By Paul Shumway
For the past 5 or 6 years vendor neutral archives and enterprise imaging (EI) have been a hot topic at conferences and industry forums, and many industry consultants have eagerly expressed their views. From all appearances, it seems that everybody needs to get an EI system. However, many healthcare facilities have only focused on DICOM workflows and haven’t tackled the non-DICOM clinical multimedia being generated across the care continuum. In essence, they have only partially adopted the whole enterprise imaging concept.
Some people say that EI is being advocated exclusively by the vendors. Others say that EI is only necessary because the EMRs are not capable of managing imaging. Still others are questioning the cost. My belief is that EI is here to stay and will eventually be in every hospital. From first-hand experience in many hospitals it is evident that there are significant benefits from an EI solution that addresses both simplifying the infrastructure and the workflow challenges of acquiring encounters-based multimedia. There is great truth in what the consultants have been saying all along: hospitals will improve patient care, become more efficient, and reduce costs.
However, when you get to a decision point and the hospital has to prioritize need and make a budget for EI, how does the hospital justify the expense? This is the big question that I believe has not been answered well enough in all the EI discussions thus far. Hospital executives want better details on how EI will save them money and make their hospital better from the return-on-investment point of view.
On Wednesday, July 12 at the 2017 AHRA Annual Meeting, I will discuss this in my session “Reducing Readmissions and Misdiagnoses through EMR Centered Image Viewing.” I will share details on how EI will save the hospital money while improving patient care, as well as information on how to get more reimbursements and how to make EI work for you.
Paul Shumway is the senior vice president at Novarad in American Fork, UT. He can be reached at Paul.Shumway@novarad.net.