Removing the walls of data with OnBase


Although I was unable to attend RSNA 2016 this year, I listened in on discussions about advancements in the field from my office at MetroHealth in Cleveland. The content I saw through social media posts and the RSNA site resonated with me. Here’s what I heard: Healthcare organizations throughout the U.S. are constantly working to improve care and lower costs — all while keeping top-of-mind what’s best for our patients, clinicians and staff.

Over the course of the past year, MetroHealth has been working closely with Hyland to adopt a more robust clinical content strategy. The plan involves consolidating our PACS and vendor neutral archive (VNA) content into the OnBase enterprise content management (ECM) system, all with the intent of removing the walls between clinicians, staff and information.

However, it is important to note that our long-term vision with OnBase is much more than just VNA. It involves the integration of clinical and business systems. Together with Hyland, we’re looking at the whole enterprise and trying to solve problems of inefficiencies, eliminating information silos and creating a single, central repository for all clinical, administrative and financial content.

I would like to say that two of the most important pieces of advice I can offer you when refining a medical imaging strategy are to have a core vendor at the heart of the process, and to consider all your departments – including the imaging needs of the cardiology and radiology departments. It should be an enterprise-wide approach. Working with Hyland as a partner has helped to augment and assist my team with planning and execution, maximizing our time and efforts to ensure that our investments are sound and are truly supporting our key users across departments.

Why a single enterprise information platform?

First and foremost, we want to make it easier for our clinicians and staff to access the information they need in a very logical and supportive format. The last thing we want is to take away valuable face time with patients while clinicians are digging for pertinent information.

Specifically, in imaging, cardiology or radiology film, information is usually housed in those respective environments. By removing the walls and barriers to that patient information, clinicians of any type will have secure access without needing to use multiple systems and patient electronic medical records will become fully comprehensive.

On the back-end, when we addressed storage issues, we took an architectural look at our solution to develop our plan. Collectively with our Hyland counterparts, we determined that as data ages, it will move from a priority-one tier storage solution. Furthermore, we plan to automatically destroy dated or expired information and officially remove it from our organization.

This does two things:

1. It keeps the most recent information fresh

2. It reduces our risk as an organization, because even after information passes its lifecycle, it is still discoverable

We felt that, moving forward, this would be an extra level of security for even the most sensitive of images.

$1 million annual savings

And, for a grand finale… our OnBase solution will effectively eliminate the nearly $1 million we spend annually for storage.

I’m proud to say that we are accelerating our ability to better forecast and drive funds elsewhere in the MetroHealth organization to make our system even better for our employees and the population. We are simplifying and removing the walls of data with OnBase, giving everyone more time to focus on delivering superior care.

Donald Reichert was named vice president, chief information officer, at The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, Ohio, in March 2014. In this role, Reichert is responsible for overseeing MetroHealth’s local, regional and national leadership in health information technology. Before his current appointment, Reichert spent three years as the senior director of applications. He has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, with an extensive background in and understanding of information technology operations and trends. Prior to joining MetroHealth, Reichert was the vice president and chief systems officer at NorthShore Health Systems in Chicago. He also has held management IT positions at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center in Spartanburg, S.C., and Group Health Associates in Cincinnati. Reichert earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, and a Master of Health Services Administration degree from Xavier University. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.
Donald Reichert
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Donald Reichert

Donald Reichert was named vice president, chief information officer, at The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, Ohio, in March 2014. In this role, Reichert is responsible for overseeing MetroHealth’s local, regional... read more about: Donald Reichert