By Aine Cryts
What’s the value of moving to an enterprise PACS? According to Sundeep Rao, vice president and general manager of cardiology at Nashville, Tenn.-based Change Healthcare, the value lies in improved care, lower costs, and reduced complexity.
Enhanced productivity, increased physician satisfaction, less variation from established clinical pathways, and a system-wide approach to quality and compliance are three specific ways an enterprise PACS approach can lead to patient care improvements, he tells AXIS Imaging News. Two more benefits for patient care? Better collaboration across clinical teams and the ability to create a toolset that can use data and artificial intelligence to deliver clinical insights.
Hospitals and integrated delivery networks can also reduce their costs by improving the return on their assets, eliminate workflow inefficiencies, and improve the return on their EHR investment by implementing an enterprise PACS, he adds.
And it’s not just physicians and patients who benefit. IT leaders want to simplify vendor management, reduce IT complexity, mitigate cybersecurity risk, and reduce redundant storage, according to Rao. That’s why IT leaders also benefit from a simplified approach to support that’s offered with an enterprise PACS solution.
What Is Enterprise Imaging?
Rao defines “enterprise imaging” as a system-wide approach to diagnostic and clinical imaging, one that enhances EHRs and allows the hospital or IDN to better leverage the data they already have. “An enterprise PACS gives the opportunity for our healthcare providers to simplify their care: day-to-day reading of images, improve communication coordination within the care team, and reduce complexity in integrating radiology within the total care continuum,” he says.
While patients will never know it, an enterprise imaging approach means their images are shared among clinicians—in addition to primary and incidental diagnostic information—during their care journeys, according to Rao.
Solving Real-World Problems
Increased workloads result in burnout among radiologists and referring physicians. Rao argues that hospitals and IDNs are looking to technology to do two things: Reduce costs and improve outcomes.
Physicians have access to a wealth of clinically relevant data in the EHR. Access to imaging on an enterprise level through the EHR can translate to better care delivery, he explains. But IT and physician leaders also need to keep in mind the increased costs of IT management, along with privacy and cybersecurity risks. “A PACS system integrated into a complete enterprise imaging solution combines to deliver tools and technology to solve these complex challenges—resulting in improved care, lower costs, and reduced complexity,” adds Rao.
Aine Cryts is a contributing writer for AXIS Imaging News.