5 Ways Enterprise Imaging Contributes to Value-Based Care


physicians-discuss-enterprise-imagingSuccessfully making the transition to value-based care depends heavily on data. The data health systems generate can promote better processes that lead to improved patient outcomes. Just collecting and storing this information is not enough to make a difference, however. To truly affect the quality of care, data needs to be freely shared within and across health systems.

Diagnostic imaging is one of the biggest parts of the data equation. Imaging departments are challenged to break down silos, as other departments begin to generate their own images and request access to existing imaging.

The solution to this data challenge is enterprise imaging, the idea of making imaging data accessible seamlessly throughout a health system. In our latest eBook,  Beyond Imaging: Key Components for a Holistic Enterprise Imaging Strategy, we asked health and IT experts to explain the challenges and opportunities enterprise imaging presents.

Our panel of experts identified several key benefits that enterprise imaging promises for value-based care. Here are the specific ways your value-based care initiative can benefit from a more open imaging model.

An Integrated EMR Brings Context to Care

The ability to make better-informed diagnoses is crucial in a value-based ecosystem. Enterprise imaging helps departments share data to provide the full context physicians need for a holistic view of patient health. With seamless access to imaging data and the EMR, health systems are better equipped to treat the entire person, not just the present ailment.

The Experts Say:

“Imaging records must also be discoverable and viewable not only in the acquiring department and facility, but directly within the EMR. Clinical images associated with diagnostic procedures or clinical encounters often add important context to the patient’s case.” Don Dennison, Director-At-Large, Board of Directors, SIIM

“When disparate systems are integrated into common data types that can be attributed to the appropriate patient, the information that has historically been held in siloed systems can be compared for contributing facts, and patients can be diagnosed and treated much more quickly.” Dan Trott, Senior Healthcare Strategist/Business Development Manager, Dell EMC

Imaging Analytics Surfaces More Relevant Data

The ability to analyze data is equally as important as the ability to collect and retrieve it. Analysis not only reveals more information about individual patients, but can be used anonymously in aggregate to keep track of overall population health.

Some health systems have begun to perform studies using patient data captured throughout the course of care, rather than relying on time-intensive, in-person studies. This kind of data analysis holds immense possibilities for the future of value-based care.

The Experts Say:

“As data becomes the new modality, we’re beginning to appreciate the inherent value in medical images as a source for insights that help improve diagnostic precision. Although imaging analytics is still an emerging area, by unlocking the information that resides within the data, we can access even more value from these images.” Erkan Akyuz, President, Imaging and Workflow Solutions, Change Healthcare

Better Communication Eliminates Redundancies

With reimbursement tied to quality rather than quantity, redundant scans have an even bigger negative impact on health systems. Enterprise imaging helps close the gaps in communication that lead to unnecessary scans, helping physicians from different departments contribute intelligently to patient care.

The Experts Say:

“Right now, we are seeing lots of duplications, which delays helping the patient. The central repository is the critical component; it’s a hard step but vital for improving patient care.” David Chou, Chief Information and Digital Officer, Mercy Hospital

“Achieving interoperability and enabling increased data sharing – including medical images – will not only improve care coordination, but will help reduce the likelihood of redundant testing, reduce radiation exposure and improve both physician and patient satisfaction.” Russell Branzell, President & CEO, College of Healthcare Information Management Executives

More Efficient Workflows Add Value to Radiology

In a value-based world, radiology departments are challenged to add value above and beyond the quantity and speed of reads. Enterprise imaging enables the use of intelligent workflow solutions that can help radiologists add and demonstrate that value.

Intelligent workflows leverage the seamless communication made possible by enterprise imaging for more prompt follow-up, more efficient task prioritization, and more efficient use of resources to provide optimal patient care.

The Experts Say:

“We need to leverage technology to be an enabler of better care and allow for radiologists to bring out real value in terms of improved outcomes, better quality, increased satisfaction and decreased overall costs.” Rasu Shrestha MD, Chief Innovation Officer, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Intelligent Reporting Helps Create a Culture of Improvement

The ability to collect and analyze data from patients to populations can give health systems a much clearer picture of physician performance. Enterprise imaging makes it simpler to monitor both patient outcomes and departmental processes, generating insight on how to improve both.

The Experts Say:

“Providing the best care for our patients requires both one-on-one best practices and review of population quality data.This is an ongoing paradigm shift that is both painful, yet exciting, as the possibilities for accurate data review and continuous quality improvements are enormous.” Mark Sanz, MD Interventional Cardiologist, Providence Health System

Intelligent, strategic use of data holds great promise for the kind of patient outcome improvements that are vital to value-based care. Enterprise imaging is a key component of collecting data more extensively and using it more effectively.

For more enterprise imaging insight from health care and IT professionals, download Beyond Imaging: Key Components for a Holistic Enterprise Imaging Strategy

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