Healthcare Quality Week: Thank you Radiology and Imaging

This week, your mind might be on the upcoming Halloween holiday and fall festivities that come around this time of year. But did you know that October 17-23 is actually Healthcare Quality Week?  This week of observance is “a dedicated time to celebrate the profession and raise awareness of the positive impact healthcare quality professionals have in their organizations and communities.”

Since Vesta has a team of dedicated radiologists as well as clients in healthcare facilities across the nation, we want to take time to acknowledge these amazing people and the processes they expertly and caringly carry out in order to provide quality healthcare.

Radiology and Imaging: A Game Changer

Radiology and imaging is one of the greatest inventions of the late nineteenth century. This powerful tool has been studied and developed, enabling millions of lives to be saved and an array of scientific discoveries in the fields of physics and biology.

 

xray radiologyGoing back to the beginning, the first X-ray picture in 1895 by Wilhelm Rontgen led to many scientific discoveries, ultimately earning Rontgenthe Nobel Prize in physics in 1901. Since then, the field of Imaging and Radiology has grown exponentially. The mystery of how matter converts energy became the focus of study as Albert Einstein furthered the exploration in 1903, allowing the world to begin to understand how these powerful rays demonstrated what our senses could not detect. Subsequently, fossils, art masterpieces, the earth, solar systems, and the universe were radioactively dated, and in 1953 the double helix of DNA was captured. From these and many other discoveries, multiple fields of study have evolved in Radiology and Imaging.

Cancer

Using radiation instead of chemotherapy to treat cancer is advantageous because radiation can be directed to the infected cells and avoid surrounding cells to a large degree. Benefits to radiation and the way it works is described in the following quote:

Radiation works by making small breaks in the DNA inside cells. These breaks keep cancer cells from growing and dividing and cause them to die.”

Utilizing radiation to treat cancer minimizes symptoms and preserves healthy cells, as opposed to chemotherapy. In some cases, chemotherapy drugs can weaken cells making them more sensitive to radiation. Ultimately, the ability to direct radiation can effectively kill specific cancer cells. This is a powerful phenomenon, especially when faced with a deadly disease.

Working as a medical imaging technologist combines a wide array of skills. Patient care, technological aptitude, data analysis, and people skills allow for a challenging and rewarding multilayered career, one that is only possible due to the discovery of electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range over one hundred years ago. Saving lives and improving quality of life due to what we all commonly call the “X-ray”, it is only appropriate to marvel at the work of Wilhelm Rontgen and thank him.

More Notable Imaging Methods that Changed the World

Fluoroscopy is a medical imaging test that uses an x-ray beam. It passes continuously through the body to create a projected image on a monitor which allows doctors to see the movement of internal organs in real-time. This is extremely helpful during surgery. Other ways fluoroscopy benefits patients are with barium X-ray enemas to examine the gastrointestinal tract, catheter insertion to direct a catheter through blood vessels, placing devices in the body such as stents, and in orthopedic surgery with joint replacement.

Ultrasound, also called sonography, uses sound waves to create internal images of the body. It is commonly used to confirm and date a pregnancy. It is also used in diagnosing a wide variety of other conditions. Diseases affecting the organs and soft tissues can be diagnosed with the help of ultrasound.  This includes the heart, blood vessels, liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, uterus, ovaries, eyes, thyroid, and testicles.

3D ultrasoundFun Fact: the 3-D ultrasound actually takes thousands of photos at once to create a 3d image that is extremely clear.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or ultrasound imaging, has aided many women in avoiding having a hysterectomy. Many times, the cause of bleeding is a fibroid and a uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is needed instead. An interventional radiologist can perform this minimally invasive treatment for women with symptomatic fibroids which can be assessed through an (MRI) and then also offer further assessment and counseling.

Transvaginal ultrasound lets most women with malignant gestational trophoblastic disease be cured. Without this procedure, the cancerous and potentially cancerous cells of the pregnancy would continue to thrive putting the mother’s life at risk. Through early detection, partial and complete molar pregnancy can be detected and treated by removing it from the uterus and reproductive function can be preserved.

Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month: Advancements Through the Ages

Ultrasounds—to many not in the medical field, the image of a woman getting her pregnant belly examined is often something that comes to mind first. However, as medical industry professionals, we understand that ultrasounds go way beyond that.

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It’s really amazing to actually look at the history and advancement of such an important diagnostic tool especially during October–Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month.

