Should you implement a true enterprise imaging strategy?

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Medical imaging information continues to spread beyond the confines and control of radiology and cardiology departments. We see this with point-of-care medical imaging solutions – including visible light images, ultrasound studies and specialty video – that continue to grow in use and popularity.

More than that, COVID-19 has accelerated the use of point-of-care medical imaging and clinical photography. For example, the use of point-of-care x-ray and ultrasound devices has increased as a means to isolate COVID-positive patients within a hospital. Likewise, the capture of photos on mobile devices at the patient bedside or in the emergency department has increased to document skin conditions potentially linked to COVID-19. Last but not least, the rise of telehealth has led to an influx of clinical photographs that patients are capturing at home and uploading via patient portals.

All of this creates a surge of new imaging information that healthcare systems must manage.

So what technical strategy should you deploy to support the storage, management and accessibility of these point-of-care images? The short answer: an enterprise imaging strategy.

How Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia built its strategy

In 2012, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) recognized the need to establish an enterprise imaging steering committee to monitor its imaging systems and processes and assure the quality and accountability of these services. The steering committee is composed of members from departments that rely heavily on medical imaging — not just radiology and cardiology, but specialties such as dermatology, wound care and other departments that capture and leverage images that aren’t based on the DICOM standard.

Through a detailed discovery process, CHOP found it had 21 distinct image acquisition and viewing solutions and 10 major storage solutions in use throughout its environment. With its enterprise imaging strategy, the provider was able to expand education and onboarding, establish a single independent enterprise storage platform for all clinical and non-clinical imaging solutions in use, address its mobile and non-mobile capture solutions and establish an enterprise visualization strategy across the entire enterprise.

To see more about CHOP’s enterprise imaging strategy, check out this webinar.

Expanding across the enterprise

Like CHOP, you may soon realize that the departmental PACS that resides in your radiology department is no longer enough to support the diverse imaging demands of your enterprise. Major converging market forces are driving the need for healthcare delivery to evolve once more.

The prevalence of new, non-traditional imaging solutions is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, these emerging solutions are accelerating diagnosis and improving patient care. On the other, these systems are creating a crisis, since many healthcare organizations lack the flexibility to capture, manage and distribute outlying imaging studies throughout the enterprise.

The reasons to move beyond traditional PACS and implement an enterprise imaging strategy are becoming clearer by the day.

An enterprise imaging approach allows you to account for, and manage all imaging systems while both improving flexibility, access and scalability and controlling financial performance. Furthermore, an enterprise imaging approach can help improve clinical outcomes by improving workflows, collaboration and exchange throughout the care continuum. Finally, a comprehensive enterprise imaging strategy allows you to easily navigate new regulations and better manage security risks.

Ready to learn more? Visit Hyland Healthcare’s Enterprise Imaging hub.

Phil Wasson

Phil Wasson

Phil Wasson, FACHE, is a healthcare industry manager and consultant at Hyland. His mission is to develop content and create alignment with healthcare organizations focusing on information management and imaging... read more about: Phil Wasson

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