Carestream products range from DR to RIS

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At the annual meeting of the Radiologic Society of North America in Chicago last month, Carestream Health debuted two new computed radiography systems: the Kodak Directview Classic and Elite CR systems. These compact, floor-standing, single-cassette CR systems can help improve workflow, productivity and patient throughput. The systems offer a modular design, are significantly smaller than other Directview single-cassette systems and incorporate the latest generation of CR software from Carestream.

The company also showed its newest DR platform, the Kodak Directview DR 9500 that has a ceiling-mounted U-arm that contains both a tube and detector to deliver unprecedented mobility and operational flexibility. The system easily moves around the patient to facilitate patient positioning and to enhance technologist convenience and productivity. The system is designed for a wide variety of general radiography procedures but its real strength is trauma, said Steven Romocki, product line manager of DR for Carestream Health. It offers enhanced speed and comfort to patients with limited mobility. Romocki said that the system is the result of a significant amount of user feedback and focus groups. It was shown as a work in progress last year and is now in trade trial and expected to ship early in 2008.

Carestream also showed its latest version of its RIS, which is focused on moving information, not people, said John Buescher, commercialization manager for healthcare information systems. “Version 10.1 has a number of features to support that.” A preview of version 11, which will be available in 2009, also was on display and so far, Buescher said reviews are very positive. With a strong focus on mammography across healthcare, Carestream’s RIS has a fully integrated mammography reporting system. The RIS’ open architecture is highly scalable and supports web-based user access.

Carestream featured its Kodak Carestream Digital Dashboard that now supports monitoring of Kodak Carestream RIS operations, following up previous versions that supported Carestream PACS and Kodak Carestream information management solutions.

The digital dashboard provides system administrators with a convenient way to proactively monitor equipment performance, storage utilization and user volumes as well as verify network communication of other vendor’s devices. Radiology and PACS administrators can use the digital dashboard from an existing laptop or desktop computer. A stoplight graphic display gives immediate feedback regarding the status of any monitored device.

The dashboard also makes it easy to track the number of concurrent users for a device, the number of read and unread imaging studies, as well as the status of other tasks. The dashboard’s graphic view allows administrators to identify and resolve potential problems, thereby reducing or avoiding system downtime and optimizing workflow. Maintenance checklists provide task details, reminders and a history of completed actions. Administrators also appreciate the dashboard’s ability to deliver summary reports on system efficiency, which allows them to adjust schedules, better distribute patient and system workloads and increase staff efficiency.

The dashboard also helps ensure the accuracy of patient information by providing statistics on patient ID conflicts, missing accession numbers and patient imaging studies that require backup. At one of the user test sites, for example, the digital dashboard identified a glitch that was causing some imaging studies to be missed during the facility’s backup process.

Disk capacity, database storage and processes are also continuously monitored. The dashboard alerts administrators when systems are about to experience a shortage. If, for example, a process is in trouble or a directory is almost full, administrators can take action before any users are negatively impacted.