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Sansum Clinic's Advances in Digital Mammography and PACS Featured at Breast Health Conference.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- Sansum Clinic's innovative approach to reading digital mammograms on an advanced radiology system will be highlighted at the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC) annual conference. The conference will be held February 24-28 in Las Vegas.

The Sansum Clinic is a major, independent, nonprofit, multi-specialty outpatient clinic in Santa Barbara serving nearly 150,000 patients annually. The presentations are by Michael Trambert, M.D., the radiologist overseeing improvement of Sansum's radiology system known as a PACS (picture archiving and communications system). Dr. Trambert has led Sansum's transition to interpreting mammograms on the clinic's state-of-the-art PACS, which is made by DR Systems, of San Diego.

Sansum is a recognized regional leader in improving radiology services to women by interpreting mammograms on its PACS. Many other clinics with digital mammography equipment view mammograms on a less efficient, standalone digital workstation.

For Sansum patients, this new set-up means their primary-care physicians can more quickly access women's mammography reports and images, on any Web-connected computer. Women's mammograms, along with any other radiology images such as X-rays, are stored in one central archive for quick reference during future office visits. Moreover, special features of the PACS are designed to make it easier for radiologists to more accurately interpret mammograms and identify any potential breast abnormalities.

Dr. Trambert said there are other advantages for patients, doctors, and clinics such as Sansum that read mammograms on a full-featured PACS, including:

* More efficient management of breast cases. When all modalities including mammography are read on the PACS, the radiologist can review a breast patient's entire imaging profile on the same system. For example, mammograms can be compared side-by-side to a breast ultrasound and a breast MRI.

* Image shuffling. A unique feature of the PACS used at Sansum, image shuffling makes it possible for radiologists to "scroll through time" by comparing breast and other images from current and prior exams. Image shuffling also enables doctors to conveniently compare areas of concern from various image angles.

* Cost savings. The standalone digital workstations used by most other facilities cost up to $150,000 per unit. By reading on a PACS, the institution avoids this extra cost and gets more out of its already existing PACS.

* More efficient overall workflow. At Sansum as well as most PACS-equipped institutions, all imaging modalities besides mammography are read on the PACS. If digital mammograms are also read on the PACS, radiologists can manage their workflow more efficiently and avoid having to physically move from one workstation to another just to read mammograms.

Dr. Trambert is giving two separate talks on Tuesday, February 27: "Integrating Digital Mammography with PACS -- Real World Issues and Considerations" and "Digital Mammography Workflow, Including New Solutions and Reading Paradigms." He is also one of the panelists that day for a panel discussing the operational aspects of digital mammography.

Completing Sansum's current transition to reading mammograms on its PACS, the clinic expects to fully integrate digital mammography with PACS later this year.

Attendees at the breast center conference will be able to try out the PACS used at Sansum during Tuesday's "Digital Hands-On Session."

About the Sansum Clinic

Sansum Clinic is an independent nonprofit health care clinic that provides the full spectrum of day-to-day care for California's central coastal communities. Sansum contracts with more than 150 staff physicians practicing more than 30 specialties at its 16 patient care locations from Carpinteria to Lompoc, Calif.

For more information, call 800-281-4425 in California (800-472-6786 from other locations), or visit www.sansum.com.
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Date:Feb 22, 2007
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