One server to rule all specialty images

To consolidate images hidden in multiple PACS or specialty systems and establish a true enterprise-imaging environment, the last thing you want to do is implement yet another departmental solution based on client/server architecture. However, that’s how many healthcare institutions tend to address the issue of integrating images from specialty departments or modalities (e.g. dermatology, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, ultrasound, etc.) with enterprise systems such as a VNA, PACS or EHR. More often than not, healthcare organizations implement client/server software at the individual desktop and modality level in each of these departments to integrate specialty images with other patient studies and create a longitudinal patient record.

It’s hard to blame healthcare organizations for approaching it this way. After all, most of them consider specialty image integration efforts on a department-by-department basis where images determined to add the most clinical or operational value are selected for enterprise connectivity first. They put other departments on the back burner, to be added to the enterprise imaging effort at a later date.

The enterprise-imaging journey

The truth is no healthcare facility has the budget or manpower to address specialty image integration universally. Even if they did, this might not be their most prudent course of action. Enterprise imaging is a journey for an organization, and as such, they sometimes treat specialty images in a piecemeal fashion that often includes the use of old client/server-based methodologies that can slow implementation, create an administrative burden and ultimately require individual interfaces to become fully immersed in the overall enterprise imaging architecture.

What is the alternative? From our perspective, it’s web services. 

Hyland Healthcare has developed a core server web architecture to support its PACSgear applications including ImageLink, PACS Scan Web, EHR Gateway, MDR Video – Touch and more. While each of these applications fulfill the specialty imaging demands of different departments and modalities, they are all capture applications that share common attributes. By providing an underlying enterprise platform that feeds all of these applications, we can facilitate the implementation, administration and expansion of key specialty imaging applications throughout your healthcare enterprise while also accelerating our speed-to-market and development cycles.

In essence, with this approach, one web server can enable the workflow of multiple specialty departments.

Less is more

Here’s how it works. When your healthcare facility purchases a license for PACS Scan Mobile, for example, it not only downloads the application, but the entire underlying core server architecture. The web platform accelerates deployment because you don’t need to install the application software on every desktop where people will use the application. They can access it (depending on their license) on any computer with web access.

Product and security updates are also streamlined because they are applied to the core server architecture and automatically pushed to each application. Applying upgrades, bug fixes and security patches to individual workstations becomes a thing of the past.

The best part is updates made to the core server architecture are applied and available to all of the PACSgear applications that sit on top of the platform. For example, if a new destination (such as “Store to VNA” or “Store to OnBase”) is created for one application (e.g. PACS Scan Mobile), it is immediately available on the other applications on the platform as well. Applications can also share databases, HL7 data and more.

Plus, since the core server architecture is already downloaded as part of an individual application purchase, future expansion to other applications and departments becomes fast and easy. For example, adding ImageLink or EHR Gateway to a previous PACS Scan Mobile investment simply requires the purchase of a license for the new application and some minor configuration.

An underlying web server for specialty image management supports your enterprise imaging journey today and well into the future. This one server fills a lot of gaps. You can still start with a single application in an individual department, but with our core server architecture, you can easily expand the effort to many others. The web server methodology allows you to expand over time at your own pace, further empowering staff to make the most informed clinical decisions possible.

To learn more, come talk to me in booth 5743 at HIMSS in March.

Lyle McMillin

Lyle McMillin

Lyle is a product manager for the Hyland Healthcare portfolio of Enterprise Medical Imaging products, solutions and services. As a Product Manager, Lyle works with customers, partners and analysts to understand the most pressing business needs of the industry and uses that information to enhance the offerings brought forth by Hyland Healthcare. Lyle has a BA from Western Kentucky University and an MBA from Xavier University in Cincinnati in addition to several industry certifications (CHDA, CPHIMS). In his free time, you can find Lyle attending folk and rock concerts all over the US and spending time with his family.

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