When it comes to inbound imaging, facilities need a strategy for accepting imaging electronically, uploading CDs as needed, and perhaps, most importantly, rapidly matching patient data. At one leading facility, the film library struggled to keep-up with the demands of CD burning, ingestion, and matching of patient data often leading to back-logs, missed revenue opportunities, and most importantly, delays in clinical care. After switching to a cloud-based solution, image intake was sped up to just minutes including accurately matching imaging with patients within their EHR system.
Receiving imaging isn’t the only challenge; sending it out can prove just as difficult. We’ve seen many facilities move to using cloud image sharing and gateways to route imaging across regional networks. Imaging informatics doesn’t just cover imaging acquisition, it also includes getting the information back to the referring network or directly to the patient. Report turnaround time is perhaps one of the least well-analyzed areas of radiology, yet it is one of areas that is ripest for improvement and the most measurable. Keep in mind that forcing your referring physicians to sign up to an image sharing service, change their current technology or workflows, or requiring them to install or pay for software puts barriers between you growing your referrals.
Opening the doors to rapid cloud-based image exchange can provide your facility with a wealth of opportunities, ranging from revenue generating programs like second opinion portals, to AI and machine learning and workflow improvements, and even opportunities for new research and innovation. Consider your entire network and each unique workflow when implementing a solution that can provide unified and interoperable image management.