Best Health Information Exchange is Huge Step Up From Paper Records
Medical practices moving away from paper records can find the process time consuming, but the results outstanding. The process may not be without its challenges, but moving to the best health information exchange brings a great many
Offices that have gone through the process know that every staff member has to be completely on board with the transition. Every member of the staff will be working with the exchange, so seeing progress depends on commitment at every level.
The bottom line in moving to the best health information exchange is an improvement in patient care. Even rural health care IT staffs are making commitments to stepping away from paper records and going with
digital processes, and they too are seeing the benefits, not only in office efficiencies and communication between departments, but also in their ability to better service patients.
Rural clinics that have sought out the best health information exchange have learned that workflows need improvements, which is something that exchanges can target specifically. The fact is that these projects are much more than hardware and software upgrades or installs – it’s an all-inclusive project that every part of the radiology department will take some part in.
The office will identify who on the staff will make decisions, declare a physician as one of the lead project managers, identify what features are most important in their transition to an exchange, interview various vendors and get quotes, pick the best one and work toward a contract that works for both entities.
Some rural facilities will take a year or longer from the planning stage to complete implementation. The platform should be stable, fast, accurate and easy to work in. Some rural communities struggle with Internet speeds, whichis a major crutch in establishing the best health information exchange and can add another lengthy step in acquiring the infrastructure to bring those speeds up to an optimal level – but should not deter clinics and hospitals from moving forward with better image archiving and sharing.
One of the benefits of establishing an exchange is that fewer staff hours will be spent on filing medical records because of the built-in automated features. Even some of the smaller, rural medical offices will see a drop of about 120 hours a week devoted to record keeping. Additionally, data is protected when it’s stored offsite from natural disaster or costly “down” time — and it’s much more efficient to share with patients and their care providers across their channels of service. Some studies have also shown more accurate patient diagnosis, and quicker diagnosis, using vendor neutral archiving systems to store and share radiological images.
Dashboard reports that come standard through most vendors will allow administrators a peek at their monthly totals, which can be custom built to show which data needs to be displayed. And because the best interfaces are Web-based portals, medical staff don’t have to worry about hardware compatibility issues in accessing data and images. Nursing homes, small clinics and rural hospitals are all finding success with these systems.
OffSite Image Management, Inc. offers a health information exchange solution with its proprietary Honeycomb platform, which is one of the most robust health image exchange solutions available
today. OffSite is known for its vendor-neutral solutions that overcome the challenges that many Picture Archiving Communication Systems (PACS) face.