by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | February 05, 2018
From the January/February issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Five years ago, Radiologic Associates, an imaging group serving the Hudson Valley region of New York state, was focused on ensuring that its dedicated workstations had the correct staff for each type of report or imaging scan that was being reviewed.
But fast-forward to today and the issue is resolved.
“We’ve really moved ourselves into more teleradiology,” Andrew Mazzella, CEO of Radiologic Associates, told HealthCare Business News. “Now our radiologists – whether it is PET/CT, 3-D-tomosynthesis, MR or CT – can read scans from any of our workstations.”
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This is but one example that reflects the many changes taking place in the imaging IT landscape, with practices and providers driven by the need for the new and evolving features, such as zero footprint viewers, and tapping into the potential for artificial intelligence technology.
For Mazzella, the Clinical Collaboration Platform from Carestream is what has made all the difference. The image management platform provides enterprise imaging and vendor-neutral archiving capabilities to the group’s 28 radiologists, which he says has paved the way for greater productivity.
Getting medical images out of their silos and transferring them more seamlessly throughout the care system has been an ongoing struggle, and Carestream is not the only company working to resolve the problem. Enterprise imaging solutions promise interoperability, scalability and a more seamless workflow, but does that mean an enterprise solution is a one-stop replacement for the conventional components that have historically gone in PACS?
This question is further complicated by the addition of new features and capabilities that previously did not exist, and storage standards and security requirements that may not have previously been a concern, all of which together can create confusion, uncertainty and a state of misinformation around the most important question of all: What is the best imaging solution for my facility?
It starts with knowing what you need
In today’s imaging IT field, few things are as desirable as interoperability. Hospital departments are being asked to engage more completely across the enterprise – and allowing data to be shared and disseminated among different physicians in and out of a given facility is precisely what enterprise imaging aims to do.
This desire is further augmented by technologies, such as zero footprint viewers for reading and interpreting scans and reports off phones and tablets rather than at big, heavy workstations, and the cloud, which centralizes access to – and allows for storage of – large volumes of data.