NEW YORK, Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- For some time now, CDs have been the standard way to share patient images, but they are quickly becoming antiquated in light of newer, faster, cheaper digital solutions. There are numerous problems with using CDs for medical image sharing ranging from using the patient as a transport vehicle to slowing the development of a care plan in critical trauma cases where images are needed stat and time is of the essence. According to Logicalis Healthcare Solutions, the healthcare-focused arm of Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), the solution is to adopt an electronic image exchange solution as well as an improved workflow that streamlines the addition and availability of patient images to the local Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), vendor neutral archive or other imaging systems.
"If there was just one thing I could tell our healthcare clients about using CDs for medical image exchange, it's that there is a better way," says Kim Garriott, Principal Consultant, Healthcare Strategies, for Logicalis Healthcare Solutions. "This is an important discussion healthcare CIOs need to have today; it's about better communication and care coordination, better clinician satisfaction, and ultimately better patient satisfaction as well. It provides a more secure way to transfer sensitive patient information. And it's also about a stronger bottom line: Depending on the volume of CDs an organization is producing or receiving today, a digital solution can be a much more cost effective way to share images. If a medium-sized hospital receives 30,000 CDs a year at a processing cost of $10 per CD, that's $300,000 a year for a single organization just to receive CDs. At those rates, a digital image exchange solution could literally pay for itself with significant money to spare year over year with the added advantage of creating happier physicians and patients in the process."
Enterprise Imaging: Four Steps from CD to Digital
A digital image transfer solution can have numerous advantages over CDs, but four crucial steps must be taken up front to ensure that the new solution will result in an improvement to the delivery of care.
- Examine Current Practices: When considering a change, it's important to understand current practices and the opportunities that exist for improvement. Who is receiving the CDs today? What workflows are being used? How are the images being integrated into the local PACS or other imaging solutions? Are any departments using image exchange portals?
- Prioritize Use Cases: In this step, the goal is to identify where the greatest impact on patient care and clinician satisfaction can be made. CIOs must talk to doctors and identify physician champions in critical service lines; a departmental champion and physician buy-in will be needed to change workflow.
- Make Workflows Routine: When developing an image exchange workflow, attention must be paid to developing a seamless integration with existing clinical processes. In an electronic image exchange solution, as images arrive, they go to a "sandbox" – a holding area where they wait for "triage" where a human being ensures they open and that they are indeed medical images. But a process is needed that allows clinicians to request images be moved from the sandbox to local PACS for retention with a single mouse-click from within the EHR; this is where a well thought out workflow becomes critical to success.
- Select Standards-Based Solutions: Purchasing a solution should only come at the end of a very thorough investigation when the solution can be shaped based on a true understanding of the organization's varied use cases, priorities and requirements. Selecting a standards-based solution also clearly depends in large part on what other organizations need access to the same images.
Want to Learn More?
- Read an expanded version of the four steps involved in moving from CDs to digital imaging solutions in Kim Garriott's exclusive pre-HIMSS blog, "Medical Image Transfers: There is a Better Way," at http://ow.ly/XRBSR.
- Find out why an enterprise imaging strategy should be part of every healthcare CIO's EMR optimization plan: http://ow.ly/XPv7G.
- Talk about your own imaging strategy with Logicalis' top healthcare IT experts at HIMSS (booth #10915 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas), then register to take part in a Logicalis Enterprise Imaging Executive Workshop: http://ow.ly/XPvaX.
- Hear Logicalis' Kim Garriott speak before and during HIMSS:
- February 23 Pre-HIMSS Webinar: "Mobile Device Image Acquisition and Access"
- March 1 Panel: "Understanding the Challenges of Enterprise Imaging"
- March 2 Event: HIMSS-SIIM Enterprise Imaging Joint Workgroup Meet-Up
- March 2 Live Presentation, Agfa Booth #2647 at 3 p.m.: "Going Mobile – Tips to Streamline Mobile Device-Based Imaging" (similar content to February 23rd webinar)
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data center and cloud services; and managed services.
Logicalis employs over 4,000 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, deploy and manage complex IT infrastructures to meet the needs of over 6,500 corporate and public sector customers. To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow on an international basis. It has specialized solutions for enterprise and medium-sized companies in vertical markets covering financial services, TMT (telecommunications, media and technology), education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services, helping customers benefit from cutting-edge technologies in a cost-effective way.
The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific and is one of the leading IT and communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.
The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of over $6 billion.
For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.
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SOURCE Logicalis US