SST Group (DICOM)
There’s something magical about a visual image. When used in medicine, expecting mothers can see their unborn babies. Doctors can explain a patient’s condition and the treatment. Patients can gain new understanding of their options and trust in their providers.
SST Group is a worldwide leader in medical image delivery and management, with its products used in over 2,500 hospitals and clinics. These include workstations that manage, store, organize and share images using the DICOM standard (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) within a medical facility’s PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) and output to disc and printed media as well as the cloud.
As an integrator and software developer, SST Group works closely with manufacturers of workstations, servers, medical displays and other hardware, relying on Epson for its disc printers, desktop printers and document scanners.
A Long Term Relationship According to Richard Murphy, president and CEO, the SST Group has used Epson® products since 2014. “We found Epson when we were looking for a partner with all the pieces needed to integrate our software into a medical environment—for use with DICOM, PACS, as well as the Electronic Health Records (EHR) and the related Health Information Systems.”
SST began offering a series of solutions using the Epson Discproducer™ Standard PP-50 and PP-100II for DICOM image distribution on CD and DVD. For example, the DMC-EZ 250™, meant for small-to-medium clinics, imaging centers and hospitals, automatically burns and prints up to 100 discs in one queue, each with individualized content and a custom label printed directly on the media.
At the other end of the spectrum, SST offers a single server solution, the DMC-EZ Enterprise™, that controls up to 10 Epson Discproducers located anywhere on an enterprise network, facilitating disc burning and printing throughout a larger clinic or hospital. SST’s DMC-EZ Enterprise is truly a step forward in the evolution of DICOM CD Burning in facilities across the country.
“We leveraged our relationship to ensure Epson scanners integrate with our Print to PACS™ software that digitizes documents and integrates them with medical images,” Murphy adds. SST’s DMC-EZ DICOM Converter™ uses an Epson document scanner to digitize paper documents and reports, convert them to DICOM and add them to patient studies such as CT scans, MRI scans or other imagery. Epson scanners are ideal because of their fast scan speeds and 3-year warranty.
Murphy continues, “For example, when a patient comes in for an examination and completes a HIPAA form, the nurse can put that form into an Epson scanner, and with the click of a button directly on the scanner, our software is launched. This triggers specific DICOM commands to accept the scan and merge it with the patient’s existing images.”
Other SST utilities simplify the printing of medical images onto plain or coated photo paper, using Epson WorkForce Pro WF-6090 or Epson WorkForce Pro WF-8090. These multifunction color network printers produce high-quality output. “In smaller clinics or rural areas where they may not have high-end equipment, these prints serve as important reference copies,” Murphy explains. “A doctor talking to a patient might simply print an image and say, ‘Well, here’s the mark of a cyst or maybe a cancerous region, and here’s what we need to do,’ without the expense of an entire DICOM system.”
“The Epson desktop and Discproducer printers and scanners are easy to use and are reliable imaging products.” – Richard Murphy, President and CEO, The SST Group
Larger clinics and hospitals use these Epson printers as well. “Traditionally, OBGYN ultrasound pictures were printed on a little thermal printer, but the Epson products allow us to give the mother a larger printed image as well as a disc containing the video.”
Murphy reports that, after almost four years in partnership with Epson, he’s very pleased with the relationship.
“The Epson desktop and Discproducer printers and scanners are easy to use and are reliable imaging products. That’s extremely important for us, because we deal with people throughout the organization.
“For example, changing an ink pad in a Discproducer can be as simple as changing a cartridge in your Epson printer at home. And, the printer picks right back up where it left off.”
Epson software has been a huge help with his clients’ workflow, he adds. “For example, our previous scanners were more complicated and required users to put the documents into the feeder, launch our software, wait for it to go out and talk to the device and, only then, make the scan. With Epson hardware, all that’s needed is to load the documents and press the button on the scanner. We were able to simplify the process and bypass two steps, and that’s huge.”
Epson parts, he adds, are field-replaceable, which means SST technicians can repair a desktop printer, scanner or Discproducer on the initial service call. In addition, Epson support is simple. “If we have a problem, I’ll send an email to my contact, he’ll forward it to the right person and then, I get a phone call with a personal response to my question. That, to me, is essential. It’s invaluable, actually. With some of the other companies we’ve dealt with, it doesn’t happen that easily.”
Murphy says the SST Group made the decision back in 2009 to make their interfaces as simple and intuitive as possible, and the Epson hardware and software fits perfectly into that strategy.
“When I show a customer how to create a disc or scan a document, their response is, ‘That’s it?’ “Yes, that’s it. It’s that simple.”