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.
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.