Veterinary software to help you organise your diagnostic images for the long term

Recently, we’re hearing more and more vets fess up to poor image archiving practices.

True vet confession #1: “I just save my diagnostic images wherever I’m working from at the time…”

Too often, vets to store images directly onto their workstation, or even just to the modality they’re capturing them through, because it’s fast and easy to do. But while this quick-fix may seem like a good idea at the time, these devices aren’t meant for long term image storage and often don’t adhere to DICOM compliance standards. And as a result, such vets can expect:

  • To spend lots of time chasing images from different locations;
  • Difficulty in finding the images they need for patient handovers;
  • Difficulty in sharing images with referrers;
  • Lost images, which may not be billed for, resulting in lost revenue as well;
  • A limited ability to back up these files, which means that they are vulnerable to software viruses and computer malfunctions; and
  • Additional work removing images when the computer needs replacing.

True vet confession #2: “I don’t really know how or where my diagnostic images are stored…”

Even more troubling is that we’re seeing is that some vets aren’t storing their patient images at all! Or at least, not for the minimum length of time required.

While it’s true that patient images can accumulate rapidly, The Australian Small Animal Veterinary Association (ASAVA) Manual of Hospital Standards and Accreditation 2011 states that medical records must be kept long enough to comply with state and federal regulations and recommends 7 years. State-based laws tend to vary, with mandatory storage requirements varying from three to seven years. If vets fail to do this, they leave themselves exposed from a legal standpoint and run the risk of non-compliance with veterinary regulations. It also means they reduce their ability to treat, or handover patients effectively should the patient require treatment in the future for a related injury.

Evidently, storing diagnostic images needs to be about more than just short-term convenience, as the potential consequences are likely to impact your productivity, your patient’s health outcomes in the long term, as well as expose you to legal risk.

True vet confession #3: “I just wish there was veterinary software that could do it all for me, so that I don’t have to think about it…”

One of the best long term solutions to storing patient images is to use cloud-based veterinary software. In using the cloud, we’ve seen veterinary practices become more efficient by:

  • Having easy access to their patient files, even after considerable time;
  • Increasing the security of their patient files; and
  • Protecting themselves from litigation risks through adhering to compliance standards.

Recognising these specific requirements and realising the benefits vets stand to gain, we went out into the market to find the best cloud storage software for vets. Having successfully implemented it for numerous clients, we’ve identified that Vet-WEBX is a veterinary software that meets all of the requirements of an effective cloud solution.

Vet-WEBX is a complete solution, where images are stored in a vendor-neutral format, and adhere to DICOM standards. By storing images in the cloud, Vet-WEBX ensures that your images are easily accessible and are backed up without any risk of software viruses or infections, making your practice more efficient at managing your patient’s history.

The Vet-WEBX workflow

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We integrated the Vet-WEBX PACS to the existing practice management software and modalities at Adelaide University Veterinary Health Centres. Read about how they were able to achieve true veterinary practice integration throughout their centres using this solution.

For more information on how you can ensure your practice is efficient in the handling of patient images, talk to us about our Veterinary DICOM Cloud Storage PACS or our VET-WEBX – Inhouse Veterinary PACS.

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Due to major outage in Telstra phone systems our phone lines are not working. According to Telstra, phone lines, call diversion and other services are not working across New South Wales and some areas of Victoria. Hope fully this wont affect us for too long and services will be restore to normal.

In the mean time if you need to contact ARO Systems please call 0428 596 664.

ARO Systems Team

Getting around the work-arounds

Cutting-edge veterinary technology that no longer means you have to just ‘make it work’.

By Read Hedditch

In the veterinary world, finding the right technology that will deliver the best result for specific applications can be challenging. As a result, having to use a ‘work around’ to get something done is an unfortunate reality. One of the most creative ‘work arounds’ I’ve come across recently – and one that confirms that we really do use our smartphones for everything – was the use of a phone camera as a dermascope.

However, having to use ‘the next best thing’ in your work means that you’re compromising your ability to make decisions confidently, diagnose accurately, and offer your patients the highest quality patient care.

A photo taken with a phone camera does not provide the kind of dermascopic clarity and resolution you need to make confident diagnoses.

Similarly, using just an otoscope to examine a patient’s ear means that you’re unable to capture and store images of what you see. As a result, you’re making decisions based on only what you see at the time, and can’t share what you see with others.

And let me ask you this: how many times have you lost revenue from not being able to even ‘make it work’? For instance, when you have to refer even the most basic eye ailments to an eye specialist because you didn’t have the right equipment to make an informed diagnosis.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

So what should you be using?

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