The role of patient imaging is shifting and changing in virtually every area of healthcare. At a very basic level, the sheer amount of patient data is growing and expanding across specialties. The way that providers access, share and analyze this data is also transforming with healthcare’s broad adoption of non-imaging technologies such as cloud computing, mobile devices and machine learning, as well as increased integration of patient image data with electronic health records. At this crossroads of change stand many benefits for hospitals and health systems, including support for value-based, patient-centered care and provider collaboration both of which have the power to reduce costs and improve outcomes.
Value-Based, Patient-Centered Care Through Image Data Access Lowers Costs
While fee for service remains healthcare’s primary payment model, value-based payment is broadly accepted as the future of reimbursement. To make value-based payment work, providers are already shifting their care models to value-based care which is defined as providing the highest quality service at the lowest cost.
To support high-quality service while lowering costs, all providers responsible for patient care need efficient, fast access to patient image data. When a patient is transferred, either from or to an emergency department, images should follow the patient to eliminate both the time and cost of reimaging. Immediate access to images via the cloud or an internal network gives physicians the critical data they need for diagnosis and treatment planning, putting the patient care, not reimaging, first.
Efficient Provider Collaboration Through Image Data Sharing Improves Outcomes
Research shows that collaboration between providers improves patient outcomes. One study, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, shows that in-person communications between radiologists and acute care physicians improved patient care. The study analyzed the results of in-person meetings between an acute care surgery team and abdominal radiologists and showed that 43 percent of these in-person meetings resulted in significant changes in surgical plans. The contributing factor? Better understanding by the surgical team through access to images.
In a survey, also published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, referring physicians said that receiving images with radiology reports would increase their understanding of the radiologists findings. For these providers, a picture really does speak a thousand words which not only has the power to improve communication between providers but ultimately results in better patient care.
To access these benefits and capture value from image data today and into the future, providers need to address key technical and interoperability considerations. These considerations are identified and explored in the ebook, “Top 6 Considerations for Advancing Healthcare Via Mobile Image Data Access.” You can use the ebook to plan a roadmap for transforming image data access into a platform for better care and lower costs.