Managing the Flow in Radiology

Big Deal: Sorna Chooses CDW for DICOM Products
Tech Zoom: Echo IM From Kardia
ACR to Launch Six Data Registries

by Cat Vasko

Big Deal: Sorna Chooses CDW for DICOM Products

CDW Healthcare, a subsidiary of CDW Corp, Vernon Hills, Ill, a provider of technology products and services to health care organizations, announced recently that it had been selected by Sorna Corp, Eagan, Minn, to resell Sorna’s systems and software designed to intelligently automate and independently manage DICOM disc burning and media importing activities.

Sorna’s DICOM-related products include automated DICOM CD/DVD publishing systems, optimized for clinical workflow; DICOM media import software; and DICOM viewing, storage, and digital print gateway products that allow DICOM images to be viewed and printed with PC-compatible peripheral equipment and stored on portable media.

“Our distribution agreement with Sorna further strengthens CDW Healthcare’s robust line of industry-leading digital imaging solutions,” said Bob Rossi, general manager for CDW Healthcare. “Through this partnership, we can now offer our customers an even greater selection of DICOM-compliant products that will improve clinical workflow by streamlining patient image viewing, storage, and rendering processes.”

Sorna also offers the eXpedo family of networked CD, DVD, and CD/DVD recording systems powered by the company’s eXpedo multitasking software, as well as FilmX PRI software, LiteBox Viewer, OpenLiteBox software, and OpenLiteBox Administrator, all of which will now be available to customers of CDW Healthcare.

“As a national leader in health IT solutions, CDW Healthcare has consistently impressed us with its intimate knowledge of the health care IT marketplace, technical expertise, and individualized approach to customer service,” said Cyrus Samari, vice president of sales and marketing for Sorna. “This partnership will allow Sorna to effectively pursue our strategy of expanding our customer base and enhancing our profile among health care IT purchasers nationwide.”

Tech Zoom: Echo IM From Kardia

New from Kardia Health Systems Inc, Rochester, Minn, is a Web-based Echocardiography Information Man-agement System, or EIMS. The echo reporting and workflow solution is designed to guide medical professionals through the complete echocardiography process.

Among the features for the EIMS are scalable scheduling and automated impression generation.

Wall motion

Originally developed and used by echocardiography professionals at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, EIMS generates structured reports and streamlines every aspect of echo workflow, from patient scheduling to assignment of responsible health care personnel to logical template-guided entry of echo information with easy-to-access clinical normal values and severity scales. The reports are compliant with the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL).

“EIMS was developed by echo professionals who understand the clinical and diagnostic aspects of echocardiography,” said Carl George, CEO of Kardia Health Systems. “The is the first time echo labs worldwide will have access to this powerful, clinically based echo workflow solution.”

Key features of the EIMS platform include scalable scheduling for ease of patient entry into the health care system; intuitive navigation through the exam process; cascading programming, which tailors each exam based on the procedure; normal ranges for data entry; and automated impression generation based on numerical data entry. EIMS serves as a statistical patient study and lab analysis tool, enabling extensive research applications and providing effortless generation of lab accreditation and management reports. The system provides a comprehensive exam report, automates coding and billing through suggested selections, and is HIPAA-compliant.

EIMS’ technical requirements include a high-speed Internet and Internet Explorer Web browser, as well as Windows or Mac-based Windows emulation. It is fully functional on most consumer-grade platforms, and is scalable to meet the needs of small-volume clinics and large-scale health care institutions alike.

ACR to Launch Six Data Registries

The American College of Radiology (ACR), Reston, Va, recently announced that it will launch six voluntary data registries designed to build bodies of evidence for benchmarking and quality improvement in imaging facilities nationwide, increasing CMS compensation to individual practitioners, and guiding future research. The National Radiology Data Registry (NRDR) will include a National Carotid Artery Stent Registry (ACR-NCR), which is set to launch this summer.

“NRDR is now launching six new registries, including the National Mammography Database, the Dose Index Registry, the General Radiology Improvement Database (GRID), and three procedure-based registries: carotid artery stent, CT colonography, and CT angiography,” explained Laura Coombs, PhD, ACR Director of Data Registries. “For these three registries, when a patient has one of these procedures done at your facility, you’ll go to the Web site and enter the case. The data will be aggregated here at ACR, enabling us to establish national benchmarks, to see how your facility compares to those in the rest of the country.”

For all six registries, participating facilities will receive an initial feedback report assessing how well their data meets the national, regional, and state benchmarks; once sufficient data has been collected, facilities will be able to acquire real-time reports, and the ACR will create periodic benchmark reports comparing each facility’s results to national, regional, and state averages.

“Quality improvement is a primary purpose of the registries,” Coombs said. “Another way we can use the data is for reimbursement, and that might be akin to the PET registry where they reimburse for each procedure, or it might be like the CAS registry, where the facilities have to be certified in order to receive CMS reimbursement, and in order to be a certified facility, you have to submit your data to a data registry. The third use would be to respond to third-party payors’ demands for a stronger evidence base to justify coverage of procedures.”

Joining NRDR requires a $1,000 one-time registration fee, and there is a separate annual subscription fee of $1,000 for each registry. However, as an incentive for facilities considering joining, NRDR registration is only $500 this year. The ACR is also considering offering a multiple-registry discount.

“Prior to this, there’s been limited evidence-based medicine within radiology,” said ACR Executive Director Harvey L. Neiman, MD. “The College’s data registries will enable us to document the value of particular procedures and allow individual radiologists to benchmark their cumulative results with similar practices across the country. By documenting competencies, radiologists will be able to conclusively demonstrate that they are the quality practitioners of medical imaging.”