Each year, about 45 percent of Americans set goals, make resolutions and strive to start the year off on a positive note. In enterprise medical imaging we too are looking at the year ahead and discussing predictions about medical imaging trends. Here are 5 predictions for 2015.
1. Data analytics will increase in importance and usage.
The first big medical imaging trend for 2015 is a continued emphasis on data analytics. Solutions that merely collect data and store it are insufficient. Mining useful data is increasingly valuable to healthcare organizations. For example, data can be collected and analyzed to give information about equipment usage, patient backups and other stats to determine what to invest in next. Or data could be inspected to determine whether one brand of stent is performing better than another or whether an implant has a better outcome on a certain patient group. Data analytics continually prove their value as healthcare leaders want solid data to help them make informed decisions, and this trend will likely continue in 2015.
2. Health Systems Will Continue to Seek Improved Efficiency.
Healthcare organizations are continually being pressured to provide better care while reining in costs. Solutions that help improve efficiency are expected to be an important medical imaging trend in 2015. One example is McKesson QICS™ for Throughput Management, which automates and tracks a variety of exam workflows. It helps pinpoint areas where departments may be inefficient or a particular employee is struggling so that interventions, such as extra training, can be taken.
3. Solutions that Foster Collaboration will be Critical.
Due to the growth of multidisciplinary teams, ACOs and care management, the next prediction for medical imaging trends in 2015 includes using tools that facilitate collaboration. Healthcare professionals will seek tools that help them improve communication and more easily work together. For example, if a radiology department wants to improve how it works with the ED, a prioritization rule can make a trauma study that’s been in queue for more than 15 minutes available to other radiologists, helping to improve interdepartmental collaboration.
4. Images Need to Support Transitions to More E-visits and Telehealth Use.
Another medical imaging trend in 2015 is the importance of images’ ability to be easily accessible as e-visits and telehealth continue to grow. One report estimates that by the end of 2014, there will have been a total of 75 million e-visits in the U.S. and Canada. Healthcare providers who are distant from their patients will need to be able to view images and access patient data remotely. Ideally, relevant clinical data from the patient’s EHR will be integrated with medical images and test results, giving tele-providers the information they need when treating remote patients.
5. Patient Engagement will be a Continued Focus.
The last medical imaging trend predicted for 2015 is a continued push for improved patient engagement. Medical imaging is a valuable tool, supporting patients’ visual understanding of their conditions so they will be more likely to follow their physicians’ recommendations for treatment and care. Furthermore, mobile images that can be sent (with a patient’s permission) to family members or other caregivers facilitates an engaged support group.
As you reflect on 2014 and look at the year ahead, what medical imaging trends seem most important to you? You’re invited to leave comments below.
For more information about medical imaging trends in 2015, download our information on 3 Diagnostic Imaging Trends You Must Watch Closely.