A Note From Sectra

Dr. John Goble, President of Sectra North America, posted this on AuntMinnie.com:

Sectra has been in the US for nearly ten years, and we have a superb service and support team. In addition to Philips Medical Systems, we provide Level II support for our other partners, selected dealers and comprehensive support for our direct sales.

Our PACS products for the Orthopedics and Mammography markets are extremely well received by the US market. While Philips’ acquisition of Stentor will undeniably impact our revenue in the short term, we intend to aggressively bid for service on our products and continue to protect the investment of customers who have purchased Sectra PACS… whether under the Philips label or directly from us.

Sectra will continue to innovate and bring industry leading products to market in the US. If you have questions about support for your system, extensions to your Sectra PACS or have a new opportunity, we’d be happy to talk with you.

John Goble, Ph.D., President, Sectra North America, Inc. Call us at 800.307.4425.

Sounds pretty promising for Sectra customers. We’ll see how it works.

Farewell, Scotty

Today, we Star Trek fans say goodbye to James Doohan, who will be forever known as Scotty, the Chief Engineer of the Starship Enterprise. He died of complications from pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease at age 85. His ashes will be rocketed into orbit later this year. (That’s not a joke, by the way; he will join Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, whose ashes were intered into space several years ago.) I guess we tend to forget that the characters of Star Trek are getting on up there in years. DeForest Kelly, who played Dr. McCoy, died in 1999 at age 79. Even Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) are in their early seventies now. I had the chance to spend 10 seconds in their presence last summer at the Star Trek convention (yes, I admit I went), while posing with my son for this photo. I call it three old Jewish guys and a kid.

Many say Jimmy Doohan was the most beloved of all the Star Trek actors. I think we can rest assured that he was beamed up and not down to his Final Frontier.

One Brief and Shining Moment….

My apologies to the late Richard Harris….

I am really amazed at the traffic generated by the AuntMinnie.com article. Comments have been generally positive, usually something like, “I didn’t know PACS could be funny!” I seem to have the attention of a significant number of those in the PACS community, and I would like to put that to good use while it lasts.

It seems clear that there is a disconnect between the designers and (Radiologist) users of PACS interfaces. I’m not sure why this is the case, as it seems logical to consult your end users before creating a huge software product. I don’t want to indict any one particular company, but some do a better job than others of giving us the clear interface and powerful tools we need to slog through the day’s work.

For the moment, lots of users, and not a few vendors are dropping by to see what foolish thing I have posted this time. Now I’m sure you all realize that is is possible for you to post comments here, and I really, really, REALLY encourage you to do so. It’s simple; just click the word “COMMENTS” at the end of each posting. Perhaps this blog might be considered a “safer” place to post complaints or suggestions for the vendors, and for them to post answers. This happens on the AuntMinnie.com boards to some extent, but I think some are hesitant to post there. So, come here and let it all hang out. Don’t hold back, say what you really think. I certainly haven’t even begun to describe everything that would go into a perfect system, but if I can get input from as many of you as possible, maybe we can get closer to that ideal product.

Now, if you will excuse me, the boys want me to get back to the Roundtable, I mean my PACS station, and generate some revenue.

Northwest, One Last Time

Ms. Michelle Mohr
Northwest Airlines Complaint Department
Dear Ms. Mohr:

Unfortunately, Northwest was unable to live up to the earlier performance on our trip home. In brief, we were delayed leaving Minneapolis/St. Paul on our flight yesterday due to “weather over Detroit”, and we idled on the tarmac for almost an hour before taking off, burning a significant amount of expensive jet fuel. After a very late arrival at DTW, we did manage to make our connecting flight home, but all five of our bags did not. We had to sprint to the departing gate, B19, from A70, the longest possible distance at DTW, but made it with a few moments to spare. The fate agents were courteous, and even apologetic but told us we could not take even a minute to walk across the hall and buy a snack, since the gate was about to close. They asked US if WE knew of anyone else trying to make the flight. As it turns out, there were indeed two stragglers who boarded about 10 minutes after we did, and I would be surprised if your computer did not report that these people had arrived at DTW and were en route to the flight. (One of them had a leg injury and was walking with the aid of crutches.) It was very clear that having the aircraft push back from the gate on time was much more important than letting my family grab a quick snack to take onboard (we had not eaten for 8 hours, anticipating an adequate amount of time to do so at DTW, and this flight didn’t even have your now-famous $1.00 trail mix available.) This was the last flight of the day to our destination, and the aircraft had nowhere else to go that evening. Your schedule was likely already in shreds due to the “weather problem”; one more minor delay would not have mattered. As it was, the flight arrived home 10 minutes ahead of schedule. To complete the series of unfortunate events, all five of our checked bags did not make the transfer, forcing us to go through the claims process. The only person available at 12:30 AM was George S., one of the baggage handlers, who clearly was trying very hard to do a good job, but just as obviously had never been trained to use the computer system to file a missing baggage claim. Another baggage-handler finally was able to come to his aid, as did Venus R., whom I believe was a Continental agent. Hopefully, our luggage will be delivered sometime today.

Ms. Mohr, I am sad to report this experience, as I had much greater expectations after my last flight with Northwest. It seems that your people can shine if everything in the system is functioning perfectly, but a glitch, such as bad weather or mechanical failure sends everything into a tail-spin. Staffing has obviously been cut to the bone, and the goal of the airline seems to be to meet the on-time deadline of door-closure and pull-back at the expense of the comfort of the passengers. This will be my last flight on Northwest for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for your time. I know there are many good people working for Northwest; it is unfortunate that they are not allowed to perform to their potential.

Addendum: I do have to add praise where praise is due. Rick, the baggage manager for Northwest in my hometown, personally delivered our 5 bags when the local service couldn’t get around to it. I wish Northwest would allow the rest of their employees to go the extra mile as Rick did for us.