Safety Initiatives Expand
Our “Right Patient, Right Exam” initiative, designed to decrease inappropriate imaging from order entry errors, prevented more than 750 errors from reaching patients in fiscal 2013.
An accurate history is known to be an essential component to optimal radiographic interpretation, yet is present in only about 60 percent of physician orders. Our “What, When, Where” initiative empowered our technologists to fill in the missing components of the history. This has led to a sustained level of 95 percent of all studies having an appropriate history, allowing our physicians to make more accurate and complete interpretations.
This year’s efforts to minimize pediatric imaging radiation exposure have focused on radiography, which accounts for 70 percent of all imaging studies in children. While our doses were already low, further adjustments in techniques have allowed us to cut doses by 50 to 75 percent without compromising diagnostic quality.
Advances in Airway and Pulmonary Imaging
In collaboration with Pulmonology, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery and others, we have developed an integrative approach for the diagnosis and treatment of airway diseases that combines CT and MRI to make more precise, non-invasive diagnoses. Our engineering partners at the University of Cincinnati have applied computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and flow structure interaction (FSI) modeling to these imaging data sets to achieve new insights into the mechanisms of airway diseases. This analysis also allows virtual treatments to be modeled, allowing proposed interventions to be assessed prior to actual surgery and thus improving the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Jason Woods, PhD, joined Imaging Research Center this year with faculty appointments in Pulmonary Medicine, Radiology, and Developmental Biology. Woods and his team bring an entirely new area of pulmonary MR research to Cincinnati Children’s. Hyperpolarized gas imaging allows detailed functional and structural assessment of the healthy and disease lung, and advances in MRI pulse sequences promise to provide anatomic detail that may ultimately replace CT (and its attendant radiation) in the evaluation of the pediatric chest.
Expanded Informatics Capability
Our Radiology Informatics group has developed the infrastructure needed to support imaging-based research studies within the hospital and throughout the country. Improvements include a research Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) and a reliable method for anonymizing research image datasets.
Our team also increased the archive space, implemented disaster recovery capabilities, and created a method for secure access to the research system by remote users. These enhancements have allowed researchers from Cincinnati Children’s to lead multi-institutional trials in an attempt to answer questions as varied as “Are there differences in the appearance of diffuse intrapontine gliomas in patients who are long-term versus short-term survivors?” and “What is the diagnostic reference range for radiation dose for CT examinations of the abdomen?”
The Radiology Informatics group also produced its own research, and were recognized with a second place Innovation Award from the Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine.