With its SOMATOM go.All, Radiologie Ottobrunn has acquired an extremely versatile CT system.
Photos: Uwe Niklas
Workload in the radiology sector has risen considerably in recent years. At the same time, the amount of money available for healthcare spending is shrinking. The SOMATOM go. platform is a new family of computed tomography systems designed to address these challenges and improve workflows. Volker Storz, MD, the chief radiologist of Radiologie Ottobrunn, is an early convert to one of these new systems. His successful radiology practice aspires to be the best in its field, and he expects a CT scanner to deliver the technology needed to achieve this aim.
A growing priority: Putting patients first
Radiologie Ottobrunn is one of the most advanced radiology practices in the Munich area. Radiologist and practice owner Volker Storz, MD, describes himself as a “pilot for healthcare,” since he has to navigate many different specializations. He explains that the main reason for choosing a SOMATOM go. system was to give his team more time with patients and fulfil the practice’s motto of “putting patients first.” Today’s patients are increasingly well informed, and they appreciate high-quality service: “A patient recently came here for a virtual colonoscopy,” says Storz. “She had googled our practice and seen that we had a brand-new device here. These days, patients look around for the right practice, and that means they want greater convenience, which I think is a positive thing.”
Good working conditions for staff
Yet patients are not the only ones looking for the highest quality – radiology professionals are, too. Skilled employees are hard to find in the Munich area. Storz knows that good working conditions are essential because applicants can afford to be very selective about where they want to work. This was another reason for adding a high-end scanner to the practice and replace the former SOMATOM Emotion. The new SOMATOM go.All makes work easier for the radiology technologists thanks to a number of innovative features. Like all SOMATOM go. scanners, it is operated via a mobile tablet. This means the technologist can stay with the patient while preparing the scan, rather than moving between the examination room and the control room. The scanner also standardizes key workflow steps. Running a scan now requires just a few entries using the tablet, and most technologists can intuitively select the right setting. “„Even the reconstructions can be initiated directly from the device,” says Storz. All in all, the system considerably reduces the team’s workload. In doing so, it also benefits patients, as Storz explains: “Our objective is to make every patient an empowered patient. We use the technology to save us time. And we can use that time to talk with our patients.”
Demand for Cardiac CT is rising
This increased contact with patients is an advantage for Radiologie Ottobrunn: “We have more patients with the new CT scanner, with no need to advertise, simply because word gets around,” Storz notes. He and his team can also deal with entirely new requirements from the referring physicians. In particular, demand for cardiac imaging is on the rise. The center now performs as many heart examinations in two weeks as it used to do in six months – and the numbers are still rising. The new system also helps in the area of prevention by combining high image quality with a very low radiation dose. For Storz, this feature ties in especially well with ethical considerations: “I want to expose my patients only to the level of radiation that is absolutely necessary.” He explains that the new detector technology, Tin Filter, and low kV imaging have significantly reduced both radiation dose and contrast media use. The practice has already made savings in the range of 20-30 percent, and there is scope to improve even further.
“We can examine significantly more patients in a shorter time, with better image quality and a much lower radiation dose.”
In addition to being a radiologist, Storz is also knowledgeable about psychotherapy. He talks openly about emotions and readily concedes that his inner voice quickly said “Yes” when it came to buying the SOMATOM go.All. The real-world situation backed up his feelings: “We considered it important to have a short delivery and installation time for the new system, and the conditions for taking back the old device were very fair.” Beyond the warranty period, his practice now benefits from a service package with increased remote maintenance that will significantly reduce downtimes in case of system repair. So as well as being happy with the versatile new system, Storz is also pleased with the whole procurement process: “It all went very smoothly,” he says.
About the practice: Radiologie Ottobrunn
Established in 2005, the radiology practice Radiologie Ottobrunn is a diagnostic and service center for the healthcare industry. It is committed to providing precise answers to medical questions using state-of-the-art technology that is gentle on patients. Volker Storz, MD, has been using the SOMATOM go.All CT scanner since the fall of 2018.
About the Author
Andrea Lutz is a journalist and business trainer specialized on medical topics, technology, and healthcare IT. She lives in Nuremberg, Germany.