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Should I Compress DICOM Images? Optimizing Medical Images

 

Many Purview Image users have questions about DICOM images, including:  

  • Can DICOM files be compressed?
  • Are DICOM files large?
  • Why are DICOM files so large?
  • Can you email a DICOM file?
  • Why is the DICOM format most suitable for medical images?
  • How do I convert a DICOM to a JPEG?
  • What is image compression in radiology?

Today, this blog post will focus on whether DICOM medical images can be compressed, when it's appropriate to compress them, and how you can get started.  

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How Can I Use Telehealth to Reach Rural Patients?

Around 15-20 percent of patients in the United States live in rural areas. Unfortunately, between primary care shortages, hospital closures, and geographic isolation, those patients are up against significant barriers to accessing healthcare. 

Today, many health systems and private medical practices are looking for ways to bridge these gaps in care. Telemedicine, which uses technologies to administer remote care through video conferencing, remote monitoring, and mobile health communication, gives health systems a way to reach rural patients virtually when they can’t visit in person.

Keep reading to learn how your health system can use telehealth to engage rural patients, reduce health disparities, and expand your reach beyond your local geography. 

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How Can Patients Send an Existing DICOM Medical Imaging Study?

Suppose a specialist physician in California is corresponding with a patient in Texas who has an urgent illness. The physician wants to schedule an emergency appointment, but needs to review the patient's medical imaging studies to properly confirm and address the diagnosis. The patient could send a CD hard copy of their studies through the mail, but this is costly and wastes valuable time. The CD could also get lost in transit or arrive to the physician broken or unreadable. 

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How to Charge Patients for Copies of their Medical Images, According to HIPAA

 

If you've been following our blog, you know by now that providing patients with electronic access to their medical images is cheaper and more efficient than burning and delivering CD copies. Giving patients online access to their images also offers many additional marketing benefits for your practice and easier access for your patients.

There's still a cost for this service, but you can expect it to be less than providing CDs. In either case, more and more providers and hospitals are integrating a HIPAA charge for medical records to help cover the expenses incurred by providing patients with copies of their images.

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