Communication Networks Help Avoid Repeat CT Scans

Aunt Minnie recently reported on a study that found that when emergency room personnel are knowledgeable about protocols for transferring and accepting DICOM CDs – which contain images of emergency CT scans of injured children – there is a decrease in the number of repeat (unnecessary) exams performed.

However, the authors of the study said that problems arise when CDs aren’t transferred to the appropriate personnel, leading to unnecessary exams (and unnecessary radiation exposure) even when a CD exists, according to the article.

Another approach – one which we follow – is to set up pre-existing VPN communication networks so studies can be directly downloaded (quickly), without the need for CDs. These often arrive before the transfer of the patient. They are set up with the sites that refer more than 5 patients per year. Here we have about 200 such connections to other healthcare facilities, which is great for all medical records as well as the images from radiology.

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