As stated by the HRSA, “The engagement of patients and their families in patients’ health care is a prominent goal of the EHR Incentive Program (also called Meaningful Use).” And sharing medical imaging results with patients and their families is a vital step towards achieving this objective.
Of course, it’s not difficult to understand why sharing medical imaging data with a patient is so critical. After viewing and understanding their own medical images, patients are more prone to comply with their doctor’s recommendations, directly supporting healthier patient outcomes. And since patients are better informed, they are more prone to engage with their health care provider and communicate the type of information that enables proactive care.
Knowing how an engaged patient supports our objectives as healthcare providers, the question becomes, how can we as healthcare providers offer the support necessary to create an engaged patient?
How Enterprise Medical Imaging Can Help
Advancements in medical imaging technology have helped to pave the way for better patient engagement.
Historically, when needing to consult a specialist, getting a second opinion or visiting a new doctor, patients had to obtain a CD copy of their medical imaging data from their previous provider. The copy may not have had all the needed information or the patient risked misplacing it. Medical imaging sharing technology is changing all that.
Designed to reduce the complexity of integrations and interfaces across the enterprise, an enterprise image repository helps to simplify enterprise-wide access to medical imaging information. Facilitating enhanced clinical collaboration, it provides easy access to patient records.
With the evolution of healthcare collaboration as a critical element of quality patient care, an enterprise image repository even enables image data sharing between various healthcare systems by archiving and managing images and data on behalf of the many medical imaging systems with which it interoperates. The stress of locating a CD disappears, and is quickly replaced with an extremely patient-centric workflow.
Engaging patients and their families adds a cost-savings component as well. Reducing the overuse of medical services trims health care costs while providers profit with reduced staff workloads, improving their practice efficiency.
Ultimately, enabling easier access to and sharing of medical imaging results – and creating engaged patients – leads to better decision-making, lower costs and better patient outcomes. In other words – nearly every goal your health care organization is trying to achieve.
How have you helped to create engaged patients in your healthcare organization? I encourage you to share your thoughts and feedback via a comment below.