The Golden Goal of Patient-Centered Care: Victory with Interoperability


Patient-Centered care in a hospitalIn soccer terms, a “golden goal” is the goal that seals victory for the scoring team. Golden goals always come in sudden-death and knock-out situations, when any score would end the contest.

When it comes to the health care industry and patient-centered care, what does it mean to score the “golden goal?”

Patient -centered care is designed to be respectful to individual patient preferences, and help ensure that patient values are guiding any decisions made by medical staff.  Ensuring that all health information is available electronically no matter the location, no matter the platform, and no matter the technology is a key factor in improving quality of care, for every patient.

Solutions that support interoperability and the sharing of information such as: vendor neutral archives (VNA) and enterprise viewers have the potential to be that “golden goal.” It’s a significant part of what makes care truly respectful to patient needs, as fewer tests mean less exposure to radiation from imaging hardware.

Here are 3 ways that interoperability and vendor neutral solutions represent the “golden goal” of patient-based care:

1. Bringing patients and providers together as a team

Soccer teams work in tandem to score the “golden goal.” If anybody is out of place, the scoring chance could be nullified. The same syncing process works with patients and care providers – especially as patients are demanding greater connectivity with their providers.

Carla Smith, executive vice-president of HIMSS North America, notes that this trend will advance further in 2016. “Every patient should be having [personalized, electronic] conversations with their providers,” Smith said. “The ability to safely, securely and effectively transfer health information is pivotal to value-based care. We want patients to be empowered and to embrace ownership of their health.”

VNAs provide a better way to archive, manage and deliver your imaging data without requiring a lot of resources and without locking you into a specific PACS system. And enterprise viewers can provide multi-’ology’ universal viewing that helps enable doctors to securely access diagnostic-grade images and reports from a wide variety of computers and mobile devices, thereby safely connecting caregivers to each other and promoting collaboration between healthcare professionals.

2. Seamless substitutions and line changes

Eventually, players on the field get tired. Line changes and substitutions are needed to insert fresh players into the mix. It’s just as important in patient-centered care for providers to adjust and swap personnel as needed – and to help ensure that any critical data is easily accessible when different providers are added.

The need for seamless image sharing is pronounced with radiology services. A recent peer60 survey indicated that 96% of healthcare providers identified radiology on their list of departments with the greatest need for image sharing. The report added that “there is a growing need to exchange this information across departments and facilities as coordination of care is ‘now a critical component in the effective practice of medicine.’”

Vendor neutral solutions help provide seamless access by consolidating imaging data within a cloud-based architecture, and providing a single point of access across multiple devices. Substitutions and line changes during patient care are less jarring with this process, which helps prevent unnecessary tests and maintains personalized care throughout the transition.

3. Setting up your team for the best possible shot angles

“Golden goals” rarely come easily, but it only takes one well-placed shot to end the game, and teams exploit every possible angle to make that shot.

Compare this process to the search for an accurate diagnosis in medical imaging. When departments are sharing data from the same internal architecture, they can eliminate any ill-advised angles, adopt the best technologies for personalized treatment, and avoid unnecessary testing.

For example, procedures like Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) can help make it easier to see cancers in dense tissue. However, DBT files can be large and cumbersome to transfer.

DBT can integrate with a VNA to help departments store, load, and navigate complex images across the entire provider infrastructure.

Radiologists, technologists, and management alike can analyze the results from a single workstation without needing to manually transfer large DBT files between storage systems. Advanced breast screening technology, when combined with a centralized storage architecture, can help reduce unneeded testing by catching dense tissue concerns early and easily sharing that data with all relevant parties.

If you’re currently facing off against outdated, quantity-based care models, use these VNA points to score the “golden goal” and achieve true person-based care in your practice.

Discover how McKesson can guide your organization by subscribing to the Medical Imaging Talk blog. And, if you are going to HIMSS, February 29–March 4, visit McKesson Booth #4002 where you can learn more about our vendor-neutral suite of enterprise imaging solutions.


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