10 key considerations for an enterprise imaging system
An enterprise imaging system enables care providers to have intuitive and immediate access to all patient clinical images and documentation, regardless of where it originates in the organization. Providers must be able to contribute image and video content to the EHR and access images and video contributed by other providers, according to a new study in the Journal of Digital Imaging. Here are 10 steps to achieve maximum benefit from implementing an enterprise imaging strategy.
Look for the ability to access all images and documentation
This is the hope of these systems, but for many clinical systems, it is not yet realized. Many images often are not available via the EHR and are seldom securely digitally archived. This presents a challenge to patient care and the patient experience and can affect providers’ quality of work. Consequently, an effective enterprise imaging strategy can help.
Demonstrate how EI is a powerful strategy
The Triple Aim seeks to enhance the patient experience, population health and reduce costs. Now, providers are moving to a Quadruple Aim of improving the work-life of providers, and reducing clinical and staff burnout. Enterprise imaging eliminates frustration inherent in searching for images across departments and enables quicker diagnosis, treatment and more time with patients.
Understand the specialties and imaging workflow challenges
The first challenge to these systems is the imaging data created in radiology and cardiology. The data must be well-defined and normalized to correspond with the data in the EHR. Systems used to manage imaging data are enterprise class PACS and provide good integration with the EHR for viewing of the images by a variety of specialists.
Create a high-reliability strategy to improve care and safety
Having all patient images and associated reporting data easily accessible from the EHR at the point of care supports quality of care. Centralized data access helps make quick well-informed and clinically accurate decisions, especially when combining with textual data that provides a comprehensive view of patient information. This also eases the tasks of health information management professionals.
Demonstrate how an enterprise imaging strategy cuts costs
An EI infrastructure enables new or revised workflows in multiple clinical and operational areas. Return on investment comes from improved workflows in different disciplines and related gains in efficiency and effectiveness. Maintenance and technical services can be consolidated. The ability to ingest and normalize studies from other facilities, with different systems and data formats into local systems, reduces the need for duplicate imaging studies.
Show how enterprise imaging can enhance patient experience
Offering patients complete access to view their own image record improves the patient experience and also can improve patient retention. This can further reduce staff and supply resources required to maintain burning imaging exams to a CD or DVDs.
Enhance work life for providers
Enterprise imaging gives providers the ability to access multidisciplinary imaging in a single click and workflow enhancements such as supporting encounter-based imaging without requiring orders.
Develop EI governance
Governance of an enterprise imaging system is the key to any transformation process driving enterprise change. Create an enterprisewide strategy that will align IT technology and clinical imaging initiatives across the healthcare organization.
Keys in implementing an EI project
What does the healthcare organization want? If the decision is to have a fully image-enabled EHR to facilitate patient care then a little help is needed. An informatics expert may become a champion, giving presentations to executives to educate, inform and clarify misconceptions. The biggest misconception is that EI mostly benefits radiology, or it is a radiology program and not an enterprise initiative.
Understand how cyber security fits into an enterprise imaging strategy
All computers and various applications are becoming more interconnected or consolidated into a centralized system. Through the IT infrastructure connecting the different service lines and locations in the enterprise, cyber attackers now have another available vector to spread malware and compromise service lines operations.