CD/DVD Recorders: Bigger Isnt Better

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HIIT070806Depending on practice requirements, a smaller DICOM CD/DVD recording system may deliver the most efficient workflow

Not every facility needs a huge DICOM CD/DVD system. In fact, many PACS coordinators are actively looking for smaller, simpler, cost-effective disk-burning solutions.

Take Ron Loz, for example. The PACS coordinator at Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, N.Y., had been in his position for more than a year, but he was still stuck with a DICOM CD/DVD system that was woefully inefficient.

The process of burning a CD was so overly complex and laborious, says Loz that his technologists—spread out among three campuses—had to read a four-page instruction sheet in order to burn the CD. The time wasted was so significant, Loz says, “and the problem wasn’t actually burning the CD, it was getting to the point of being able to burn it.”

Clean and simple
Loz wanted a solution that was intuitive and easy to use, and “in the smaller range.” His techs burn on average of 15 to 20 CDs per day per site, so he didn’t need something with a huge capacity, and, by extension, a higher price tag.

He went with Pacgear’s MediaWriter D35. The MediaWriter’s burning capacity of 35 discs per day, ease of use and price tag, Loz says, made it the right fit for Cayuga.

MediaWriter includes the Primera Bravo SE disk publisher and is exponentially easier for his techs to use, says Loz. Under the old system, an operator had to go through more than a dozen steps to burn a CD. “Now it’s go to the short cut, find the patient, pick the study, and burn,” says Loz. “Done.”

Although Loz was interested in finding a system that was intuitive and cost effective, he also was looking for something that could deliver a more professional product. Pacsgear worked with him to design a customized label and the “professional presentation of the CD is really quite nice,” he says. “Before, we had to stamp labels onto the CD. Now we have an official company logo, can print names and add little notes.”

Low-volume, low-price
While Loz was happy with a burner that could easily burn 15 to 20 disks a day, Kurt Romatoski, PACS coordinator for Sacred Heart Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander, Wis., had disk-burning needs that were even more modest—just two or three a day.

Sacred Heart Saint Mary’s has two outreach clinics, each about 30 miles away, explains Romatoski, and each clinic had to rely on the main campus for its burning needs. The requests for CD burns, and the CDs themselves, were sent via ground mail—not a particularly timely or efficient process.

The problem was that each clinic usually needed to burn only two or three CDs on a given day, so “I was looking for a fairly inexpensive solution,” says Romatoski, as well as something that was simple to use.

After a search that seemed to go on for quite a while, Romatoski last spring came across DeskRay, a desktop version of Nautilus Medical’s DICOM Ray DICOM CD/DVD writer.

This application utilizes the CD/DVD burner in a computer tower or laptop and burns DICOM part 10 discs with or without a viewer for use in a review, exchange or sneaker-net environment. Specifically de-signed for smaller volume users such as physician’s offices or clinics, it seemed to meet Romatoski’s specifications.

Romatoski says the product is intuitive and easy. Burning a CD is a four-step process, he says: “You open up the product; do a search for a patient’s name; import; then click ‘burn.’ When we were setting it up, we did it remotely. We taught our techs [at the two clinics] how to use it from our main facility and within five minutes, they were burning CDs.”

It also fit nicely into Romatoski’s budget. “It’s done everything we need it to do and more,” he says. “It’s been rock solid.”