Picture archiving and communications systems are proving their value, given the rise of integrated hospital systems as of late. Although interoperability in radiological images and electronic health records has become a priority for all medical providers, PACS systems can be especially valuable for integrated hospitals, according to DOTmed Daily News.
Powerful systems make image sharing more holistic for integrated care settings
These advancements make sense - especially since doctors in an integrated setting will need to use images to carry out clinical tests. Nurses, medical techs and physicians all need to be able to make diagnoses and plan for treatments using images in a safe, simple and straightforward way. Ultimately, spending less time configuring images and EHR data on the hospital floor will lead to more time spent with patients.
Additionally, these imaging systems need to be optimized to comply with the meaningful use program and other governmental regulations without impeding hospital workflow. PACS have allowed these lofty interoperability goals to become a reality in recent years, and there are already signs that with vendor neutral archiving technology, the sky's the limit with optimal image sharing. Eventually, these advancements will extend beyond radiology and include many different types of specialties, including cardiology and disease prevention strategies. The sharing of these images could also prove valuable for research efforts, as population health and the explosion of predictive data are also major trends in the U.S. health IT industry.
EHRs need to work alongside optimal image sharing
The widespread adoption of EHRs has also contributed to these factors. According to a recent data brief from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 75.5 percent of hospitals in 2014 had implemented at least a basic EHR system. However, these technologies need to be as advanced as possible for PACS and VNA technology to work seamlessly.
In recent years, vendor neutral archives have been gaining popularity and have proved to aid the process of sharing images beyond a single department or point of care. VNA technology makes image sharing more universal by allowing doctors to view a large variety of formats, including both non-DICOM and DICOM images. A vendor neutral archive is scalable, allowing doctors to seamlessly share clinical images with one another regardless of their formats - perfect in an integrated hospital environment. VNAs, which can either work alone or alongside a pre-existing PACS, ultimately make things easier.