How Medical Imaging Is Helping Rural Providers Enhance Patient Care


Rural Medical Imaging Improves Patient CarePatients who live in rural areas face significant health disparities when compared to the general population. From higher rates of disease to lower life expectancies, higher rates of pain and suffering to fewer physicians, rural healthcare has a number of considerable challenges. Solutions that help improve the delivery of care in rural areas are highlighted in the following medical imaging case studies. These real-world examples depict how technology can help reduce report turnaround, provide high-tech services in rural areas and support improvements to patient care.

Case Study #1 | Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Omaha

Challenge: Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha is a crucial healthcare hub for the rural communities in the surrounding area. Many families travel a great distance, so delivering quality healthcare as quickly as possible is a focus for the hospital. They set a goal of turning around radiology reports from what was originally an hour or more down to 15 minutes.

Solution: Children’s hired the McKesson Medical Imaging Professional Services™ team to assess their medical imaging system. The hospital took the team’s suggestions and integrated a DICOM Structured Report solution into McKesson Radiology™ to help eliminate paper reports. They also upgraded software to help improve image quality, speed report turnaround times and improve radiologist workflow.

The project reduced radiology study turnaround time to 15 minutes or less, a vast improvement. Radiologist satisfaction increased by 50 percent after these changes were implemented as well.

Takeaway: Sometimes a healthcare team needs outside expertise to help identify the biggest problems that can be solved in the quickest, most cost effective manner. The hospital now holds a monthly meeting between managers, providers, IT and the PACS administrator to prioritize ongoing improvements.

Read more about how the hospital was able to shorten report turnaround times in the medical imaging case study.

Case Study #2 | Unity Point Health

Challenge: Unity Point serves a large rural region in Iowa and Illinois, with 30 hospitals striving to coordinate care and share image and patient information, despite having various PACS vendors and disparate systems. With a goal of delivering the best outcome to every patient in every care center, managers knew they needed a high level of IT integration.

Solution: UnityPoint implemented a vendor neutral archive over six months, migrating millions of medical imaging studies from their archives into the new system. The team subsequently integrated a solution that enables mobile access of images to providers.

Takeaway: A vendor neutral archive allows organizations with a large number of disparate systems to make images available throughout the organization, which can help reduce the cost of medical imaging and image sharing.

Discover more details about how UnityPoint is improving care in its rural Midwest region by utilizing medical imaging consolidation.

Rural health systems have a number of challenges. Deploying medical imaging technology enables teams to share images, provide top-quality service and reduce report turnaround times to help improve patient care.

See how other healthcare organizations are working to help improve patient care, access input from thought leaders and read up on industry news by following the Medical Enterprise Imaging LinkedIn showcase page.

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