What Makes A Complete Cardiac Imaging Solution?


CVIS, Cardiac imaging futureThe cardiovascular service line has been rapidly evolving in the past several years, as new flavors of data and imagery are developed. This evolution has opened a significant opportunity for providers to consolidate their imaging and data efforts, rather than have them battle against each other within the service line.

Cardiac imaging providers can help with these interdepartmental data skirmishes by seeking a complete, centralized cardiovascular information system (CVIS). Unlike the image-centered focus of a cardiology PACS, a modern CVIS helps prioritize data integration within the entire service line.

Shawn McKenzie and Val Kapitula of Ascendian Healthcare Consulting argue that today’s CVIS vendors can accommodate the rising tide of cardiovascular imaging data. In a recent McKesson-sponsored magazine supplement of the Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology magazine (DAIC), McKenzie and Kapitula shared their thoughts on the components of a complete, modern CVIS.

Varied reporting models from a single workstation

McKenzie and Kapitula argue that the centralized nature of a CVIS eliminates additional data retrieval steps between workstations.

“Great effort is underway to minimize the numbers of independent ‘standalone’ systems required to support service lines in the context of the coordinated care continuum,” McKenzie and Kapitula said.

“CVIS vendors have been evolving the ability to provide the divisional elements of the cardiovascular service line onto a single or very tightly integrated system where all data can be visualized, interpreted and compared using a single sign-on and workstation.”

McKenzie and Kapitula also argue that the single workstation should also provide tightly-integrated viewing and reporting modules for several cross-departmental services, including:

  • Cardiac and peripheral catheterization (including pediatric);
  • Electrophysiology;
  • Hemodynamics monitoring and reporting;
  • Echocardiography (including pediatric);
  • Fetal echocardiography;
  • Vascular ultrasound (including pediatric);
  • Nuclear cardiology;
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)/stress/Holter management and reporting

A modern CVIS ultimately saves resource time by consolidating and delivering imaging data in a centralized, easily-accessible environment.

Integration of upstream and downstream information

While a modern CVIS can meet most provider needs, it can be assisted with a robust interoperability process that avoids manual entry of information. McKenzie and Kapitula note that a high degree of integration can streamline the flow of information both in and out of the CVIS.

“It is impossible to engage in a CVIS strategy without vetting out the detailed integration requirements with the EMR systems, as both clinical and business data must flow bi-directionally,” McKenzie and Kapitula said.

“Systems must be able to provide the data functionality required by specialists while facilitating interoperability with enterprise-wide platforms in a way that does not require “work around” processes.”

Keep in mind that a modern CVIS must also handle third-party systems that supplement native procedures, like 3-D/4-D echo and strain analyses.

“Advanced visualization and or analysis in most instances are not inherent to the CVIS although the data produced by these systems should be incorporated into the CVIS and presented to clinicians for review and interpretation,” McKenzie and Kapitula said.

Today’s flexible CVIS solution allows for the smooth flow of data in both directions without adding manual data entry processes or incompatibilities with third-party programs.

McKenzie and Kapitula believe that such integration will ultimately improve workflow, lower costs of individual systems care and streamline connections with enterprise EHRs.

If you’re going to RSNA this year, book a demo or meeting in advance to discuss how we can help you address your security workflow and interoperability needs, then visit McKesson booth 7313 in the North Hall.

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