The Exciting Case of the Vanishing Films
Welcome to the Filmless Era of Medical Imaging Solutions
The world of medical imaging was revolving around films for almost a century, when the 1980s opened the floodgates into the digital era. With medical imaging solutions such as PACS transforming the radiology landscape, the distance between radiologists, patients, and care providers have drastically reduced. But one of the most radical changes has been the case of the vanishing films. Yes, cumbersome films and film viewers, which used to be commonplace in clinics and hospitals until recently, are suddenly disappearing! But no one’s really complaining about this change because medical imaging is now filmless, thanks to the digital era.
Is going filmless such an advantage? What benefits can this move bring to the radiologist, care provider, and the patient? Let’s take a look!
The Practical Problem with Films
For the patient
The entire medical imaging process can be exhausting for a patient when films are involved. The need to go back and forth between the care provider’s office and the imaging center to collect the films is often tiresome. In addition, it is the patient’s responsibility to store the report and the films carefully, carrying them during every visit to the care provider. The scope of misplacing the reports or swapping the films exponentially increases the possibility of error. These undesirable delays and error-prone practices often widen the gap between such diagnostic procedures and the final diagnosis of the underlying condition.
For the care provider
A care provider definitely needs to be physically holding the film to assess the report and make a diagnosis. The need for additional devices such as film viewers necessitates more appointments with the same patient before taking a decision. This would mean seeing lesser patients and increased stress. With no option to study the report in-depth, films limit the scope for an accurate diagnosis.
For the radiologist
The workload on the radiologist is definitely much higher, given the time and effort it takes to develop films and interpret the readings to create the report. The operational costs are also high, because of the additional resources required for managing patients who have to visit twice – once for the test and second for the report. Maintaining an accurate repository of the records is also a challenge. Hence, the entire radiology workflow is complicated because it revolves around efficient film management.
Filmless Imaging – the perfect solution
The perfect imaging solution that will resolve the pain points associated with films should focus on five critical areas: time, quality, error-free process, ease of access, and an intuitive user experience. Filmless imaging easily ticks all these boxes.
Filmless imaging for care providers
The ability to share images instantly is one of the biggest advantages of filmless imaging, giving easy access to images and reports. The zero-footprint DICOM viewer ensures a paperless experience and enables care providers to access images anywhere from anytime. Mobile-viewing capabilities in terms of pinch, spread, and swipe options deliver a consistent user experience to the care providers across devices. Care providers no longer wait for a second appointment with the patient to confirm diagnosis. They have real-time access to images and reports, which help them take a data-driven, timely decision about the diagnosis even before meeting the patient.
Filmless imaging delivers incredible support tools for performing in-depth assessments. Precision analysis tools and click-of-a-button options such as magnification, contrast, compare, matrix, cine, and flip support care providers in performing a detailed assessment and even comparing against earlier studies. The nano-compressed files help store high-resolution images without loss of space. Hence these images give care providers the power to zoom in to perform intricate analysis. Collaborative assessment with peers is also possible through easy image transfer options. These features ensure that care providers conduct a thorough and quick review before confirming the diagnosis.
Filmless imaging for patients
Patients no longer have to wait in queue to collect reports. They have easy, permission-based access to reports and images through desktops or mobile phones. They no longer have to carry around heavy films for their visits. Their repository of reports gives them the convenience to accurately share their medical information anytime from anywhere. This speeds up the treatment and ensures a positive patient experience.
Filmless imaging for radiologists
A comprehensive dashboard and workbench provides innumerable options for radiologists to do a thorough and quick job. Detailed windowing tools, options to annotate, and manage study lists helps them organize their work efficiently. In addition, extensive reporting templates with standard reporting terminologies decreases scope for error while creating reports. Advanced imaging options with client viewer integrations enable the delivery of a thorough and detailed report every time. The online repository of reports and images provide a quick reference library to conduct pattern-based studies.
Allaying Two Serious Concerns of Filmless Imaging: Security and Storage
Two of the most serious concerns about filmless imaging are security and storage. The robust, permission-based platform delivered by intelligent image management software ensures a secure and reliable option to store and manage reports and images. In addition, cloud-based solutions deliver the biggest advantage of a single version of data being accessible to every authorized stakeholder, reducing the chances for version issues.
Storage-related complications can easily be overcome through smart storage options delivered by DICOM-compliant imaging solutions. A well-organized online repository reduces clutter and supports an efficient query- and rule-based retrieval system. These approaches eliminate the hassles of server space and safety.
Conclusion: The Filmless Revolution in Medical Imaging is Here to Stay
The transformation into the filmless era is almost complete. The spectacular additional benefits brought by filmless imaging go even beyond convenience, time, and accuracy. This approach streamlines the entire imaging process and integrates with every aspect of RIS and HIS. This systematization of the entire imaging process is one of the biggest victories of filmless imaging. With potentially disruptive technologies such as AI and machine learning delivering intelligent solutions in predictive diagnostics, the symbiotic association of filmless imaging with such innovative solutions will definitely explore new horizons.
But the question you need to answer right now is, have you taken the first step toward film-less imaging yet? Click here for a free demo.