RSNA 2017 part 3: Transform imaging workflow, collaboration and access with an enterprise viewer

Explore. Invent. Transform. This is the theme for the RSNA 2017 Annual Meeting taking place this week at McCormick Place in Chicago. With it, the organization is challenging radiologists and other imaging professionals to investigate and advance the field through innovation — all in an effort to positively impact patient care.

This blog series will examine how Health IT — and specifically an enterprise imaging strategy — can help you satisfy each of the “Explore, Invent and Transform” objectives outlined in the theme for RSNA 2017. My previous two posts examined the Explore and Invent directives.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at Transform.

Cutting the PACS tether

Much of the life of a typical radiologist is spent tethered to a designated PACS/RIS workstation consisting of multiple diagnostic-quality monitors. Here, he or she reviews series after series of DICOM images and document their findings.

In the past, this setup was an absolute necessity. There was simply no other way to perform diagnostic interpretations outside of this setting. This inflexible environment undoubtedly impedes productivity, speed to diagnosis and overall job satisfaction.

The good news is, it’s no longer the only way to get the job done. With enterprise imaging tools, radiologists can untether themselves from PACS and gain the freedom to make diagnostic interpretations from almost anywhere.

The key technology to enabling this type of workflow is a feature-rich, zero-footprint and diagnostic-quality enterprise viewer. Solutions exist today that not only provide a basis for medical image viewing via web browser, but also put diagnostic and visualization toolsets that rival the most advanced PACS workstations at the radiologist’s fingertips.

Today’s enterprise viewers allow radiologists to conduct even the most sophisticated image interpretations (e.g. advanced fusion modalities, breast tomosynthesis, 3D angiography, etc.) from anywhere with a CE-marked and FDA-approved display. Furthermore, they integrate seamlessly with virtually any VNA or PACS. Radiologists no longer need to be shackled to their PACS workstations to do their jobs. They can now have the freedom to perform diagnostic interpretations from their work offices, home offices, neighboring hospitals or imaging facilities at any time that’s convenient for them — setting the stage for enhanced productivity.

Enhancing collaboration to improve patient care

The right enterprise viewer not only emancipates radiologists from their PACS workstations, it also gives them a platform for enhanced image sharing and collaboration. The proprietary nature of most PACS often makes it difficult for radiologists to share images with colleagues or referring clinicians outside of their network for input and collaboration.

An enterprise viewer can help eliminate this roadblock by decoupling images from the PACS environment and providing tools to promote near real-time and interactive image collaborations via the web. The days of burning CDs and DVDs of medical images in order to share them with colleagues are over. The cross-enterprise communication capabilities included in today’s enterprise viewers facilitate second opinions and remote diagnosis — all of which ultimately enhances patient care.

Finally, an enterprise viewer does more than improve the performance and satisfaction of radiologists. The technology also provides clinicians at the point of care with referential viewing of all images (DICOM and non-DICOM) related to patients. By integrating an enterprise viewer with the EHR, clinicians can now have access to a world of medical images they were blind to before and view these images in the context of the patient record. This capability provides clinicians with a more complete picture of the patient’s medical history, giving them more information to aid in diagnosis and treatment.

Learn more about our enterprise viewer, NilRead Interpretation.

Ken Congdon has expertise in the healthcare technology industry and has been a contributor to the Hyland blog.
Ken Congdon

Ken Congdon

Ken Congdon has expertise in the healthcare technology industry and has been a contributor to the Hyland blog.

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