A system, by its definition, depicts various entities working together to form one, giant powerhouse.
In the medical world today, systems are unable to communicate with one another and some patients still rely on CDs to transport their medical images. How then, can we call our current healthcare system a system at all?
Fragmentation within the hospital is one of the overarching problems we need to fix in the medical world. Breaking down silos can lead to more coordinated care for patients, can reduce medical costs by preventing repeat procedures, and can improve overall efficiency within the hospital system.
According to this article, the key to breaking down medical silos is to change the current mindset in the healthcare industry. We need to focus on the root cause for the immediate problems in the hospital. For example, many doctors find overcrowding in the emergency department to be a nightmare, so they narrowly focus on fixing that one issue. Instead, the medical staff needs to take a step back, and see the larger problem at hand: there needs to be a more efficient system in the ER for communication.
Dr. Imran Andrabi, senior vice president and chief physician executive officer of Toledo said it best; “If you get at one root cause, you may be able to get rid of a thousand symptoms.”
Easier said than done. Unique to the medical world, a hospital does not have the luxury of shutting down to implement a new system. There will never be a shortage of patients seeking medical attention and doctors are hesitant to leave their short-term duties, fearing fatal consequences. This is the major dilemma preventing the healthcare industry from progressing: how can we balance the urgent needs of patients, while also addressing essential long-term shortcomings in the infrastructure of the medical facility as a whole?
The key here is to not sacrifice anything. A hospital can build up its communicative system, while simultaneously tending to the needs of patients. It is a win-win.
At DICOM Grid, breaking down silos in the medical imaging industry is our calling. Our vendor neutral solution integrates with any RIS, PACS, and modality. To learn about a streamlined approach to transferring, sharing, and managing medical images within your organization and beyond, request a demo of DICOM Grid medical image exchange.