Medical Imaging

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Sophisticated medical imaging--from CT scans to MRI to reconstructive and cosmetic surgery--has been around for some time. But available to physicians and hospitals and laboratories is one thing, and a seamless element within a health care information system is another. Integrating these existing technologies into newer medical records systems calls for careful planning.

Medical imaging is definitely a challenge in and of itself. The scanning system to be used to capture medical records from hard copy or other computer system must be incredibly sophisticated. It needs to be able to handle different sizes and formats, handwritten notes in different colors, and highlighted areas. All of these details need to be as crisp and clear and legible in the scanned image as they are in the original.

Furthermore, once records--whether text document or graphic image--are effectively captured to digital format, they need to be identified and indexed. As critical as medical imaging process itself is, the metadata index information that fully identifies a document or image is just as important. They are what make electronic records systems tick. Indexing enables easy file access, storage, and archiving. Fortunately, computer technology today is fully capable of handling these challenges, and more.

Medical Imaging Solutions

No matter what the size of the health facility, once the decision is made to convert to a fully electronic system, there are numerous off-the-shelf software and hardware solutions as well as specialized digital service bureaus from which to choose. The wisest and most efficient course is to outsource a migration. Specialty scanning service bureaus offer extensive experience in the medical field, the most sophisticated hardware and software available, and the reassurance that whatever solution is decided on, it will interface seamlessly with the rest of the health care industry.

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