Changing the Landscape of Healthcare IT Solutions
Enterprise imaging is the future of the healthcare IT solutions landscape. Mark Watts, CRA, Associate Vice President of Enterprise Imaging for the Utah-based medical technology company, Novarad, explains the key benefits of enterprise imaging, and how it is helping hospitals achieve interoperability, secure data, and provide a simplified story to patients about their complex conditions and treatment methods.
Q: Give us some background about enterprise imaging, and a few examples of challenges that providers face when they’re looking to upgrade their systems.
Enterprise imaging encompasses images outside of just radiology and cardiology. There are different data formats used throughout the hospital that are being used in what is referred to as “mini PACS.” They are acquiring these images for documentation reasons, for teaching, and for collaboration. However, they are not put under the IT governance model that would enable them to be consistently forming to a HIPAA compliant model. With enterprise imaging, we are expanding beyond the scope of DICOM and incorporating any kind of image that would assist in the diagnosis of a patient or the collaboration on the patient’s behalf.
We provide physicians with a tool in which they can engage their patient even when they are working within an EMR to ensure they improve patient satisfaction. Novarad is adding images to the paradigm that allows the physician to have a teaching moment with the patient. Instead of them just documenting information in the EMR, doctors provide a storyboard for the patient to view and to learn from. You can now tell a story from the EMR and show patients the procedures that were done and the course of action that is necessary. It helps to increase not only understanding and engagement, but also compliance. This allows the physician to convey a very complex issue in a short amount of time using pictures to help tell the story.
Q: Do those challenges often prevent providers from getting a hold of new technology? How?
When they are not utilizing an enterprise imaging solution in which the vendor decouples archiving the storage of the information from the actual applications that present the information, they are increasing their incremental costs associated with providing healthcare.
Q: What are the key benefits of an enterprise imaging strategy?
Cost containment, the flow of information from one location to another, the secondary reads, the storage of teaching files, the documentation of compliance, and the data governance. We can also store the medium so that it is in a standard space so that it can be analyzed at a future point.
The advantages of implementing an enterprise imaging strategy are that you are future-proofing your archive. You’re gaining the fl exibility to present it for business intelligence going forward. Additionally, you are not handcuff ed to a particular vendor. This enables you as the provider to access that data freely at any point in the future, and you decouple it from the control of a vendor.
Q: How would enterprise imaging optimize the current EMR by incorporating all notes, data, and images etc.?
The EMR is currently text-based, yet one third of patient data are images. If we’re neglecting a whole third of the data that can contribute to the treatment of a patient, then I think that we are doing a disservice to them. If you incorporate images, you take into consideration the whole patient. Novarad optimizes the EMR because we know people are unsatisfied with their interactions and not
grasping the value proposition.
Q: What are some of the risks associated with interoperability? What can be done to address security?
Data sets are being stored on CD, thumb drives, or laptops that have online access and therefore, potential access to ransomware or other intrusion into the healthcare environment.
We have to give physicians the rules and the tools to share this data in a safe manner. We also want to facilitate bi-direction facilitation between healthcare institutions by enabling them to receive information and send it back in a patient-centric manner.
Q: Has Novarad helped a client overcome any of these struggles, and how? How could Novarad help in general?
We have over 1,000 installations worldwide and no two sites are exactly the same. We are very cognizant that our services have been customized to meet the needs of the healthcare provider and the patient. You’re not buying off-the-shelf solutions. We do an evaluation of what your current legacy system is and marry our solutions with the goals our clients have with the expansion of their service line and help them through the transition of understanding how these data set acquisitions will help develop those service lines and interoperability and meet compliance rules.
In essence, we tailor a solution to the needs of each and every facility, and bring our 25 years of experience in healthcare, in compliance, and in HIPAA to your healthcare organization.
This post was sponsored by Novarad.
For more information on Novarad, please visit https://ww1.novarad.net/