Image Exchange Launches with Aspen Valley Hospital
Image Exchange Launches with Aspen Valley HospitalImage Exchange is QHN’s newest service offering based on the provider identified need to have immediate access to diagnostic quality medical images across the QHN HIE. This service launched with Aspen Valley Hospital on May 7, 2015. Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center, Fruita, CO, will be next to enable this functionality with a go-live date of mid-June.
Image exchange saves time for providers by enabling them access to view, compare and transfer diagnostic image reports to their electronic health record (EHR). Immediate access to images reduces healthcare costs by eliminating duplicate imaging procedures, and improves patient safety by limiting unnecessary radiation exposure. The common problems of non-viewable CDs, large file transfers, and multiple PAC system logins, are eliminated with this solution as the images are available in the HIE when and where they're needed.
Image Exchange Provides Many Clinical Benefits
“Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) is delighted to be at the table with QHN as partners to link technology with patient care coordination,” said Elaine Gerson, AVH Chief Clinical Officer and General Counsel. “The ability to link a patient’s radiology image and real-time cine [displayed as a movie] to the patient’s virtual record allows the physician provider to not only read the report read by the radiologist, but the see the actual images as well. This will provide enhanced communication between the physician provider and the patient and ultimately will lead to improved quality care.”
Images that traditionally take hours to days to obtain from off-site locations will be available to participating providers within seconds through the HIE. With a single click in a patients’ result report or QHN’s Patient Summary Record, participating providers can view associated X-rays, MRI's, EKG’s, CT/PET scans and ultrasound images instantly, on a diagnostic quality image viewer.
In addition to viewing images, a real-time collaboration feature allows multiple clinicians to collaborate on the same imaging exam from wherever they are. “It will be most important when we’re sharing patients with another provider having the ability to both see and discuss - especially in a transfer situation - the films live,” stated Dr. Gregg Minion, AVH Emergency Department physician. “It will be very important to get all the hospitals on board.”
Improving Patient Safety and Provider Ease of Access
Colorado Canyons Hospital and Medical Center will go-live with image exchange later this month. Patrick Yount, Colorado Canyon’s IT Director was asked about their decision to enable this technology. “We pride ourselves on being early adopters of technology; we are always willing to be on the forefront of new implementations to not only improve patient safety and patient care, but to make our provider’s lives easier. Anything we can do to reduce the number of steps for our physicians to allow them to provide safer and more efficient patient care is what we are all about. We have been maintaining VPN tunnels with various hospitals to allow their providers to access our PACs system; this is very laborious and not always stable. This new QHN technology allows us to maintain one point of contact, one point of management and multiple points of redundancy to avoid failure and allow providers to look at the images, from any location, without another login.”
“We know that the providers who subscribe to QHN are active in it, so why not give them the ability to look at patient images, until now that is the only thing they couldn’t see in QHN. Anytime you have to maintain multiple logins, to get into multiple systems there is always the human error factor. QHN does a fantastic job of compiling all the various patient alias and health records, when you combine that with the image exchange technology it removes that human error element. In QHN you don’t have to cross reference to make sure your looking at the right person depending on where, or who, happened to register that person,” continued Yount.
HIE Image Exchange Supports MU Stage 2
Providers may also import imaging results consisting of the image itself and any explanation or other accompanying information into their EHR. “Perhaps more than the importance of the direct clinical and cost saving implications is what this offers for support in achieving the meaningful use stage 2 requirements: menu measure three,” noted Rob Nelson, PA-C, Glenwood Medical Associates Quality Director. “Since a live URL link is embedded in the radiology report on QHN which links to the radiological image, if a report is imported either automatically or manually from QHN into an EHR then it will meet the requirement of this measure. Without this new QHN functionality, many practices are either not able to meet this measure or have to purchase additional tools, often at high cost, from their EHR vendor.”