What To Keep In Mind When Building An Enterprise Imaging Strategy

2013-03-22
 

Strategy BuildingImplementing an enterprise imaging archive is a process requiring a great deal of planning and due diligence to best determine which vendor solution will best meet the needs of your organization in a timely, cost-effective way. While PACS are still the industry standard, the neutral archive approach is gaining traction among a number of providers.

But, will a VNA support your organization’s strategy equally? When developing your image-storage strategy, you want to be certain that any enterprise imaging solution will allow you to:

  • Operate within your hospital’s four walls as well as communicate externally
  • Plan for expansion as more and more imaging studies are presented to the system
  • Migrate data from an old PACS to a new system
  • Manage and retain data specific to your organization’s unique requirements

Directing patient care within your own facility is difficult enough, but when you consider performing that function across numerous PACS, the outcome could be less than ideal, especially with the wrong VNA.

Hidden Costs to Implementing Enterprise Imaging

At the outset, putting enterprise imaging into operation is an expensive proposition. While many hospitals and radiology practices consider imaging to be a patient-care issue, the costs associated with transferring external media, like image CDs, can be considerable. When you factor in physical costs, staff time, courier services and the likelihood that the CD isn’t compatible with the destination hospital’s PACS, your hidden costs can reach six figures.

You can always implement your enterprise imaging strategy  in stages, but it’s crucial to prioritize which data is most important to migrate.

What’s Your Enterprise Imaging Strategy?

According to market research firm, KLAS, of the providers they interviewed regarding their enterprise imaging strategy, 27% (the highest figure) stated that their implementation approach would be archive-centric. Clearly, managing legal liability is an important consideration when retaining imaging files.

The McKesson Enterprise Image Repository™ with its retention management feature allows users to define rules that are specific to their organization’s retention policies. In addition, it gives hospital administrators the flexibility to set retention/purge rules per facility, depending on different jurisdictional requirements.

In the brave new world of hospital interoperability, sharing is caring. Keeping data sitting in silos is no longer an option. Quick image reads and the ability to share and manage data across all the –ologies is the new normal. Health care reform is speeding things along; coordinating care is now a mandate for reimbursements, creating a sense of urgency for implementing the right enterprise imaging solution.

Has your organization developed an enterprise imaging strategy?  If so, I encourage you to share any advice for our readers, based on your experience, via a comment below.

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