Improving the image

Radiologists in private practice must cater to the needs of three stakeholder groups: patients, referring physicians, and their own staff. The right technology will succeed on all three fronts.

Andrea Lutz
Published on January 9, 2020
The five physicians working at Radiologiepraxis im Dürerhof Bayreuth, Germany, regard themselves as medical service providers. For their team, the ability to quickly produce high-quality clinical images is crucial, as these images form the basis for the diagnoses made by their referring colleagues. Another priority is providing their patients with professional, considerate, and personalized care – in today’s healthcare market, the patient experience during a visit to the doctor is vitally important. Accordingly, rigorous demands are placed on the imaging systems used. The radiologists in Bayreuth invested in a MULTIX Impact ergonomic flat-panel detector X-ray system that makes examinations more comfortable, particularly for patients with limited mobility. At the same time, the system must offer outstanding image quality and ease of operation for its users. Can it deliver?
<p>“We use the system for all standard X-ray examinations, from chest X-rays to joint imaging,” explains radiologist Josef Liebisch. As this involves a range of different requirements, the digital X-ray system must deliver precisely what its name promises: impact! After the first quarter, the verdict is positive. The team works quickly and reliably, while spending more time by the patient’s side. “As a result of the seamless and adaptable integration of MULTIX Impact into the IT workflow, we’ve been able to reduce our error rate and increase our efficiency,” reports practice manager Andreas Kiefer.</p>
Josef Liebisch, Radiologist, Radiologiepraxis im D&uuml;rerhof, Bayreuth, Germany
<p>“Quality usually requires more time, but a major advantage in this case is that quality actually requires less time,” says radiologist Thomas Ullein, MD. This is due to several factors: Both the transmission of the examination requirements as well as the setting for each X-ray image are automated. Patient data and preconfigured examination parameters are displayed directly on the X-ray tube touchscreen, where they can also be adapted. A camera in the control room monitors correct patient positioning. Coordinated system movements enable faster and more precise positioning, which in turn gives the radiology technologist more time with the patient to answer questions or offer encouragement if needed. With no cassettes to be developed, the images are available for assessment in a matter of seconds. The overall workflow has thus improved significantly, making it more comfortable for everyone involved.</p>
Dr. med. Thomas Ullein, Diagnostic Radiology Specialist, Radiologiepraxis im D&uuml;rerhof, Bayreuth, Germany
<p>“The images have a clarity that I have never seen before [in conventional radiography] and only know from fully digital mammography units,” remarks Ullein, adding that “Pulmonologists and rheumatologists have special requirements for the image impression. We can now meet the demands of referring physicians and individually adjust the scans. The preconfigured image flavors allow us to provide the ideal contrast for the organ to be examined based on the patient’s constitution. Scans can therefore be personalized. All of the automated features result in a further optimization of the scan for specific medical issues.”</p>
<p>This customization is not just important to medical professionals; patients, too, have increasingly high expectations. No one wants to be just a number when they visit the doctor. “Our practice and our physicians are rated multiple times per week on Internet portals,” says Ullein. If a patient is injured or in pain, the attention they receive from care providers is particularly important both for the patients themselves and for their relatives. “MULTIX Impact has made it possible for us to reduce the workload for staff and create a relaxed work environment. As a result, our patients are also more satisfied.”</p>
Monika Hackel, Radiology Technoligist, Radiologiepraxis im D&uuml;rerhof, Bayreuth, Germany

By Andrea Lutz
Andrea Lutz is a journalist and business trainer specialized on medical topics, technology, and healthcare IT. She lives in Nuremberg, Germany.