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5 ways to Leverage Medical Image Sharing in your Hospital

What do you think of when you hear the term “Medical Image Sharing”? A few ideas probably come to mind about how you can move patient image exams from location A to location B. Perhaps there’s more to it than you think. Here we break down 5 helpful ways to incorporate medical image sharing into your hospital setting to improve efficiency.

1. Connect departments within your organization

When it comes to information sharing, sometimes moving a patient down the hall can be just as difficult as moving the patient to an entirely separate facility. If a patient winds up in a different exam room than where his or her medical images were uploaded, you might find yourself on a wild goose hunt in search of the exams. By centrally storing patient exams for easy access, medical image sharing platforms help to eliminate this confusion. It doesn’t matter what exam room or location the images where acquired or uploaded, they can easily be retrieved from any computer or shared electronically among departments.

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2. Utilize patient portal technology

Online portals for collecting patient information are a great convenience. Incorporating an image sharing component into your strategy enables you to receive patient exams before a scheduled appointment. The only thing better than having one patient portal is having multiple. Using custom URLs and share codes you can even create unique portals for specific doctors or departments within your organization.

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3. Optimize your second opinion program

As an extension of your patient portal, you can also imbed medical image sharing functionality into your online second opinion program. This allows you to collect patient information, synopsis of their symptoms, medical history, and medical images and reports all in one fell swoop. In fact, creating a simple self-service framework for collecting imaging data has proven to increase second opinion activity. In one case study twenty percent of patients that utilized a recently implemented second opinion platform received surgery at that institution.

4. Build out your referral network

If you’re not using electronic image sharing you might be reliant on clumsy CDs or VPNs for transferring exams between facilities and nonaffiliated physicians. Physician portals and sharing functionality enables you to open up lines of communication among with out of network providers and simplifies the process of collaborating on patient cases involving imaging. This is particularly helpful during trauma transfers. For example, say it is decided that a patient at a local specialty practice is in need of more acute care. While the patient is being transferred to your hospital, your physicians can look at the images and begin to prepare surgical rooms.

5. Make it mobile

Mobile applications are redefining the way physicians access and share imaging data. Gone are the days of being tied to a workstation to review exams. By equipping physicians with tablet devices, they can pull up critical diagnostic data on the go and share it out with colleagues in just a few taps.

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Is your hospital taking advantage of all that medical image sharing has to offer? What methods are you using to drive adoption? Let us know how you’re getting creative in the comments section below.

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Catherine Slotnick, Marketing Manager

About Catherine Slotnick

Catherine Slotnick is a passionate healthcare marketer with a deep interest in the latest & greatest in the Health IT space. As Ambra Health's marketing manager, Catherine primarily focuses on creating and sharing thought leadership content in the radiology and informatics space. Catherine graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Psychology & Art History. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking and petting dogs that aren't hers.

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