In simple terms, the ultrasound scan isn’t just a medical device that can help track the development of a baby during pregnancy. The ultrasound scan can also help with the following:

  •       Observing the ovaries and uterus
  •       Evaluating blood flow
  •       Diagnosing gallbladder disease
  •       Examining a lump in the breast
  •       Checking thyroid glands
  •       Guiding a needle
  •       Diagnosing prostate issues

This machine is non-invasive, safe, and does not use ionizing radiation.

History of Ultrasound

The first recorded use of the ultrasound was in 1794 when Italian physiologist Lazzaro Spallanzani used ultrasound to study how bats navigated at night. This became the foundation for modern ultrasound physics. 

Bats produce ultrasounds in order to catch prey.

Ultrasound was initially used to detect flaws in metal casings. It was not used clinically until 1956 by Dr. Ian Donald and Tom Brown. There are no known side effects for ultrasound, making it an incredibly safe and efficient imaging device.

Advancements in Ultrasound

Ultrasound machines have become progressively mobile, easy to carry, and smaller while providing high-quality imaging. Since they are non-invasive and cost-effective, doctors can use them to track patient development without the risk of radiation.

Ultrasound technology can allow us to have an excellent view of the body’s vascular system by tracking microbubbles. 3-D imaging is also possible for more precise diagnostics.

As technology continues to expand, our medical devices tend to shrink inversely. Now, medical professionals can increase their diagnostic capabilities from anywhere in the world. For example, some handheld ultrasound devices weigh under a pound and can hook up to your smartphone, help healthcare providers quickly scan their patients—and possibly save lives.

These economical, easy-to-handle devices can change lives globally, predominantly in rural areas. It’s exciting to think that we may only be seeing the beginning of the modern ultrasound age.

How Teleradiology Can Help

Teleradiology, also referred to as remote radiology, provides medical professionals instant imaging result views remotely.  This means that patients have access to better, more immediate health care.

teleradiology servicesStudies suggest that teleradiology offers benefits, including the availability of second opinions and the possibility for remote viewing services. We at Vesta can certainly attest to this! Our clients – hospitals, urgent car centers, physician offices, mobile imaging companies, diagnostic imaging centers, and government institutions—enjoy cost-effective and unrivaled Teleradiology and Telemedicine services any time of day or night.

5 Tips for Women’s Wellness Healthcare Facility

The fitness and wellness industry has become one of the biggest markets in the world. If you are the owner of a women’s health or wellness center, there is great potential for growth in this $3.4 trillion industry. This competitive industry is constantly creating new approaches to attract patients. If you are searching for new ideas to enhance your wellness center and the care for your patients, here are 5 tips for increasing patient flow.

  1. teleradiology service for women's clinicOffer educational workshops and speakers. Being able to have a cup of coffee and listen to an informed speaker on a subject of interest can bring in more patients. Those who want to help themselves or improve their life will like this approach. Stress-free opportunities to listen and learn about money management, cooking, gardening, yoga, fashion, or more could entice women with enjoying a nonthreatening space to absorb information. These could be mini-breakout sessions of an upcoming wellness conference which may interest participants to attend.
  2. Bundle services. Having one facility that offers multiple services is attractive. Women are busy. Their time is valuable. If there was an opportunity to make one stop to take care of a mammogram, pedicure, and haircut (for example) many women would like this option. In addition, having a nonjudgmental environment to talk to a therapist on a variety of topics such as mental health issues, menopause, and sexual health could bring in more patients.
  3. Act as a safehouse. Employing experienced professionals who have the awareness and abilities to support women in crisis is needed in every city in the world. Doctors, psychologists, and lawyers on site who are in place to readily protect and prevent violence against women and their children will attract patients. Partnering with local authorities may bring wellness center funding opportunities.
  4. Incorporate wellness retreats. Offering purposeful, affordable, well designed retreats for specific groups allows wellness opportunities beyond the wellness center facility. Programs organized with the intentional components of mental, emotional, physical, and social can provide transformational experiences for patients. These deep connections can be life changing and create interest in future retreats.
     
  5. Outsource your radiology imaging needs to a reliable teleradiology service. With this service, a patient can have her mammogram, ultrasound, or other imaging service performed, screened, and sent digitally to all parties involved. The image and its information is compressed and encrypted and stored in a database server accessed by the radiologist, provider, transcriber, and other workers across geographically diverse facilities. The final report is automatically sent to the doctor and the original facility. This saves time and allows you to focus more on attracting new patients.

ultrasound
Vesta Teleradiology has been assisting Women’s Wellness centers, hospitals, mobile imaging, assisted living and other imaging centers for nearly 15 years. It’s not just our speedy service and accurate readings from US Board Certified radiologists, it’s our ability to help you customize the service to tailor it to your facility and patients. Look to Vesta if you want accuracy, speed, affordability, support and customization.