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Why Healthcare Providers Have to Develop an Image Management Strategy, Now

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Why Healthcare Providers Have to Develop an Image Management Strategy, Now

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More hospitals and health centers are considering a move to the cloud for their image storage needs.

Enterprise imaging plans are in the neophyte stages at the moment, but vendor neutral solutions is the phrase most repeated. Strategies are being formed in this important endeavor that are focused on providing a solution for the health care industry’s image storage needs. A recent report from KLAS, a company that conducts more than 1,900 healthcare provider interviews every month, recommends using vendor neutral solutions – and notes the reasons why they may be more reliable.

According to the KLAS report, titled Enterprise Imaging 2012: Provider’s Strategies and Insights, the health care industry faces challenges in planning imaging strategies. More than 130 providers were interviewed for the report, all were in the early development stages of their image-storing strategy, which involved an electronic exchange of the patients’ information.

The health care providers were looking predominantly in two distinct areas – vendor neutral archiving and picture archiving and communication system (PACS) enterprises. The report says that there is currently not one choice that is beating out the other as far as one being adopted more heavily than the other. However, KLAS researchers are leaning toward vendor neutral solutions as the more reliable choice.

According to KLAS, when stacked against the PACS system the vendor neutral image management solution has tools that are more user-friendly with a wider array of systems. The vendor neutral image management solution also appears to be less particular about content format, vendor or origin of the device when archiving or distributing images.

An area where the PACS-centric solution seems to be more popular is in the healthcare facilities that have fewer than 500 beds. Popular hardware vendors in this field include Philips, GE Healthcare, Fuji, Siemens and DR Systems. Some of these companies are attempting to be more PACS-friendly by offering software suites that will allow better sharing opportunities between departments across the hospital.

Around 18 percent of healthcare providers are currently using cloud computing to manage their medical images, according to KLAS. But another 35-plus percent are considering a move to the cloud for their image storage needs. This is a popular choice for healthcare providers looking for a disaster recovery solution.

Regardless of the approach you take in your quest to build a reliable electronic image-storing/sharing system, there are still a multitude of questions that need to be answered. For instance, an enterprise-wide system becomes difficult to build when states differ on their time requirements for holding records of patients – cranial images in one state might be held for five years but the next state over has a 10-year requirement on those images. It’s this type of minutiae that will take time to work through.

Despite the challenges facing the creation of an enterprise-wide medical imaging strategy, there is a clear choice in who to go to when considering image archiving and sharing: OffSite Image Management Inc.. Offsite is a leader in radiological and DICOM images, as well as vendor neutral archiving. The processes used at OffSite are based on open architecture designs as well as industry enterprise archiving standards, which allow health care IT departments to easily integrate their current programs and applications without worry that their expensive hardware and software will become obsolete.

Originally posted 2013-07-08 15:55:10.

 

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