One of the new eligible professional (EP) and eligible hospital (EH) menu objectives of Stage 2 meaningful use is to provide access to all medical imaging data within a patient’s Electronic Health Record (EHR), ensuring easy accessibility to all stakeholders, enterprise-wide. In order for hospitals and health care organizations to complete this step, an enterprise imaging solution and strategy must be put into place.
To say nothing of meaningful use, Paul Chang, MD, FSIIM, professor and vice chairman of radiology informatics and medical director of enterprise imaging at the University Of Chicago School Of Medicine, provides one more compelling reason to move forward with an enterprise imaging strategy:
“Unless you have a comprehensive enterprise strategic plan, you will waste a lot of money.”
Interoperability is Key
Interoperability is becoming the catch phrase for enterprise activity. It is defined as “The ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged.” An enterprise imaging strategy should be developed with the idea of interoperability firmly in mind, as any solution implemented as part of this initiative needs to be able to archive and manage data on behalf of the many systems with which it interoperates.
One healthcare provider that has long understood the concept of interoperability term is Baton Rouge General Medical Center – full disclosure – a McKesson customer.
“To successfully compete in our marketplace, you have to share information and images quickly with the physician community,” says Gerard Barrilleaux, the medical center’s Director of Medical Imaging. “Sharing information and images is becoming even more important as organizations strive to meet the Meaningful Use requirements associated with tapping into the federal stimulus incentives.”
To make digitized images more valuable, leaders at the medical center concentrated on implementing technologies that would quickly and securely disperse images pulled from a variety of modalities – including CT, MRI and ultrasound – across the enterprise. The medical technologies implemented provide all stakeholders throughout the enterprise with personalized views of medical imaging information according to their individual workflow needs.
Many Provider’s Still Not Up to Speed
According to healthcare research company KLAS, most providers are just in the early stages of forming an enterprise imaging strategy. As such, Ben Brown, KLAS’ imaging research director, recommends health care organizations take this opportunity to choose their path wisely.
If you are about to choose your enterprise imaging path, or find yourself on it, I encourage you to share more about your experience via a comment below.