Enterprise imagery platforms would enable organizations to consistently and optimally capture, index, manage, store, distribute, view, exchange and analyze all imagery content clinic and multimedia, thereby improving electronic patient health records.
Data-driven medicine has improved healthcare. For example, billions of dollars have been invested in digital health apps, which streamline access to data. In terms of research, a revolution in oncological therapies has transformed cancer care. And yet, as an industry, we are still not doing all we can to further streamline and simplify the complexities of sharing and integrating complex medical data – and more specifically, imaging data.
As a patient, parent, and executive of a corporate imaging company, I always end up with a physical CD in some healthcare facilities. Not only does this slow down the physician’s ability to evaluate these images, but it also makes it more difficult to share other critical healthcare information or data with other providers.
Even though the technology exists to support seamless data transfer between providers, adoption of the technology has historically been slow, creating challenges in accessing vital information. Additionally, at the macro level, this inability to share and integrate data leads to information silos and a lack of coordinated care.
Corporate imaging strategies aim to change that. Rather than relying solely on radiology PAC solutions, healthcare organizations need to implement healthcare enterprise strategies, initiatives and workflows capable of handling a wide range of data holistically. Enterprise imaging platforms, for example, would allow organizations to consistently and optimally capture, index, manage, store, distribute, view, exchange and analyze all clinical imaging and multimedia content, enhancing patient electronic health records (EHRs).
Of course, breaking free from the status quo is easier said than done. As the volume and complexity of managing medical imaging and IT soars, hospitals and healthcare systems face a number of operational, clinical and technical challenges. These include industry consolidation, which unites healthcare organizations with different IT solutions and complex and inefficient workflows that force providers to move from workstation to workstation to perform different tasks. . The growing amount of data that needs to be stored and managed also increases hardware requirements, requiring more expensive servers and highly technical IT staff to support them.
The Impact of Enterprise Imaging on Interoperability, Caregiver Workload, and Patient Outcomes
Implementing an enterprise imaging program can help hospitals and healthcare systems currently struggling with these issues improve the performance of their own day-to-day operations. In addition, it promotes collaboration between various departments to provide high quality care and personalized patient outcomes.
Rather than keeping imaging data within specific departments, enterprise imaging centralizes and standardizes data collection and storage across the entire healthcare organization. Because these programs provide a centralized foundation for all phases of image management for each image production specialty, they can make vendors more efficient while reducing the growing burnout resulting from administrative overhead.
Centralizing imaging infrastructure and standardizing workflows across the organization improves operational efficiency, strengthens cybersecurity by reducing potential pain points, and enables EHRs to become the “single source of truth” for patient data. Enterprise imaging can also support telehealth and mobile health initiatives, allowing providers to access images anywhere, any time of the day. And with artificial intelligence (AI), providers can better understand the vast amounts of data being generated to support value-based care initiatives.
More importantly, perhaps, is how enterprise imaging can improve patient care. Collaboration between all departments is key to providing personalized, high-quality patient care and better outcomes. By having access to all visual material – such as CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, X-rays and more – as well as EHRs, providers have a more complete picture of a patient’s health and information about their case. This information can then be easily viewed and analyzed by physicians to compare a patient’s conditions over time, or by patients through a patient portal. Enterprise imaging also supports greater collaboration, allowing data to be shared between different departments, even with providers working remotely to support telehealth services.
Moving to an enterprise imaging solution can seem daunting. But it is important for hospitals and healthcare systems to examine their current imaging solutions and workflows and consider the consequences of a lack of efficiency and integration on providers and the impact of these processes on patient care. Then ask yourself, “Can my organization afford to go on without corporate imagery?” More often than not the answer is no, making it more important than ever for healthcare organizations to implement a powerful and neutral cloud-based enterprise imaging solution, allowing them to centralize patient data, achieve interoperability, reduce caregiver workload and improve outcomes.
Morris Panner is the president of Intelerad Medical Systems, leading the company to deliver better care through improved technology.