Considerations for the modern enterprise imaging system: more than a price

Considerations for the modern enterprise imaging system: more than a price

February 06, 2018
Health IT
From the January/February issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Tyler Speakman, MD Buyline Analyst

Purchasing a modern imaging system is a balance between departmental needs and enterprise requirements.

Advancements both in the technology and approach from vendor partners have a major effect on how facilities are forced to think about current and future solutions. The quality of a system cannot be judged on cost alone. There are great systems that are expensive and there are great systems that are not. The very definition of "great system" depends entirely on how well a vendor's solutions fit your particular needs, how well it integrates into and/or enhances your workflow and how well it improves your efficiency.

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The common thread connecting providers on this issue is the inherent challenge faced to deliver valuable information in a fast and cost-efficient manner, while also enabling superior patient care experiences.

Here are a few thoughts on achieving success in considering system or enterprise functionality:

Integration
It’s extremely important to determine specifically how your solution will interface and integrate with other applications. Modern systems have multiple touchpoints for integration, both in and out of the hospital. Understand the exact costs and application functionality involved with any integration with your CIS, EMR or imaging modalities. Avoid vendors that appear to, or have a history of being less than cooperative with other vendors. Vendors who care about your business understand you will have existing systems in place from competing companies. Vendor neutral archives, or VNAs, for example, have broken down barriers between departments and changed how vendors work with providers and clinicians.

Workflow and imaging analytics
Current vendor focus has shifted heavily to developing applications that directly support clinical workflows at the hospital. Vendors now focus on “service line” support, meaning applications are developed from a single system to support differing clinical practices (i.e. radiology, cardiology, specialty). This has evolved from the historic practice of supporting separate departments, or service lines, as wholly different products.

Medical images account for the largest data source in a patient’s medical record and, as a result, many vendors are coming up with imaging analytics/deep learning medical imaging solutions to better extract and analyze the information presented in images.

Imaging analytics will continue to be integrated in existing systems, and potentially become a hallmark of new systems, for point of care decision support, second opinion, early detection of a few diseases, workflow improvements and better outcomes.

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