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SmartExam enhances operational efficiency

Best Practice
Prof. Mukherji, Suresh, M.D. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan USA
Dr. Parmar, Hemant, M.D. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan USA
Mrs. Dudek, Nancy, R.T. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan USA

Since January 2006, the University of Michigan Health Center has been using Philips' SmartExam technology to improve MR workflow and increase the precision of inter- and intra-patient examinations on its Achieva 3.0T system. The computational speed of SmartExam's planning algorithm and rapid scan execution with ExamCards are making a significant impact, according to UM clinicians and technologists.

 Hemant Parmar, M.D., Suresh Mukherji, M.D. and Nancy Dudek, R.T. University of Michigan Health Center
Hemant Parmar, M.D., Suresh Mukherji, M.D. and Nancy Dudek, R.T.
University of Michigan Health Center

 

SmartExam is available for Achieva 3.0T, Achieva 1.5T, Intera 1.5T and Panorama 1.0T scanners. It also will become available as an upgrade for most Philips MR systems installed since 1994.

 

"For technologists with moderate or intermediate skills who are planning the more complex studies - such as cranial nerve examinations - SmartExam saves a lot of time," says Nancy Dudek, lead technologist.

 

Dudek adds that SmartExam frees up technologist time to interact more closely with the patient. "Before SmartExam, technologists tended to focus virtually their complete attention on planning slice positions and little on monitoring the patient," she says. "Most patients like it if you talk to them - it makes them more comfortable. SmartExam enables technologists to develop a rapport with patients."

 

"I like the consistency of the image quality on SmartExam studies both between patients and for successive scans of the same patient," says Suresh Mukherji, M.D., UM Chief of Neuroradiology says. "It helps me be a better neuroradiologist because the slice angles are always the same between scans. For example, if you wanted to know whether an MS patient was getting better or worse you need to evaluate the exact same slices through time. SmartExam enables us to do this so we can more accurately determine lesion burden."

More time for tasks requiring human intelligence

According to Dudek, because SmartExam relieves technologists of time-consuming manual planning and scanning, it enables them to spend more time on tasks such as post-processing, which often requires the insight of the human operator. In turn, this helps them improve the overall quality of work.

 

"If you're post-processing an MRA, you have to take care to avoid cutting out parts of arteries while you're cutting out fat and tissue that you're not interested in," she says. "With SmartExam, the technologist has the time to concentrate on post-processing, resulting in a better job with less likelihood for errors. This makes it much easier for the radiologists to read the results."

 

 

Links to SmartExam ExamCards:

 

 

Links to Clinical View describing the ExamCards:



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