Enterprise Imaging – It’s All About the Right Ingredients

gehcitblog

After recovering from the invigorating, but exhausting, experience of RSNA 2014 many folks around the world are starting to look forward to the holiday season – a time for friends, family and…food!

As I started to pull out a few treasured family recipes to plan our holiday celebrations, I began to think that baking is actually an apt metaphor for enterprise imaging. Lest you think I’m crazy, hear me out.

Different recipes. Same ingredients?

As I looked at a few recipes for baked goods and started to create my shopping list, I found myself planning to go to the same aisles over and over. Whether I looked at a recipe for challah bread or sourdough rolls, I seemed to need the same few things: some type of flour, eggs, liquid, and a leavening agent.

Similarly, in talking to clients at RSNA about their approaches to enterprise imaging, I heard them mentioning the same challenges over and over. Whether they were a small community hospital or a large IDN, gobbling up hospitals like Christmas cookies, the conversations kept returning to a need for solutions to four common things: Archiving, visualization, workflow, and collaboration.

A winning recipe requires the right combinations

Could the four ingredients I kept seeing on my shopping list tie to the four things required for enterprise imaging? With some additional digging, I learned that every ingredient has a very specific role in the finished product:

  • Flour provides structure for the product. The gluten sets as it heats to create the architecture;
  • Liquid carries flavorings throughout the product and reacts with starch for strong structure;
  • Eggs act as an emulsifier for a smooth and even texture in the finished product; and
  • Leavening agents form CO2, which is held in the flour and makes the baked product rise.

The four ingredients for successful enterprise imaging

If I look at each of these ingredients and its role in the process I can see that the four things needed for enterprise imaging actually play similar roles:

  • Archiving is one of the main ingredients of enterprise imaging. You just can’t have a baked good without flour. And, similarly, you just can’t have an enterprise imaging strategy without a vendor neutral archive (VNA). An archive provides structure and serves as the foundational element on which everything else is built.
  • Visualization is a bit like the liquid that helps to carry flavorings throughout the product. The liquid makes sure that the cinnamon and cloves are perfectly mingled together, just like a single viewer can marry clinical data from radiology, cardiology, or any specialty area.
  • Workflow is what makes everything work smoothly. Just like the eggs ensure a smooth and even texture, workflow ensures fluid care coordination.
  • Collaboration is similar to a leavening agent.Just as baking powder causes a lump of dough to expand into something delicious, collaboration tools are what bring a technical solution to life, making it social and engaging for the entire community.

Make no mistake: Enterprise imaging is far more complex than baking a loaf of crusty, golden bread. And maybe I’ve reached a bit to make my analogy work, but I believe that there are some interesting parallels.

As I finalize my holiday grocery list, I’m going to make sure that I have the right ingredients. So too, should CIOs. To be successful an enterprise imaging strategy must combine four ingredients: visualization, workflow, archiving and collaboration.

Here’s to delicious celebrations, happy holidays and transforming imaging in the new year.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *