Innovate from Within: Unlock Medical Imaging as a Data Asset
Leading healthcare providers across the globe place a constant focus on innovation around all aspects of the care continuum. Medical imaging is no exception to that, particularly when grappling with growing data volume, patient consumerism, and shifting trends of care models.
During a live panel webinar event with HIMSS, Morris Panner, CEO of Ambra Health, was joined by Pete Celano, Director of Consumer Initiatives, MedStar, and Dr. David Tsay, Director of the Innovation Center at New York Presbyterian to discuss how innovations in technology, including the cloud, can streamlines processes for providers and improve the lives of patients.
Poll Question 1 – How do you drive innovation within your organization?
Attendees were asked, how do you drive innovation within your organization? The majority responded that their facility had an internal innovation team, with others responding that they attend hackathons and incubate technology from early stage companies. With only 10% of attendees not working towards innovation at this time, it’s clear that facilities are realizing these new paths for both improved patient care and new revenue streams.
Facilities that treat physicians like strategic innovation partners are more likely to have stronger clinical outcomes, reduced rates of physician burnout, and engaged staff. According to the Physician Engagement Initiative Study by the Advisory Board that surveyed over 55,000 physicians, one of the drivers that correlated the most with physician engagement included input in organizational decision making.
These physician innovators have been sourcing ideas from a variety of resources including incubators, hackathons, internal meetings, and patient requests. Pete Celano mentioned that MedStar sponsors an incubator space for young vendors, giving an opportunity for enhanced feedback and collaboration.
Poll Question 2 – What is your organization’s current state of imaging data management?
While 32% of attendees said they were using imaging data as an asset, it remains a work in progress for the other 68%. Put quite simply by Dr. Tsay, “Imaging drives most of the care decisions driving a patient’s health.”
Medical imaging is often a critical part of a diagnosis and treatment plan of the patient. Simplified access to this invaluable data point for both facilities and patients alike is critical to reduce duplicate imaging, provide access to priors, and cut costs for facilities.
This is where technology can help turn data into an asset, but many providers are unaware of the role they must play in the push and utilization of new innovations ranging from the cloud to deep learning, and artificial intelligence.
Poll Question 3 – How has your facility worked to innovate the patient experience?
Innovation is slowly meeting patient demands. While 41% of attendees have established a patient portal, only 15% have established an image-enabled patient portal. As Pete Celano noted, reimbursements & referrals (two of the biggest words in healthcare), apply greatly in the world of medical imaging and patient care. Moving imaging around during the referral process can be a daunting challenge.
With a cloud imaging management vendor, like Ambra Health, as highlighted by Morris Panner, data is moved seamlessly and securely across locations through the web. With an image-enabled patient portal, patients can even upload imaging ahead of a referral, offering a much more productive visit rather than wasting time with CD uploads before rooming. In addition, issues concerning duplicate imaging are avoided.
During the panel’s discussion on innovation, Dr. Tsay noted a unique and difficult challenge. The patient of today wants the same rapid access to healthcare that they have to Amazon and Netflix, yet still, seek the quality of care found in traditional brick and mortar models. The question becomes, how do we offer high quality of care with rapid access? Dr. Tsay suggested that the key may lie on building upon the already present care continuum to offer patients new channels of seeking information, second opinions, and data, while still incorporating physical visits. For example, a call or visit from their physician may be a necessity before the imaging becomes available to them in a patient portal. This way, the data has been explained by a professional, but the patient then has control over their own healthcare data.
How do you think innovation can strike a balance between access and quality?