Operating rooms are among the most complex and cost intensive areas of a hospital. This is the reason why smooth processes are of the utmost importance there. The procedure itself plays a key role. For an optimal process, the patient's radiological exam data are indispensable to the physician - no matter whether the intervention is an emergency or planned procedure. It has to be possible to retrieve and display the relevant images in the OR. It is a further important requirement that images acquired during the procedure can be integrated seamlessly.
For the physician, the procedure already takes its beginning a long time before the first cut is being made - with the planning of the intervention. Images from a variety of modalities will be integrated into the planning process, more often than not including images from referring physicians - on CD, or exams scanned from conventional images passed on as celluloids. In order to allow for a smooth workflow, availability of all these images in the PACS is indispensable. A link to the hospital information solution (HIS) for patient administration enables the physician to access all additional relevant information. Furthermore, VISUS integrates special OR planning software into its systems, effectively providing further support to the physician with its multitude of functionalities.
The complete intervention plan can be stored with all notes, and retrieved at any time for modification. For the procedure itself, the physician arranges a selection of images and stores them as "Capture" in the central PACS. The display later in the OR is supported by hanging protocols which ensure a homogeneous representation. For the surgeon, this means that images are displayed, at any time, in the required way for an optimal process in the OR.
During the course of an intervention, images are acquired, again and again, from a variety of sources: endoscopic or sonographic images, images from X-ray devices and the C-arm, or videos from OR cameras, partly including sound. All these different captures are integrated into the PACS, and they are available for retrieval at any time, anywhere on the hospital campus. Finally, the VISUS system supports the user in generating the procedure report into which he can also integrate various captures via image export from the PACS.
For post-operative image processing, an integrated video cutting workplace with export functions is available to the physicians. There they can produce video DVDs easily. For subsequent processing, the native video sequences are passed on to dedicated video processing applications. This allows the user to create, "as an aside", extensive archives for use in teaching or for publication purposes. The images can be archived selectively.
All images captured or imported in the course of treatment are available for retrieval at all designated workplaces throughout the hospital campus. For the purpose of post-operative checks, the physician can retrieve all images pertinent to a patient at any time. Accordingly, post-operative checks can be carried out very conveniently.
For archiving, the user selects the relevant images and sequences. Data can be stored online, in a Storage Area Network (SAN), on shared hard disk systems in a network (Network Attached Storage, NAS), or on a direct attached hard disk system (RAID). Offline storage is done on DVDs, BluRay discs, or magnetic tapes which are handled either manually or by robots. Before archiving of image data, feedback is given to the leading information system. The reconciliation with the order communication ensures process quality.
A further option for long-term archiving is JiveX Storage Service for PACS (SSP). This service enables the customer to store his data in an external archive operated by a service provider. This type of data storage enables cost-optimized operation for the user. With full orientation of fees towards use, the customer is not required to make investments and tie up capital. Cost can be planned because there are no additional expenditures for migration, administration, or maintenance.
No matter which method of archiving the user selects - as soon as the report is approved, it is available in the PACS to all authorized users on the hospital campus. This facilitates interdisciplinary communication and safeguards optimal patient care.