CD & DVD Burners: Serving Needs Large & Small

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Roland Grijalva, PACS assistant at the Helford Clinical Research Hospital at City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., burns an imaging study onto a CD using the PacsCube Express 100X from Datcard. The system imbeds a lite DICOM viewing tool for image viewing from any PC.

Whether CD and DVD burners serve a small, single-center provider, or a large, multi-site healthcare system, the technology helps manage patient images and ease the process of image transfer. The best systems work fast and smart—integrating well with PACS and enabling remote burning and disk labeling.

Easing multi-site integration

Alberta Health Services in Calgary, Alberta, made the move to its current disc burning solution last year following a large-scale healthcare reorganization within the province. Bryce Jones, PACS manager for Alberta Health Services, explains that the nine separate health regions within Alberta have recently been integrated into one region, serving the entire province. With the integration came a need to unite their entire PACS into the new disc burning system. Primarily, says Jones, the disc burner is utilized for “image export beyond our ever-growing organization.” 

Made up of four acute-care hospitals in Calgary, 14 surrounding rural hospitals and five urgent-care centers in the urban area, Alberta Health Services utilizes both PACSGear’s MediaWriter D35 and D200 solutions. The burner used in each facility is selected according to the expected volume of studies the facility will complete, Jones says.

In addition to PACS integration, disc labeling and the ability to remotely initiate a burn also were decisive features in choosing a product that would benefit the multi-site healthcare system. 

In comparison to a single-site facility, Alberta Health Services—which completes approximately 850,000 studies a year—faces different challenges in terms of creating media for patients and physicians. “A key factor that drove us initially [to choosing this product] was the inherent risk [of error] of having to manually label CDs in a high-production environment,” explains Jones. “The disc scribe technology that burns the patient demographics to the disk overcame that risk.”  

Peace of mind for smaller facilities

The City of Hope Helford Clinical Research Hospital in Duarte, Calif., is a cancer center that completes 80,000 imaging exams annually. PACS Administrator Lori Van Amberg explains that the PACSCube Express 100X from DatCard allows the hospital to utilize immediately transfer images to CD or DVD for the patient on the day of the exam. 

“Because [the system] is able to burn discs in a few minutes, patients can sit and wait for their imaging studies,” says Van Amberg. “A lot of our patients travel far to come to our facility and some of them request copies of their imaging studies. Instead of mailing them the CD, we can provide this service because our equipment is so fast.”  

The CD/DVD burner has been a fixture at City of Hope Helford Clinical Research Hospital since 2003. When it was added, the facility was challenged to find a solution that would burn discs in a timely manner and have the durability and dependability needed to serve the hospital’s multiple departments, especially its diagnostic imaging unit.   

“We only have one system [and] we do not have any backup,” says Van Amberg. “While I was initially worried that the system could go down, I haven’t had to worry due to its durability and the vendor’s service support.”

City of Hope is a research hospital and, thus, another burner feature that Van Amberg and her colleagues appreciate is that it can label the disc with the name of the physician or administrator who made the recording, while anonymizing patient data.