Image Exchange and Cloud – Got Metrics ?

Tom Zimmerman

Part 3 of a 3-part series on Image Exchange in the Cloud

Image Exchange and Cloud – Got Metrics ?

Meaningful Metrics Could Lead to Practical  Analytics

A well-executed image exchange should actually help strengthen relationships with referring communities as it enhances patient care and satisfaction.  You can get more background in Part 1  and Part II of this series.

It’s easy to focus solely on the transactional specifics of sharing an image series:

Do referrers have access and connectivity to send/receive their patient cases?   

Is it “working”?

But there is so much more to learn with an appropriate, compliant study of image exchange use data. Most of this should be systemically available – if sufficient appreciation for analytics is recognized as a priority during the exchange design. And complementary information can also be gathered from traditional user surveys.

Here are some ideas for measure-analyze-inform-act capability:

  • Where are referrals coming from?

A system-generated analysis of collaboration trends should track the source from where transactions originate. This information can help surface opportunities to build and enhance relationships with new referrers and clinicians.

  • How do our referral volumes vary?

Analysis of aggregated source data can help visualize the variation in referral volumes from your collaboration network. Tracking this trend over a period of time may also help quantify potential referral volume and help you take appropriate actions.

  • What kind of exams are we receiving and sending out ?

In a fee for service model, (which is still a prevalent and coexisting model in the evolving era of fee-for-performance) Imaging revenue and profitability is impacted by exam types and associated reimbursements. In this scenario, it is important to understand your imaging volume mix as received and sent out during clinician collaborations.

Secondly, the performance of your Image exchange solution is closely dependent on image size, which in turn depends on exam types and case mix. This will help set the right expectations on performance and speed of transaction and may help you invest in the right back-end for network, bandwidth etc.

  • Which specialties require the most collaboration and why?

Multi-disciplinary collaboration is obviously required in certain complex and critical scenarios like stroke and oncology. However, visibility across all care areas and clinical specialties can be useful to understand opportunities and actions. For example, you may be able to see in real-time that a particular department is referring out the largest percentage of patients for specialty consults and may require your organization to consider hiring specialists in that area.

  • How soon are you responding to requests from referring physicians and vice versa?

Image exchange solutions with built in analytics tools can also track the time taken to respond to a clinician’s request and the variation among users, sites, departments over time. If you apply actions to reduce the case response time, you should be able to assess whether they had any meaningful impact.

End of This 3-Part Series

That concludes this brief introductory series for Image Exchange in the cloud. Please do comment if there are any other cloud imaging topics or challenges you would like to see covered here.

Continuing the Conversation with Case Exchange

When clinicians collaborate with each other, consult with a specialist or seek a second opinion about a patient’s case, they not only share patient’s images but also the relevant data, including any Radiology reports, Lab results, and Clinician notes.  This provides the receiver with a view of the case. It also elevates the notion of “sharing” from mere “image exchange” to a more meaningful “Case” exchange. Watch for more on this topic.

We’ll be talking more about imaging in the cloud in Denver at the Centricity™ Live!  Conference. I hope you’ll join us there for dialog and insight at the various “Cloud” sessions.
Be encouraged in all you do!    Tom Z



Any descriptions of future functionality reflect current product direction, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a commitment to provide specific functionality. Timing and availability are subject to change and applicable regulatory approvals.

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