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Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

In 2005, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine was ready to make the school-wide move to digital radiography. While most of the school was still using traditional film, Tufts had already transitioned to digital sensors in two departments.

However, bringing digital radiography to all nine floors of the school's campus at the New England Medical Center complex in Boston would be much more of a challenge.


Situation

Already running on axiUm clinical management software for nearly a year and a half, TUSDM needed a digital imaging solution that would integrate seamlessly with their current system. The school needed an integration piece that would not only open the patient's record in the imaging software, but pass the currently logged-in user's security group to restrict certain types of users from parts of the software.

The school was already using Gendex digital sensors in the radiology and post-grad endodontics departments with no centralized archive. The system that was in place followed a "print and delete" workflow, where only hard copies of the digital images were retained. Tufts needed an imaging system that would work with these sensors, as well as devices from any other vendors. Their goal was to have a system where images would be accessible from any of the school's 250 operatory PCs.

TUSDM had already arranged to purchase additional imaging devices from Kodak, GE/Instrumentarium, and GE/Soredex. The school needed a comprehensive imaging solution that would incorporate support for these devices, as well as any devices the University may acquire in the future.

A key factor for their decision was that the system would be fully DICOM-compliant, meaning that images would be stored in an industry-standard format. Tufts didn't want to keep their image archive in a proprietary database and image format.


Solution

In the summer of 2005, Medicor Imaging coordinated with Tufts and all other parties involved to implement the solution that they needed. MiPACS Dental Enterprise Solution provided all of the features and scalability that a school the size of Tufts needed.

Support for Multiple Capture Devices

TUSDM needed support for GE/Instrumentarium Orthopantomograph OP100D Panoramic/Cephalometric device, GE/Soredex Digora OpTime phosphorus plate scanner, Kodak RVG6000 intraoral sensors and 8000C Panoramic/Cephalometric device, and Gendex Visualix EHD intraoral Sensors.

MiPACS Dental Enterprise Viewer already had support for all of the devices except Kodak's new RVG6000 and 8000C. Medicor Imaging's development team collaborated with developers from Kodak Dental Imaging to add support for these devices to MiPACS. In addition, Medicor implemented support for the newest Gendex drivers at Tufts' request.

Seamless Integration with axiUm

Medicor Imaging assisted Exan Software, makers of axiUm, in adding integration with MiPACS into their clinical management software. Engineers from Medicor and Exan worked together to ensure that the integration was successful.

Medicor further catered to Exan's integration requirements by adding support for user group security into MiPACS. Previously, security in MiPACS was handled only by individual accounts, but adding the ability to govern user security in groups allowed Exan to keep their current security structure in place.

Unified application for all stations

Tufts was faced with a difficult situation, since each of its imaging device types was manufactured by a different vendor. Each device inherently used different imaging applications. Over 250 computers needed to be able to view images, and installing four imaging applications to accommodate each of their imaging devices would be too much of a burden on the school's IT staff. In addition, this would be a great burden to the students. They would have no idea which imaging application to use when searching for a patient's record. The students would also be faced with learning four imaging applications instead of one.

MiPACS unites all the devices into one application, both for capture stations and view stations. The IT staff and students benefit greatly since they only have one application to maintain and learn, respectively.

Image Quality

Medicor Imaging worked closely with the school's dentists and radiologists in each department to ensure that the image quality in MiPACS met or exceeded that of each device's inherent imaging software. Through extensive testing and research, Medicor Imaging delivered images that the entire faculty and staff were happy with.

Complete DICOM Solution

Previous to MiPACS, the school was using a non-DICOM-compliant imaging software for the few departments using digital radiography. This software stored images in a single folder, and was based on a proprietary database, which means that the school didn't truly own the data.

MiPACS now keeps their images organized since the server only stores images in DICOM format. Using this industry-standard, "open" format means that the school owns their data and are no longer restricted to proprietary databases and image formats not used by most popular imaging software packages.

MiPACS Storage Server uses DICOM communication over TCP/IP, which means that any computer or device that can use DICOM communication can store images to the server. This includes devices like Cone-beam CT scanners, MRI machines, and more.


The Result

On September 20, 2005, Tufts University brought all nine floors of the School of Dental Medicine live. Medicor representatives were present at the go-live date to assist in any potential problems, but only minor issues arose and were fixed in a timely manner.

Tufts University School of Dental Medicine now has an imaging solution that fulfills all its needs. Medicor Imaging will continue to work with the school to ensure its satisfaction with MiPACS Dental Enterprise Solution.

Tufts University

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