Portable Ultrasound – Angio & C-Arms University of Washington Medical Center


Problem: The University of Washington Medical Center (Seattle, WA) is using the TIMS DICOM System to convert their GE angiography system to DICOM.  They are acquiring the high resolution streaming video from the angiography study and sending to PACS from the TIMS DICOM System.  During several studies a day, there is a requirement to use a Sonosite portable ultrasound device on the patient for various reasons.  However, after the portable ultrasound is used, there is no record of the study being performed.  With no record of the study, the portable ultrasound procedure was not being billed and the hospital was not adequately capturing this potential revenue stream.  How could they store a record of the portable ultrasound procedure and capture this lost revenue?


Solution: TIMS DICOM System.  The University of Washington Medical Center was already using a TIMS DICOM System for their angiography system so they were very familiar with its simple operation and diverse capabilities.  They decided to purchase a second TIMS DICOM System to acquire from the video output of the Sonosite portable ultrasound device after each study was performed.  Once the study is acquired by TIMS and converted to DICOM, the study is sent to PACS.  Once the study is available on PACS, it is then integrated into the hospital’s normal billing process, and the lost revenue is now being realized.  The hospital was able to realize its return on investment in this second TIMS DICOM System in just a few weeks!  Additionally, because TIMS can be connected to multiple modalities, the University of Washington Medical Center is also using this second TIMS system with their portable C-arms.  They are able to connect the video output of the C-arms to the TIMS system, acquire the video, convert to DICOM, and send the studies to PACS.  “The TIMS DICOM System integrated into our workflow easily while solving our PACS connectivity needs for our angiography and C-arm modalities.  Additionally, it allowed us to easily transmit our portable ultrasound studies to PACS and bill for the procedures,” said Patrick Willis, Manager, Special Procedures at University of Washington Medical Center.  He continued, “The use of the TIMS system has in no way slowed our exam flow.  It takes a matter of seconds to connect the system to our imaging equipment.  The staff has found TIMS to be user-friendly, and as such the compliance in the use of the TIMS is 100%.”

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