Vendor Neutral Archive Opportunities
Vendor Neutral Archives
Healthcare organizations, despite size or complexity, can face many challenges when dealing with vendor neutral archive and cross-enterprise document sharing systems. To succeed, your healthcare organization must achieve the flexibility to manage and share multidisciplinary images and related clinical documents and artifacts.
In these medical imaging articles, industry guest authors and thought leaders from McKesson offer their expertise on opportunities for improving medical image archiving. Topics range from enhancing patient care and handling patient complaints in the ED to eliminating medical data silos and consolidating medical imaging.
Read the insights and opportunities on vendor neutral archive systems below to begin reaching beyond departmental walls by focusing on architectural flexibility, scalability and interoperability.
Vendor-neutral archives (VNAs) were originally conceived as central repositories that connect multiple systems and eliminate the need for costly and disruptive data migrations. But as they have evolved, it’s evident that their value to a health system is well beyond that of a “store and forget” repository. When VNAs are deployed in the service of a comprehensive enterprise imaging strategy they become more than a data aggregator and are able to powerfully—and positively—impact clinical operations.
Sharing data is the key to collaboration among healthcare providers and between providers and patients. However, most healthcare providers still struggle to breakdown the information silos and to pull together the various types of imaging data into a single, cohesive patient record.
To promote true data sharing, health systems are looking for vendor-agnostic solutions that allow multiple inputs to flow to a single database, making information retrieval and archiving easier. And that’s what Peoria, Illinois-based OSF Healthcare discovered with the Orpheus Endoscopy solution, part of the Orpheus Clinical Media Platform. The health system operates 11 acute care facilities in Illinois and Michigan, including a major 616-bed teaching hospital.
When it comes to clinical image exchange, different health care providers have different needs. There is no one size fits all solution since IT and image management environments vary so widely from provider to provider. But despite the differences in environments, a recent Peer60 Report states that providers agree on their top priority for image sharing:
Within a hospital network, images need to be moved directly, automatically and cost effectively to the point of care.
Sharing images out of network came in at number two, and sharing image data files with patients was a distant third.
The last few years have brought increasing numbers of hospital, imaging center and ambulatory care mergers and acquisitions (M&A), all of which has created a number of challenges for diagnostic imaging. According to Modern Healthcare: Mergers & Acquisitions Database, 95 US hospitals and 84 outpatient imaging centers were affected by M&A activity in 2015. Pressures that continue to drive M&A activity are declining imaging volume growth, reduction of reimbursements, and the ever-present shift to value-based care. This has all driven the need for cost efficiencies and the ability to better manage patient populations.
Complete, accurate patient information is the name of the game these days. But access to that information can be trickier for radiologists than other specialists.
An article from HealthIT.gov says patients receive better medical care when providers have full access to complete information and notes, and that the comprehensive picture provided by an EHR can help providers diagnose patients’ problems sooner.
Many organizations have struggled to integrate their PACS and EHR. That means the information needed to improve the quality and speed of a diagnosis is not easily available to the imaging clinician. He or she must separately log into the EHR in most cases wasting time. Not to mention the clinician may not be able to quickly find the needed information using a less-familiar system, may increase the potential for error.
In soccer terms, a “golden goal” is the goal that seals victory for the scoring team. Golden goals always come in sudden-death and knock-out situations, when any score would end the contest.
When it comes to the health care industry and patient-centered care, what does it mean to score the “golden goal?”
Vendor neutral archives are designed to help reduce resource and financial pressures. The flexibility and neutrality of these radiology imaging archives provide key short- and long-term benefits for healthcare executives looking to offload time and cost.
Whether you need short-term relief from expensive PACS archives, or are looking to overhaul your entire imaging system, a vendor neutral archive (VNA) may be the answer.
Data management is a costly business, especially when it comes to medical imaging. Healthcare providers are challenged with managing data governance, security and disaster recovery across multiple siloed imaging systems. Often, executing and monitoring a single corporate strategy is almost impossible.
Add to that some costly data migrations, as systems go out of date, and you understand why imaging data management is considered to be one of the biggest financial and logistical headaches for healthcare providers.
How can healthcare providers protect their sanity and reduce overhead as new data technology emerges?
In this era of instant gratification, patients now expect near-instantaneous response rates. Improving the speed and accuracy of diagnoses fundamentally serves to foster increased patient health and satisfaction, while helping to prevent future chronic conditions. Healthcare organizations can also help reduce costs and share savings by maintaining a focus on improving care outcomes.
Because of this shift in patient expectations, there is a renewed focus on producing faster and more accurate diagnoses.
The Conserus™ Clinical Data Exchange helps imaging communities evolve into modern diagnostic environments by enabling direct lines of sight into comprehensive and informed views of patient conditions.
Editor’s Note: This article by Kayt Sukel appears in Healthcare Informatics Technology Insight Series and is reprinted here with permission.
Digital storage has become — and will remain — one of healthcare’s biggest information technology challenges. According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly 600 million imaging procedures, including CT scans, X-rays, ultrasounds, mammograms, and MRIs, are performed each year in the United States alone. And as imaging technology makes new gains, allowing for higher resolution, three-dimensional, and live-action views, those image files are expanding. So much so, AT&T Inc.’s ForHealth Group estimates that image archives are growing by approximately 40 percent each year.