More than half of healthcare organizations cannot move imaging data between systems
Enterprise imaging strategies are key priorities for healthcare leaders and many organizations are well on their way to implementing them; however, interoperability roadblocks remain a challenge, a new survey has found.
Further, while IT executives have an understanding of what needs to be done, they also recognize that unattainable image data can negatively impact patient care, according to the survey from medical image exchange technology vendor lifeIMAGE and commissioned by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.
The survey of 100 CHIME members revealed
– Imaging, once under the tight control of radiology, has evolved into a core responsibility for an organization’s IT staff, with 86 percent of surveyed CIOs reporting that IT owns enterprise imaging either exclusively or as a shared initiative with radiology departments.
– More than 58 percent of facilities have implemented an enterprise imaging strategy to help manage, store and exchange medical image data. And nearly half of respondents agree that a successful enterprise image strategy is a shared responsibility.
– More than 50 percent of respondents indicated that inefficient imaging practices could lead to delays in diagnosis and care, unnecessarily repeating studies, and patients potentially going elsewhere for care.
– The overall interoperability outlook is bleak: While 86 percent of CIOs note improving care coordination is a driver for interoperability, more than half of the organizations surveyed cannot yet move imaging data between systems and applications. Other drivers of interoperability include reducing redundant testing for value-based care (71 percent), improving physician satisfaction (63 percent) and reducing patient exposure to radiation (42 percent). 46 percent said the biggest challenge is integrating imaging technology systems with an electronic health record.
– One-third of surveyed CIO respondents indicated their facility might be losing revenue because of image data interoperability challenges. Several respondents cited value-based contracts that do not reimburse for duplicate exams.
“It was telling to learn that the majority of CIOs surveyed say meeting interoperability at their facilities remains a challenge,” said Matthew Michela, CEO and president of lifeIMAGE. “Healthcare IT executives have an understanding of what needs to be done, because they’re seeing how unattainable image data can negatively impact patient care, but they haven’t yet solved the technical issues surrounding image interoperability.”