Hello Everyone - just a quick post to ensure you all that I'm working away on the next version of DocScan. I'm rewriting all the code from the ground up to support many features and workflows that people have been asking for. I've already exceeded the original number of lines of code and I would estimate I am 1/3 of the way complete right now. So, here are some more new features I don't think I've mentioned yet:
- Besides using scanners to convert paper to DICOM images, you can import from all common image file formats (including PDF), and built in screen capture to grab portions of you screen send those to PACS!
- Supports as many archives and worklists as your environment needsand allows you to specify exactly when each is used so your staff doesn't have to remember to.
- Not only can you choose to stack or separate multiple imported images, but you can also predefine if you want a a set of images to auto split into separate series with different series numbers & names.
- DocScan 2x was missing some DICOM tags in the image files that made certain PACS not like the images. This has been corrected and you have complete control over any additional static or variable tags you want inserted into the image files as well.
That's it for now. Time to rest and more coding to come. I look forward to sharing the new version with you all!
I just threw this program together in about 2 minutes and it's become so useful to me I wanted to share it to anyone who stumbles upon this site.
types out text from your clipboard anywhere that programs normally don't allow you to paste text (like some password input boxes). Read more about it here
Hello Everyone! Where has time gone? Has it really been a year since I last posted here? A lot has been happening on my end. While I finished the first version of "Yodel" that I described in earlier posts, I've decided to get out a new version of DocScan and bring it under the Yodel suite of software that I'm planning. So, the next version of DocScan will be officially named "Yodel DocScan 3.0" and I've got a host of new features that I'm programming in to it. First and for most, no more 6 image limitations. I haven't decided the upper limit, but it will be plenty. I'm building it to more easily integrate with different PACS vendors so its main integration method will now be XML drop, but I'll also be including an app to make the necessary XML drop files. So, don't fret, I'm pretty sure I'll have a method to get this to work with your PACS if your PACS has any way to launch an external process or create XML files. Also, better TWAIN support as I'll be using a dedicated TWAIN engine instead of using the IRFAN view program for scanning. All new code for image manipulation: conversion to grayscale, invert, 90 or 180 degree rotations. Here's a new feature: image stamps. Predefined images can be inserted into a scan job to be used as notification tools in your PACS. Sky's the limit with this one: easily add a disclaimer image to studies you have imported into PACS, setup meaningful images to visually alert your radiologists to info about the studies they are in, etc. There's too much to list, but I'm excited about it and I hope you will be, too. I'll share more as it comes together.
Feel free to send me any ideas you want to see in the next version, too. If I like it and I can code it, I'll put it in there. I want to be upfront with you about v3, too. I'll continue to give away DocScan 2 for free here, but Yodel DocScan 3 will require a license purchase. It takes a lot of time and planning for me to create this code and so I need to recoup that effort, but at the sime time I recognize a lot of people use DocScan because it is free - and hopefully because they like it! That said, the licenses will be very affordable and stay tuned as I'll be giving away licenses for it as production versions draw near. OK, that's all for now - I can smell dinner on the table!
I've been hard at work creating a new application called Yodel
and I wanted to share a few details about it with you. In a nutshell, Yodel is a workflow communication tool. Here are a few imaging department workflow scenarios and how Yodel improves communications:
- Scenario #1: A hospital has wireless DR portable x-ray machines with which they perform dozens of daily portables. Although techs are able to directly send the x-ray images from the patients' rooms to PACS over the wireless network, reading these exams is still delayed because someone must complete the exam in the RIS, scan in paper documents, or perform some other task to tell the radiologist that the exam is ready to be read. Yodel maintains a mirror image of your recent PACS worklist and presents this through an easy to use webpage to your techs. Techs log in to this Yodel worklist webpage on their smartphone, iPad, tablet, etc., and with a few clicks they mark the exam as completed. Yodel then jumps in to action and can send various alerts to any number of destinations to make sure your workflow gets completed and the exams can be read. The alerts can be any combination of e-mails, text messages, screen pop up messages, XML file drops, event logs, or even a Yodel-created DICOM image sent to the referenced exam in PACS containing the text of the worklist entry (including tech comments if provided).
- Scenario #2: A nuclear medicine exam is ordered after normal hours. No nuc med techs are around to order the isotope drugs, so the patient's exam is delayed until later the next day because the drugs were not ready in the morning. Yodel can monitor the PACS worklist for newly ordered after-hour nuclear medicine exams and send an e-mail or text message to someone so the appropriate drugs can be ordered. The delivered alert message is completely customizable and can even contain a URL to your Yodel instance so the user must log before they are shown any PHI.
