What does it take to Deploy a Medical Image Sharing Platform?

Have you ever imagined how much easier your day could be if you didn’t have to burn patient image exams onto a CD? How nice would it be if imaging data could be automatically transferred from your PACS to another PACS without VPNs? The truth is, this is becoming a reality for medical practices around the world. Over the past five years, there has been a huge increase in the number of organizations adopting software for medical image distribution.

As a medical imaging software specialist, I’ve been in the trenches with countless organizations as they transition to cloud software. I’ve seen my fair share of roll-outs. In this post I’m going to reveal what it takes to get set up and to ensure your transition goes smoothly.

The implementation process can be broken down into four stages: planning, launching, training, and updating.

1. Planning

Strategize Medical Image Sharing DeploymentPlanning is hands down the most crucial part of a deployment. This phase is about defining your needs and pinpointing what you want to accomplish with your deployment. Get creative, there are numerous benefits of medical image sharing. During the planning process you’ll identify key criteria that will help to describe your use case. Questions will be asked like: “What’s your volume – how many images need to be managed and shared?” “Who needs access to the system, and what types of roles will these users have?” “How big is your network – who do you need to share images with on a regular basis?” The answers you provide will help to create the framework for your deployment.

2. Launching

After you’ve planned out your use case it’s time to get ready to go live. The next step is to map out the users, groups, and locations that will be interacting with your image sharing platform. It’s easy to upload a study and share it over the web on a one off basis to various users and groups. In fact, you can start doing that immediately. But, in order to automate the process of sharing images in bulk between PACS, you’ll want to install gateway software onto each system. Gateway software enables bidirectional routing of high volumes of imaging data between systems. You might be surprised to learn that the entire process of installing gateways and configuring software only takes a few hours. Once everything is mapped within the platform and your gateways are installed at various sites, you’re ready to launch!

3. Training

During the launch phase and shortly after is the best time to get staff members trained on the medical image sharing platform. Trust me, training isn’t just helpful – it’s an absolute must to ensure a smooth deployment. One widely employed training technique is to assign a power user or group of power users. A power user is tasked with learning the ins and outs of the system and assisting other users on how to navigate the system. Power users are typically tech-savvy, enthusiastic towards new technology, and patient towards colleagues who are trying to get the hang of the portal.

4. Updating

One of the best things about moving to an electronic image share solution is that you will receive continuous product updates. It’s important to keep tabs on new features to ensure that you are getting the most out of your service.

Moving to the cloud is an exciting time! Keeping these best practices in mind will help to ensure a seamless transition.

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 Director of Marketing, 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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