Stepping Up to Enterprise Imaging IT Value: HIMSS® STEPS™
As we face the pandemic of issues with medical imaging and IT, we can build systems to solve the fragmentation of care delivery, design security and data management, improve delivery of patient care and efficiency, reduce waste, rein in lost revenue and reduce overall costs. We need to organize and present comprehensive patient information intuitively for each caregiver. We need to evolve from being data-rich but actionable-poor to a knowledge-based information-driven care delivery approach. We need to maintain secure custody of medical images within the enterprise and leverage them as strategic assets of the entire organization. Clinical, operational and financial goals need to come together around a patient-centered longitudinal patient record that completes the EHR strategy.
Looked at through the value optimization framework called HIMSS STEPS, healthcare systems can benefit from insights in: Satisfaction, Treatment/clinical, Electronic secure data, Patient engagement and population management and Savings.
Patient satisfaction increases when physicians share images with patients and families. Research studies show that engaged and educated patients take better ownership of their care. Care providers are more satisfied too, having easy access to information and tools to communicate and collaborate with peers. Administrators are more satisfied with better continuity of care and reductions in cost.
When reviewing new imaging exams, clinicians can conveniently and quickly access a patient’s historical imaging record in a single, use-to-use user interface to enable informed decision-making and swift initiation of treatment. Enterprise imaging empowers care teams to collaborate and enhances continuity of care as transitions become smoother, more informed and purposeful. The hope is what follows are fewer hospital readmissions, fewer ED visits, increased patient safety and better chronic disease management.
Electronic secure data
With a complete EHR comes one means of electronic secure data storage. Format is no longer a foible. With Enterprise imaging managing studies from any device or format, DICOM or not, secure image exchange becomes as easy as snapping a picture on a mobile device. Virtually all point-of-care devices, whether it be a camera, phone, scope or modality can contribute securely in the longitudinal imaging record.
Patient engagement and population management
With current and prior images available at the bedside at point of care, physician can engage patients with a clear understanding of their diagnoses and treatment course. Physicians also can engage each other or patients remotely using mobile devices. This helps to drive patient education, awareness and compliance, often supporting population management initiatives.
Savings is always top of mind in healthcare. Enterprise imaging can lead to savings in time and costs. Consolidating images from a variety of specialties offers economies of scale in cost and improved accessibility. Integrated image access drives clinical best practices. Fast and easy access to images and reports can mean more efficient and more productive appointments and rounds throughout the hospital, improving workflows, increasing patient volume and enhancing the overall patient-provider experience. Ready access to images can help maximize revenue entitlements and avoid penalties, and maximize bonuses available under the government payer programs. Easy image access also eliminates the need for retakes and speeds timely patient discharge and thus reduces the amount of resources needed to address risk minimization efforts.
Not only does the opportunity exist to improve the clinical, operational, and financial performance of a hospital, but ubiquitous access to patient images can also help foster an environment of collaborative and informed patient management, supporting today’s model of shared decision making and value-based care. Enterprise imaging aligns with HIMSS value optimization framework as you formulate and advance your value strategies.