DICOM files are an essential part of the diagnosis process for many practices. Currently, the standard method for transferring DICOM data is via CDs. However, if your practice has ever burned or received a CD with a patient's data on it you've likely thought to yourself: "there has to be a better way." The good news is, there is!
How it Works Currently
The CD originates from an imaging facility or hospital imaging center. For the imaging center, this involves not only special equipment but also additional staff to simply provide patients with their scans via CD. Once the CD is ready it often needs to be shipped to a provider who needs to review it, which requires finding the correct shipping carrier, shipping materials, and time, sometimes lots of it.
Whether the CD is shipped to the referring physician directly or to the patient, shipping times are always uncertain, and the condition of the CD is not guaranteed. The receiving party is left to wait for the CD, keeping their fingers crossed that there aren't any delays. Once the CD is delivered, the receiving practice staff has to find time to download the images and hope there are no issues with downloading or viewing the long-awaited images.
The outdated process causes a patient's medical journey to halt until their medical images are received. This is where the DICOM uploader comes in.
What is a DICOM Uploader?
DICOM Uploaders, also known as Medical Image Uploaders or Untethered Uploaders, provide a way for a practice that needs scans for diagnosis or consults to access patient scans digitally without the use of CDs. Patients or imaging centers can upload critical diagnostic images from anywhere at any time with a simple, easy-to-use uploader.
Not only does this method eliminate the obvious waste of materials and staff resources, but it can also improve patient care by allowing referring physicians to be better prepared for their consults and procedures in advance. Having the ability to review patient scans prior to their appointment can reduce delays in care and can keep the imaging center and referring practice running efficiently and increase patient satisfaction.
However, when researching solutions be sure to find an uploader that is HIPAA compliant. Protecting your patients' data is essential for any technology that will handle sensitive diagnostic information.
How does it work?
Various uploaders might look and work slightly differently, but they all do essentially the same thing. With Purview’s DICOM Uploader the practice that requests a copy of scans can share the upload link with the facility where it originated or the patient. The imaging center or patient simply opens the link, and drags and drops medical images from their desktop into the uploader. The images can take a couple of seconds, or minutes to upload into the Purview cloud PACS, depending on the file size. Once the upload bar turns green, the referring physician will be able to access the images from their own location in their Purview worklist.
Purview’s uploader now offers the ability to accept pathology files. It is important to note that not all uploaders can take pathology files due to their size. If it is essential for you to receive and upload pathology files, make sure to check in with your cloud vendor.
How do people access the uploader?
It is important to put the uploader in an easy-to-find place. Most practices opt for putting it on their websites and create a firewall to ensure only patients or referring physicians can access the uploader. It is essential to create and include an instruction document on how to use the uploader to ensure patient and imaging center buy-in.
Purview can provide easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructional documents that can be privately labeled with your logo to create a professional, cohesive look. If you are interested in learning more, register for a demonstration by clicking the link below!