Here's a few more details about Yodel:
- Yodel can respond to user triggered events (scenario #1) or automatically discover events (scenario #2) and it can generate different alerts depending on the time of day the alert occured.
- The yodel application runs on your own organization's hardware so your PHI remains your PHI.
- Yodel requires no complicated integrations to your PACS, RIS, HIS, etc. Yodel simply needs to be able to query your PACS worklist.
- Yodel can send the alert emails through your own organization's SMTP server. If getting the necessary details/permissions for this is difficult, Yodel can send the e-mail messages for you!
- The alert types offer incredible customization. Alert messages can include over 40 different variables that insert exam relevant information into the message text.
I'll blog about some more details soon. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, send me an email
and I'll make sure you get a chance to try it out as soon as it is available.
Have a great weekend!
I've referenced Anthony Guerra at HealthSystemCIO.com in the past
. He has another great post here
that I wanted to share. Time is so crucial with the information we are bombarded with daily. From Anthony's article:
...never waste one second of your time by putting sub-par or irrelevant information in front of you. To be successful, you must have the same respect for the time of your reports, colleagues and vendors.
Napoleon once famously said,
“Strategy is the art of making use of time and space. I am less concerned about the latter than the former. Space we can recover, lost time never.”
I had a chance to demo the Honeycomb product directly and I am impressed. The feature set is right on for this initial product release. It has a social network "LinkedIn" feel to it and users are able to self register to create an account. A URL auth process follows and then you can access your free account. Although not verified, initial screenshots seem to show that "free" accounts can upload up to 10 GB of imaging data. Once logged in the user is presented with a log view screen of activity that has occurred with any images they have shared to other users. You can invite other users via e-mail to join Honeycomb or search for existing users. The search screen segments the search results between users you know (similar to 'friended') and global users accounts you haven't shown any relationship to (yet).
Uploading files is very easy as long as you have physical access to the DICOM files themselves. Once uploaded you can share the files to one or more users in your group. The sharing process has granular controls that allow you to decide how long the share is active for and whether or not the 'shared' users is allowed to download those files as DICOM objects or not. Either way the user can view the images through Honeycomb
Did I mention that this is free? Are you considering any other image sharing services right now? Don't. This is free and it rocks. Just go to www.merge.com/honeycomb.aspx
and sign up to be notified when the services launches next month. Here's a direct link to Merge's PDF document
More information about the future phases of Merge Honeycomb came out today, too, as the implementation phases were shown at the "Merge Live!" event. Below is a screenshot from their presentation. Phase one and live usage will be in place by RSNA this year. Phases 2 & 3 relate to a tighter integration of Honeycomb to their iConnect Access platform.
I'm at "Merge Live!" this week in Chicago. Today Merge made a big announcement about their new cloud based imaging sharing app called "Honeycomb". The best part is that it is free! Here is some more info
. Basically, it allows someone to sign up, upload exams and share them to anyone else they want to. It looks very promising and while the base service is free they do plan to add in some premium options that would have some associated costs.
I also had a chance to see the Blue Man group
. That's a fun show and one of the people in our party got pulled up on stage to be part of the act. Here's a clip I found (not from the show I went to):
How have to just laugh when you hear things like this so they don't wake up screaming at night. Here's another woeful tale from a fellow PACS administrator:
"I just had a Nurse in the ED ask me (on behalf of a PA for the ED Docs) if there
was a way to remove the demographics from the viewport window of the PACS
monitors so the image would be HIPAA compliant. Why would it need to be
compliant you ask? So they could take an iphone picture of the PACS monitor to
text to a physician for consults. She explained that the PA said she does this
all the time at other hospitals because their PACS can remove demographics so
it’s ok because it’s HIPAA compliant. After a long explanation on the
diagnostic capabilities of a cell phone pic of a pacs monitor which, fortunately
was backed up by a physician who was there and overheard, she was going to relay
to the PA that it was not ok. I wanted to also explain about the so called
“HIPPA Compliance” of this but figured I’d take the win. However, I figured I
should be safe so I also told her ours couldn’t remove demographics.
Your Facility Privacy Officer would sign off on that, right? </sarcasm>
has a great write up on a new proposed ruling for the HITECH Act:
"Imagine a world where every time someone accessed a patients record from the billing clerk to physicians, nurses and pharmacists, that accessing that record was recorded. Imagine a patient requesting the home addresses of everyone outside of the hospital who accessed the record. And imagine the administrative burden that collecting all this information would put on the healthcare system. That day may soon be coming."
Here is a link to the full article
. It's an eye opener. Take a few minutes and see the direction that HITECH is attempting to go.