RSNA Image Share Network in growth mode
Since its launch in 2009, the RSNA Image Share Network has enjoyed robust funding from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and found successes at some of the premier health systems in the U.S. Now it's looking for new providers to join.
The network, based on common open-standards architecture, helps patients access their information through personal health records, eliminating the need for CDs. Reports are sent to a secure, Web-based image repository called the Image Clearinghouse. Patients then establish PHR accounts and retrieve their images into them, enabling them to share them with their physicians.
"The RSNA Image Share Network can improve quality, safety and efficiency while engaging patients and families in their own care," said the project’s principal investigator, David S. Mendelson, MD, chief of clinical informatics at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, said in a 2011 press statement. "Our patients are successfully using the network to access and distribute their medical images."
[See also: RSNA lands $10.8M to expand Image Share .]
It's currently in place at five big health systems: Mayo Clinic, Mount Sinai Medical Center, University of California San Francisco, University of Chicago Medical Center and University of Maryland Medical Center.
Now, beyond those five major research sites, "We have just recently, in the past four weeks or so, added three community sites," said Chris Carr, director of informatics at RSNA. "We're expanding the network."
The benefits these past few years have been clear, he says. While the initial aim was to spur patient engagement, "the same network can be used to exchange images between sites and improve communication between providers," he said.
And so the call is out to increase that circle of connectivity.
"We're encouraging additional sites to join," said Carr. "We provide software that enables them to link their local systems to the infrastructure of the Image Share Network and provide their patients with a service that is more convenient and less error-prone than providing images on CD, which is standard practice."
Toward that end, RSNA will be holding a town hall-style event about the Image Share Network, Monday, Dec. 2, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., offering an open forum to explore ways radiology sites can improve communication and increase patient engagement.
The meeting will include representatives of NIBIB and participants in the Image Share Network, who will talk about their experience with image sharing and answering questions from meeting attendees.
It's all a way, says Carr, of "recognizing the people who have been involved, and encouraging other sites to join in as well."
[See also: RSNA lands $10.8M to expand Image Share ]