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University of Kansas City Missouri's School of Dentistry

The University of Kansas City Missouri's School of Dentistry had been digital for years, becoming one of the first schools to make the transition to digital radiography. The solution they were using was a custom-developed application for imaging, tailored specifically to their workflow. What would cause them to want to make the switch to MiPACS? Many things.


Situation

UMKC built their original digital solution from the ground up, which incorporated both clinical management and digital radiography. The system was proprietary to this school, as well as one other institution.

The integrated digital imaging portion of the software supported only Gendex devices. The school was using six DenOptix scanners and numerous Visualix sensors. However, if the school wanted to use or test any other brand of devices, they were forced to use the proprietary software of the device. This would split their images into different databases, and due to that risk, the school refrained from testing other devices.

With the software that UMKC's School of Dentistry was using, they were forced to capture images at 600 DPI, which slowed down the process of capturing images and generated images that were far larger than needed. This caused storage space on the server to be much greater than should be required.

The system allowed only for minimal adjustments to the images. The application was lacking advanced image processing features, and didn't offer the ability to create custom templates. The only template available was a 20-frame full mouth series.

Since the school had been digital for several years, they had accumulated over 350,000 images in their system. One of their major concerns with moving to a new system was that these images needed to be converted.

The University was also concerned because the current digital imaging system wasn't DICOM-compliant. They wanted a system that would meet today's medical imaging standards. The University chose to implement MiPACS Dental Enterprise Solution as an answer to their problems and to open up opportunities to try new capture devices.


Solution

Medicor Imaging worked closely with UMKC to ensure that the implementation of MiPACS over winter break would be a success.

Complete DICOM solution

MiPACS was UMKC's answer to a solution that was fully DICOM-compliant. Dental images are now stored to MiPACS Storage Server, a DICOM archive that can also be used for storage of medical images. Throughout the entire process of capturing, storing, querying, and retrieving, the communication is done through DICOM. Images are permanently stored in DICOM format, as well.

UMKC's existing 350,000+ images were stored in BMP format in three resolutions and an Interbase database was used to house patient demographics. Medicor Imaging wrote a custom automated conversion, which would create DICOM images from the BMP files and store them to MiPACS Storage Server using DICOM communication.

Medicor engineers worked closely with UMKC to ensure that conversion of the images was successful. A plan was developed by the engineers that would encode the existing images with the correct anatomic information for their placement in a previous template.

New Imaging Tools

The School of Dentistry at UMKC wasn't used to the variety of image enhancement tools found in MiPACS. Their old system only had rudimentary image enhancement tools, and MiPACS opened up a new world of image manipulation and analysis.

UMKC was also introduced to MiPACS' measuring and annotation tools. These tools make measuring radiographs easy, without the need for calibrating each image.

Seamless Integration with the Clinical Management System

The "home-grown" clinical management system that UMKC implemented performed imaging inside the program. When MiPACS was implemented, the imaging features once inside their clinical management system would now be in a separate program. Medicor worked with the development team at UMKC to incorporate DELink, an API which calls MiPACS and opens a patient, as well as passing along important security information about the current user's rights.

Open Architecture

MiPACS gives UMKC the ability to choose what devices they want to use. They are no longer committed to using only one brand of device. MiPACS incorporates support for over 50 image capture devices from 25 different brands.

Proprietary imaging software from sensor manufacturers is no longer required. The images are kept in one place regardless of which device is used to capture an image.

This gives the school the ability to choose a device that may benefit them economically or in their workflow. In addition to this, the flexibility in MiPACS gives UMKC the ability to expose its students to many types of capture devices which they may encounter in the real world.


The Result

Medicor representatives were on site when UMKC went live at the beginning of the Spring semester of 2006 with MiPACS as their digital imaging system in over 300 operatories. The transition was a smooth one, and students were learning the software from day one.

Currently, the school is looking to possibly implement digital capture devices from different brands, expanding their horizons to other options out there.

Medicor Imaging continues to work with UMKC to ensure that their satisfaction remains with MiPACS.

University of Kansas City

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