with STERIS HD 360° Suites technologies and design services, the partners aim to create a flexible environment.

Specifically, clinicians will be able to treat patients who require minimally invasive procedures, or those needing open surgery, within a single operating suite. The collaboration will also equip hospitals with opportunities for surgical innovation and improved infection prevention programs.

The new solutions provided by the Philips-STERIS collaboration will deliver hybrid operating rooms that optimize workflow and streamline the room planning and installation process. As a result, clinical staff will benefit from a more tailored and intuitive environment that has the potential to increase the efficiency of procedures for health care professionals.

Pointing out that they are both leaders in their respective fields, van Meurs said Philips has a global market share between 30% and 50% in the various market segments. The company will provide a complete interventional x-ray system with an advanced set of interventional tools designed for optimal workflow. Adding to this combined solution, STERIS will contribute its range of Harmony LED Surgical Lighting and Visualization Systems, integrated OR technology, and pendant (equipment management) systems.

“By providing the complete room solution, customers don’t need to coordinate with different vendors—we take care of that for them,” van Meurs said. “The whole installation process is streamlined to ensure that the various elements are installed in the most appropriate order, with the lowest burden on the hospital, and minimal downtime for the operating room.”

The joint offering will allow surgical and diagnostic teams to execute a range of image-guided interventional radiology procedures, such as cardiovascular, vascular, cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, and orthopedics.

“We share the same desire as our Philips colleagues to optimize the surgical environment for clinical professionals and their patients,” said Bill O’Riordan, STERIS’s vice president and general manager for Surgical and Critical Care Technologies, St Louis. “Our alliance with Philips will help health care providers meet growing procedural demands and embrace future surgical innovation with ease. These combined Philips-STERIS solutions may also help to increase staff productivity, maximize daily patient procedure rates, and meet rigorous sterility assurance standards and regulations worldwide.”

According to Philips, its agreement with STERIS will bring the minds of highly skilled and experienced research professionals at both companies together to develop advanced surgical and imaging patient care solutions.

Van Meurs said Philips has already worked on sites with STERIS, for example, at Heartland Health Hospital, St Joseph, Mo. The companies have not designated their first joint customer, as of press time.