Collaborate with Radiology, virtually anywhere

Polycom ‘Real Presence’ provides accessibility, efficiency

Doug Rivard, DO, Radiology Department Chair, tests the Real Presence collaboration tool with Steven Shapiro, MD, MDSA, Director-Division of Child Neurology. (Dr. Shapiro is visible on the screen to the left.) Doug Rivard, DO, Radiology Department Chair, tests the Real Presence collaboration tool with Steven Shapiro, MD, MDSA, Director-Division of Child Neurology. (Dr. Shapiro is visible on the screen to the left.)

Dr. Doug Rivard and his Radiology team can’t be in person everywhere at once to read images, but the Polycom “Real Presence” tool installed on every Children’s Mercy Hospital PC makes radiologists available to collaborate with providers virtually anywhere, anytime.

“We want to make subspecialty radiology expertise more available for our referring physicians,” said Dr. Rivard, Radiology Department Chair. “We’ve adopted the ‘Real Presence’ tool so that providers can connect with the radiologist who interpreted their patient’s study regardless of their respective locations to view diagnostic images and collaborate in real time.”

Radiology has collaborated mostly with CM orthopaedic surgeons by scrolling through images on monitors and discussing the imaging findings in real time while the patient and surgeon are in the operating room.

“We’ve proven it works,” Dr. Rivard said.

Radiology_polycom2 Doug Rivard, DO, Radiology Department Chair, tests the Real Presence collaboration tool with Steven Shapiro, MD, MDSA, Director-Division of Child Neurology. (Dr. Shapiro is visible on the screen to the left.)

Richard Schwend, MD, FAAP, Orthopaedic Surgery, Director-Orthopaedic Research Program and Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Orthopaedics, described the benefits of collaborating with Radiology via Real Presence.

“We have been collaborating with our Radiology colleagues in the operating room with the O arm (surgical imaging system) during spine surgery,” Dr. Schwend said. “Patients with scoliosis may have a very distorted spine, making it most important to accurately place pedicle screws during surgery as fixation points for connecting the rods. After the screws are placed and the O arm is used to image the accuracy of the screws, our radiologist has been able to review with us in real time the actual O arm images. By doing this, we are able to examine the placement and accuracy of each screw.

“By having our radiologist going through each image with us, we get the benefit of their experienced eyes and an immediate second opinion,” Dr. Schwend added. “This way we can continue attending to the surgery but still be assured that we have thoroughly looked at the radiographic images. Any screws not in the optimal position can be replaced or removed before the rods are connected. This makes for more successful and safer surgery and decreases chance of needing to revise the implants later.”

Dr. Rivard said, “We’re confident that collaborating with other providers will be just as beneficial and successful as our work with Orthopaedics. The Polycom Real Presence tool will greatly enhance efficiency for specialty providers and for the Department of Radiology. We encourage our colleagues to take advantage of this resource to provide even better care for our patients.”