Professor Dirk Pickuth MD, PhD, MDs (honoris causa)
FFCI FRSPH IPFPH
Professor of Radiology
Head of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology (since 2001)
Director of the Digital Innovation and Strategy Hub (since 2019)
Medical Director (2006-2019)
Lead of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management in Europe
Overseas Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists
Member of the British Institute of Radiology
About the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
The Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology ranks among the largest and most modern imaging providers in Southwestern Germany. It centralises radiology services for inpatients and outpatients of CaritasKlinikum Saarbrücken, with its sites St Theresia in Saarbrücken and St Josef in Dudweiler, and for the medical care centre. The spectrum includes all services in diagnostic and interventional radiology:
The department incorporates all aspects of diagnostic imaging. It has two state-of-the-art MRI scanners, one 1.5 T MRI scanner and one 3 T MRI scanner.
The department has three state-of-the-art CT scanners across the two sites, including a 256-slice CT scanner. These allow detailed cross-sectional imaging to assist with diagnosis, staging and response during and after treatment. With access to a fourth wide-bore CT scanner, the department offers all interventional CT capabilities.
The ultrasound service has several state-of-the-art ultrasound machines and offers general, vascular and breast procedures, including ultrasound-guided biopsies on a wide range of body parts.
The brand new radiography suites embrace all special applications such as dual energy radiography, auto image paste and advanced volume radiography.
The mammography unit includes tomosynthesis. This ensures that patients have access to premium-quality mammography imaging. The breast radiology team performs breast biopsies under mammographic, US and MRI guidance.
The interventional radiology team carries out angiography and procedures such as percutaneous transluminal angioplasties, chemo-embolisations and complex tumour ablations.
Patients are cared for, in modern and well-lit rooms, by friendly and motivated staff. Before, during and after examinations in radiology, specially trained receptionists are available to answer questions and provide help at any time.
The department is staffed every day and around the clock. Emergency examinations can be carried out 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Teleradiology is available for on-call duties.
The department is integrated into a highly modern hospital information system (HIS), radiology information system (RIS) and picture archiving and communication system (PACS). A speech recognition system and a speech processing system are used to create reports. The department’s workflow is completely digital: all documents are dictated, approved, corrected and signed digitally.
Collaboration across disciplines with all departments of the care provider and with all practitioners takes place as a matter of course, and is a prerequisite for high quality. The director of the department offers, in addition to consultations for subscribers to German private insurance plans, consultations for patients subscribing to public insurance plans based on the approval of individual insurers. Appointments can be arranged at any time through the director’s personal assistant.
The department is a member of ‘Qualitätsring Radiologie’ (Quality Circle Radiology), the certified Oncology Centre, Trauma Centre, Vascular Centre and Stroke Unit. It participates, in the role of an active partner, in various quality management projects. The director is a proCum Cert mentor and EFQM assessor. He is a member of the central quality management steering group of the hospital. For all examinations, standard operating procedures (SOPs) are in place.
The director has been approved by the ‘Ärztekammer des Saarlandes’ (Saarland Chamber of Physicians) to conduct the entire training for the qualification of specialists in radiology. All imaging modalities of the department are part of the postgraduate education scheme, in line with a defined rotation and in accordance with a structured curriculum. The training is enhanced by certified continuous medical education in radiology and daily sessions of the Scientific Journal Club. Once a week, reports that are clinically severe, difficult from the point of view of differential diagnostics and academically interesting are discussed in the Clinico-Radiologic Conference. Attendance by radiologists at congresses, seminars and symposia is expressly supported and there is a generous budget set aside for continuing education in radiology.
For specialists in radiology, a multitude of additional qualifications is available, for example in the fields of magnetic resonance imaging (whole-body MRI, cardiac MRI, breast MRI, prostate MRI), computed tomography (cardiac CT, virtual colonoscopy, perfusion CT, interventional CT), ultrasonography (colour Doppler ultrasonography, breast ultrasonography) and interventional radiology (breast intervention, tumour ablation).
Superb opportunities are available to conduct scientific work. The department has a large library with Anglo-American and German textbooks, as well as numerous international scientific journals. For the purpose of research in literature, online access to the Saarland University Library is provided.
Students of the Medical Faculty of the University of the Saarland can choose to carry out their studies in their elective subject of radiology at the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology.
In addition, there is a cooperation treaty between the ‘Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft des Saarlandes’ (University of Applied Sciences, HTW) and the CaritasKlinikum Saarbrücken. Professor Pickuth is responsible for the subject of diagnostic radiology at the Faculty of Engineering. The teaching assignment includes imaging modalities and medical physics for the bachelor’s/master’s courses in biomedical technology. As part of the course on methods of radiology, internships at the CaritasKlinikum Saarbrücken are offered to students of HTW.
Radiographers regularly engage in continuing education activities at academies and in seminars. For these groups, training courses and dedicated qualifications also receive particular support, for example aimed at a special qualification for breast diagnostics.
The Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology of the CaritasKlinikum Saarbrücken is a key reference centre of Dedelus for HIS/RIS (ORBIS) and PACS (IMPAX). It is also a major reference centre of GE, focusing on cutting-edge radiology equipment.
The status of a reference centre ensures that the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology of the CaritasKlinikum Saarbrücken has the most advanced imaging services, the most modern IT equipment and optimal technical support.
Radiology plays a pivotal role in organising patient care; an organisation that works well can help improve efficiency and reduce cost for the care providers involved. In the German DRG system, speed is a key factor.
Faster and targeted workflow processes represent the efficiency potential of a hospital. This holds true in particular regarding radiology as a key service provider: it is the organisation of the radiology department that determines how efficient the entire process of patient care will turn out to be.
The key aims of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology are therefore:
The key performance indicators of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology are:
Inpatient and outpatient radiology examinations have more than tripled during recent years, and the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology of the CaritasKlinikum Saarbrücken is continuing its expansion in terms of staff and technology.
Our values are:
Professor Pickuth, Director of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, is active in the European Society of Radiology, advancing international understanding and the transfer of knowledge at an international level. He was appointed Member of the Leadership Institute by the President of the Society.
Professor Pickuth maintains particularly intensive academic, clinical and research-oriented contacts with radiologists in the United Kingdom; he is a Member of the Royal College of Radiologists and a Member of the British Institute of Radiology. Since 2016, he has also been Visiting Professor at the University of East Anglia. Professor Pickuth is Lead of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management in Europe.
Professor Pickuth has been awarded, amongst others, an honorary doctorate from one of the mostly highly reputed universities in the world: Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.
The Rector of Semmelweis University bestowed the honorary doctorate upon Professor Pickuth on 11 November 2011 at a high-level academic ceremony. He recognised Professor Pickuth’s long-standing contributions to radiology in Hungary, to research and teaching at Semmelweis University and to European cooperation. Numerous guests from the areas of research, medicine and culture attended the traditional ceremony. Professors wore their academic attire, including mortarboard and gown. Congratulators included the Rector and Vice Rectors of the University, the Dean and the Vice Deans of the Medical Faculty, as well as the directors of the clinical departments and the members of the administrative body of the University Hospital in Budapest.
Since 1999, Professor Pickuth has been active as a Visiting Lecturer and, since 2007, as a Visiting Professor for Semmelweis University. He has established numerous bi-national contacts and bi-national cooperation arrangements and given a multitude of scientific talks and student lectures. In 2001, he initiated an exchange, on a regular basis, on issues relating to university and hospital leadership and management. Professor Pickuth has organised numerous internships, exchange programmes and scholarships for students of medicine of Semmelweis University in Budapest. In addition, he regularly chairs intensive courses in radiology in preparation for examinations.