Connect every image across every department
Medical imaging increasingly takes place outside of radiology and cardiology. Point-of-care or specialty image capture now occurs in nearly every corner of the hospital — from the emergency department to dermatology and ophthalmology— and the number of images captured in these departments is growing dramatically.
These point-of-care or specialty images often remain hidden from the larger healthcare organization. Clinicians are unable to see the images when they evaluate a patient’s condition and make a diagnosis. This lack of visibility and the growth of multiple siloed systems, drives organizations to reevaluate their imaging strategy. Many decide it is time to approach medical imaging from an enterprise perspective rather than from a departmental basis.
Once an organization decides on an enterprise imaging strategy, there are three types of technology that they need to acquire for managing images across their organization.
- Image capture and connectivity
- Image storage and management
- Image viewing
IMAGE CAPTURE AND CONNECTIVITY
In order to make their medical images accessible, organizations need to invest in solutions that can not only capture the images at a departmental level but also share them throughout their enterprise information systems. This includes DICOM, visible light or native file formats like JPED, TIFF or PDF and more. The right capture and connectivity solution allows healthcare organizations to choose components that fit their current needs and provide a path for growth.
STORE AND MANAGE IMAGES
A vendor neutral archive is crucial to a healthcare organization’s enterprise imaging infrastructure. The centralized solution, based on open standards, is good at managing and distributing high volumes of medical images in a cost-effective way. It is an essential piece of technology, because it enables interoperability across the enterprise. A VNA also promotes a flexible infrastructure that can facilitate future growth.
Another important element of an enterprise imaging infrastructure is a universal viewer. The viewer should be flexible, allowing for clinical and diagnostic viewing while still offering a consistent user interface. It should also provide advanced visualization capabilities that benefit traditional imaging departments, such as radiology and cardiology, by allowing them to interpret imaging studies remotely. A zero-footprint and web-based viewer is best since there is no software to manage locally and no protected health information is left at the workstation.
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