An Imaging Win-Win for Athletes and Physicians at DISC Sports & Spine

DISC looked to Ambra to elevate their patient experience by eliminating CDs and providing digital upload and transfer.


DISC Sports and Spine - Case studyWith multiple locations in Southern California, DISC Sports & Spine Center (DISC) is one of America’s foremost providers of minimally invasive spine procedures and advanced arthroscopic techniques, providing world-leading expertise to Red Bull athletes, the Los Angeles Kings, LA Tri Club, and Oracle Team USA.

With patients across the globe, DISC looked to Ambra to elevate their patient experience by eliminating CDs and providing digital upload and transfer, while providing anytime-anywhere physician access, and running an overall more efficient practice.

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Connecting Athletes to Care Faster

With patients across the globe looking to DISC for care, speeding access to imaging is a priority. Before Ambra, CDs were becoming a major roadblock. With a global roster of athletes as patients, they would typically need to mail in their CDs to DISC, or would need to remember to bring their imaging with them on their visit.

Often, it would mean a delay in the treatment plan, or redundant imaging. Worse, with CDs, there was substantial complexity and difficulty getting images off them, which all required IT support. Peter Drasnin, Director of Information Technology noted that, “we used to get CDs from around the world with all kinds of viewers, that required expertise from IT just to get the images in front of the doctor.”

By shifting to Ambra, DISC has moved to a digital model for image transfer, enabling patients to upload their imaging from wherever they are to DISC’s web portal, and for DISC physicians to instantly access them. In fact, it’s been so successful notes Drasnin, that it’s become a powerful way to attract patients and drive ongoing satisfaction and loyalty.

“Doctors are now using Ambra as a marketing tool for new patients.”
– Peter Drasnin, Director of IT

With ease-of-access, Drasnin estimates that they’ve cut time spent accessing imaging by 60-percent, freeing up physicians to spend more time with patients.

An Anytime, Anywhere Platform for Sharing

DISC experimented with several different ways to share imaging from patients and across facilities. They tried using file-sharing folders or on-line services like Dropbox, but the IT overhead around supporting them was just too high.

One of the biggest barriers to sharing was that their existing imaging infrastructure didn’t work the way their physicians or patients did. For example, DISC doctors wanted to use Macs, tablets and PCs for accessing images ―and wanted the flexibility to easily see them from anywhere.

Drasnin notes that it used to be a much more difficult process, with DISC physicians having to use a remote desktop, connect to their PC, and ask a medical assistant to load the disk. Now, says Drasnin, doctors have the flexibility to get imaging whenever and wherever they need it.

“With Ambra, our doctors can view imaging at leisure from their home, using just a web browser.”
– Peter Drasnin, Director of IT

An Interoperable Future

Drasnin sees Ambra as a strategic platform for DISC’s growth going forward, effectively functioning as their cloud PACS and their Vendor Neutral Archive. With a reliable and trusted cloud platform, DISC is able rely on always available imaging and improved disaster recovery.

“Going forward, Ambra is our in-house cloud PACS solution. It’s so stable, it just works.”
– Peter Drasnin, Director of IT

Further, there are substantial opportunities to improve interoperability by integrating Ambra image management with their drchrono EHR system, enabling DISC physicians to get 360-degree access to patient information, from records, to imaging. And with Ambra’s vendor neutral capabilities, Drasnin also sees opportunities to build digital integration with their local imaging center with instant routing from modality to radiology, to physicians, creating further efficiencies.