5 Ways Enterprise Imaging is Like Game of Thrones



Game of Thrones® fans are widely anticipating the start of the series’ fourth season. Despite the intrigue, back stabbing, and the fact that the bad guys seem to keep winning, there are five ways that enterprise medical imaging is like this hit series — minus the armor, sword fighting and torment .

Event monitoring. Game of Thrones characters who survive to see another day are adept at keeping track of what’s going on and where. In a healthcare setting, a workflow management software solution for PACS monitors and manages patients, exams and charges to improve the workflow of radiology departments — on both the administrative and clinical side. A great example is the critical results workflow – at any given time the department must monitor which critical cases are being read and where is the loop with the ordering physician still open.  Imaging solutions must provide anytime, anywhere web-based access to patient data, clinical information and reports, no matter how large or complex the department.

Remembering history. In Game of Thrones, characters who forget, ignore, or are unaware of past history typically regret that lapse. Background data can be crucial in medicine, too. Sometimes physicians need to see a chronological view of their patients’ histories in order to accurately assess their patient’s current health situation. Modern image archiving solutions must manage the retrieval of prior information based on patient context, consolidating data across the enterprise and creating neutrality between dissimilar systems.

Knowledge is power. In Game of Thrones, those who have knowledge have an edge over their adversaries — take Tyrion Lannister. This character was born at a disadvantage in a cruel society, but he’s able to acquire knowledge and use it to gain power and influence. In medical imaging, healthcare providers need access to the data, clinical reports and images they need to support their workflow requirements, and translate that to better outcomes. This must be done with a laser focus on relevancy – filtering the clinical data relative to the imaging procedure and serving it all up within the imaging cockpit. Imaging specialists must use this broader clinical context as knowledge that can drive better outcomes.

Get help from your allies. Alliances are constantly being made and broken in the Game of Thrones. In medicine, practitioners need to work together to carry out peer review processes when required. To make peer review less burdensome on clinicians a PACS solution can incorporate it into your radiologists’ point-of-care workflow, allowing your organization to benefit from consistent, educational feedback that can improve your practitioners’ performances. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that aim to coordinate and improve patient care while reducing costs can also use a PACS solution to share patient information between providers.

Timeliness is critical. When timing is off in Game of Thrones, for example, a messenger who is too late to deliver his message, the results are dire. If you have an outdated PACS, it can be frustrating when the system is too slow to be useful. Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas previously faced this challenge. Their outdated PACS was so clunky and slow at loading data that radiologists would sometimes give up on it and revert to manual systems. No one wants slow load time that leads to frustration and inefficiencies. After Parkland installed a new medical imaging software and PACS-driven workflow, staff members were able to load studies, find cases, and experience an overall smoother, speedier system that led to faster interpretation and diagnoses.

In certain ways, the sword fighting, war-mongering, turbulent world of Game of Thrones is like enterprise medical imaging. You need to collaborate, view history, monitor, move quickly and access necessary information to help your medical imaging team improve workflow and do their best for their patients.

What other similarities do you see between medical imaging and Game of Thrones?

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Game of Thrones is a registered trademark of Home Box Office, Inc. and is not associated with McKesson Enterprise Medical Imaging.

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