Image Exchange and Cloud – Worth the Wait!

Tom Zimmerman

We often see one or more of these key problems related to image sharing across care

Patients frequently switch providers when they change home location, coverage or
clinician preferences. Non-affiliated hospital clinicians may not have speedy and efficient
means to communicate and access patient information from various siloes of care. That,
in turn, may contribute to high CD distribution costs, duplicate imaging and avoidable
patient transfers. It’s also an additional burden on patients to maintain their own image

Take the specific example of trauma centers. Unnecessary trauma transfers, primarily
driven by lack of availability of patient information may occur. When patients get
transferred from a local ED to the regional trauma center, their emergency scans and
reports are burned onto CD. Trauma Patients often arrive with CDs strapped to their
chests. Further diagnosis and care may wait until the CD is read and interpreted. But CDs
can be broken in transit or have incompatible file formats. Either may lead to duplicate
imaging. Or, lack of electronic transmission and rapid bi-directional feedback mechanisms
may trigger avoidable transfers.

But rather than merely avoid the pitfalls of ad hoc image transfer, why not raise
expectations for net improvements with image sharing?

  1. Strengthen relationships with referring communities
  2. Help enhance patient care and patient satisfaction
  3. Enhance efficiencies and help reduce direct and indirect costs

Using cloud alternatives to accomplish this isn’t a new idea. And that’s a good thing!

Clinicians, specialists, IT teams and administrators have all had time and opportunity to
think carefully about what the cloud can – and should – provide for them.

More than Email Links
Although patient care and outcomes top the priority list, cloud-based solutions need to accommodate complexity, while delivering intuitively simple interfaces.

Here’s what many professionals are asking for:

  • Zero footprint viewing
  • Security and controls
  • Bi-directional clinical collaboration
  • Analytics capabilities
  • Flexible deployment options
  • Private community management
  • DICOM integration for seamless exchanges

In Part 2 of this series I’ll dig deeper into each of these capabilities. It’s an exciting time to move forward with cloud solutions that will deploy, maintain and monitor image exchange across our chosen community reach.  Be encouraged in all you do!

Image Exchange and Cloud


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