Across leading facilities, we frequently hear the same common struggles around image management. CDs still act as the primary method of image exchange despite their tendency to be lost, broken, or incompatible with systems upon upload. In addition, as facilities continue to consolidate, they feel frustrated with the resulting multiple systems required to access patient data and prior imaging. And with imaging data residing in different systems, it certainly makes for a complex, if not impossible, business continuity plan to build for when PACS fails, despite FDA warnings that they may take compliance actions due to lack of secure disaster recovery plans.
During a recent live webinar event, Ambra Health Chief Product Officer, Ed Marshall and Solutions Consultant, Andrew Creedon addressed why enterprise systems are seeking the cloud as a solution for their image management and workflow hurdles. Ed discussed how the move to value-based care requires cost control, puts pressure on reimbursements, and requires health centers to be more efficient, effective, and eliminate wasteful duplicate imaging studies. Watch our webinar, A Practical Blueprint to Build a Future-proof Image Management Strategy, for more details.
New technology like cloud computing opens up significant opportunities for healthcare organizations large and small, transforming all applications – from EHR systems to PACS and how medical images are managed and exchanged. Streamlined workflows via the cloud for managing imaging from all modalities such as xray, CT, MR, echo and even large tomo studies allow for rapid and efficient exchange among care providers. Modern systems built specifically for the internet have enhanced workflows firing away routing rules that successfully automate processes, scalable vendor neutral archiving capabilities, mobile viewing from anywhere and anytime, and streamlined access to data within EMR and RIS systems thanks to robust open APIs. Check out the two real life use cases below that were highlighted during the webinar.
Leading facilities like Memorial Hermann Health System have used the cloud to streamline their image management processes.
Memorial Hermann is the largest health system in Southeast Texas with over 16 hospitals and 200 specialty facilities. With rapid growth across its wide network, and CDs still acting as a core method of image exchange, Memorial Hermann faced challenges surrounding efficiency and risk. Today, with Ambra Health, over 100 external sending sites are connected to its main campus through gateways, for receiving trauma and general referrals from external PACS systems in real-time. Ambra has also image-enabled their system-wide EHR and separate outpatient EHRs leading to a reduction in duplicate imaging exams, improved ACO quality metrics, and a preservation of critical patient data across the network. Additionally, business continuity for 2.2M studies per year in case of PACS service interruption has now become a reality with Ambra’s cloud VNA.
New England Baptist Hospital (NBEH), is the premier regional provider for orthopedic surgery and the treatment of musculoskeletal diseases and disorders.
NEBH operates on a unique model, as over 95% of the physicians associated with the hospital are private practice physicians. As a result, NEBH deals with a large number of disparate and siloed systems. The unification of systems to provide access to medical imaging across a broad regional network was presenting itself as a cumbersome challenge. As NEBH began looking for alternative solutions, it was clear that a cloud and zero-footprint system was becoming a necessity. It was critical that a physician could view imaging outside of hospital firewalls and that patients could upload CDs at home, speeding up time-to-care delivery. Today, imaging is available through the entire network and NEBH estimates that the reduction in disparate systems has saved them over $214,000 thus far, and will continue to do so as the system becomes additionally refined.
There are many ways to get started in the cloud. St. Luke’s started by eliminating CDs, Weill Cornell with an image-enabled second opinion program, Stanford Children’s Health with outside image management, and many more. What are you waiting for – look towards the cloud to future-proof your image management strategy!