Advancing Safety in Medical Imagery

by RaeAnne Marsh

Medical-ImagingThe use of advanced imagery in healthcare is increasing, but this technology that helps improve patient outcome also has the potential to do harm. Scottsdale-based PACSHealth, LLC manufactures a tool that collects data and sets up the ability to send alerts, reports and other components around that data set to ensure what is being programmed is actually what is delivered and the devices used are equivalent as to such factors as output and dose.

Recent action by the Joint Commission on Accrediting Hospitals has spotlighted the need for such information. Although not a funding agency, the commission is well-respected and covers about 2,500 hospitals in the United States and abroad, explains PACSHealth COO Mike Battin, and it produced a document this year requiring sites to collect data from CT scans (X-ray computed tomography) to help monitor safe levels of radiation. The focus on this “started with two incidents in California of over-radiation due to human error or purposeful harm,” Battin says.

PACSHealth serves this need. Focused on radiology informatics, the company develops software systems for medical imaging technology. Says Battin, “We create tools to monitor, measure and report on potential patient care issues before they occur.” The company’s proprietary data-base analysis technology is specifically designed around the healthcare experience. It applies meta-data analysis to the set of data points behind the image to look for inconsistencies, Battin explains. “For example, the X-ray may have been put in the wrong jacket because of similar names and dates of birth. We see it all the time.” Its technology is applicable specifically and only to healthcare because of the differentiation between patients, Battin explains.

Begun as a self-funded startup in 2005, PACSHealth, LLC has grown to a multi-national company serving more than 600 individual hospital sites in seven countries and remains the only one in its niche. And, notes Battin, “As advanced imagery improves, they’ll need our products more and more.” Applications it produces are PACSHealth, VNAHealth and, most recently, Dose Monitor, which gives insight into organ doses.

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