Clinicians at the private Suomen Terveystalo OOyj screening service in Finland are benefiting from improved workflow efficiency and image quality after installing Kodak’s Directview CR systems with mammography from Carestream Health.
The installation, in 40 of the private clinics, has led to a 50% reduction in referral to treatment time at the centres.
Around ten patients an hour can now be treated compared to five previously, leading to improved patient care.
Suomen Terveystalo moved to digital mammography in 2005 to bring improvements in the efficiency and uniform quality of screenings for both the dedicated mammography screening clinics and the group’s remaining mixed-use x-ray environments.
The new Carestream solution helps them to capture mammography and general radiography exams with the same CR platform and supports the high-resolution image quality required for mammography imaging.
It can process as many as 65 mammography cassettes an hour and has a buffer storage capacity of 200 mammogram images. Additionally, the image processing software and system ergonomics automated and standardised the entire work process enabling one-stop processing, quality control and distribution of images.
Jari Karhu, screening services manager, Suomen Terveystalo, said: “The benefits of the digitised system are easy to see. Our radiology specialists are provided with images of consistent quality, which in turn facilitates and improves their work. Information is more easily shared, so we can take advantage of the wider expertise of our imaging personnel and radiologists.
“Higher quality work is being produced as a result of this automated process. Patient radiation dose is now lower because less rescanning is required and, most importantly, the client now receives a quicker diagnosis, with anxious waiting time halved.”
As each system was installed, staff were offered full training to ensure they knew how to use the new digital system.
Petra Haavisto, chief nurse at the Suomen Terveystalo Clinic in Turku said: “Few of us had any previous computer skills but Carestream Health helped us initially get to grips with the system and then stayed close at hand as we became operational. There was a lot to take on board at first, but thanks to Carestream Health we are now all skilled digital mammography radiographers.”
Plans are in place to install the system in two remaining centres by the end of 2007, completing the rollout to all of the group’s x-ray departments within two years.