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doctors performing surgery
June 28, 2017

Image Exchange in Trauma Care: When Timing Is Everything

For a trauma team, every second matters, so receiving a patient’s medical imaging exams in advance of a transfer is critical. The most efficient way to exchange medical images and reports in 2017 is through an electronic workflow that can manage connecting many endpoints to the hospital’s chosen EHR platform.  Each year, trauma accounts for 41 million emergency department visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions across the nation, according to the CDC.

Unfortunately, it’s far more common for physicians to be burdened waiting for a CD to arrive, or not to have image access forcing them to  to repeat an imaging exam to facilitate right plan of action for care. Frequently, the patient, with a prior medical imaging  study, is transferred within a regional trauma system to a tertiary care center, and undergoes repeat imaging due to poor image quality, incompatible imaging software, or a misplaced imaging media. Each scenario like the ones mentioned above, causes a delay in patient management, unnecessary radiation, potential patient mis-match, and consequently, a spike in unnecessary healthcare costs and compliance risks.

How to Optimize Image Workflows

Trauma facilities using the lifeIMAGE image exchange platform can optimize workflow during patient transfers to higher-level trauma units and access diagnostic images, instantly. This permits staff to focus on patient-centered work and improves image integration into either their  EMR or other platform.

A case in point is  our recent work to improve image exchange at a Level 1 tertiary care trauma center. lifeIMAGE is giving clinicians dependable image exchange and the results include:

  • Improving image sharing during trauma patient transfers: PAC files and patient record numbers have already been merged before the patient arrives in the trauma bay. Care teams can upload CDs arriving with the patient for review, in place of utilizing troublesome proprietary software on the disc or waiting for the exams to be imported to PACS.
  • Reducing radiation exposure and the facility’s costs. For example, the imaging costs per patient dropped 18.7 percent ($413 vs. $333), while total imaging costs declined from $401,765 to $326,756 during the same period.
  • A Decline in repeat imaging from 62 percent to 47 percent in the 6 months after implementing our imaging network
  • Outside data is rapidly integrated into the receiving hospital’s PACS, allowing physicians in multiple locations to simultaneously view and annotate diagnostic quality images.

That’s where lifeIMAGE really shines – connecting and collaborating in real-time–so a patient can be treated in the shortest time possible. Easy access to imaging content from any source helps the entire health system improve care and outcomes.

Richie Pfeiffer, Vice President Product and Market Development

Richie Pfeiffer

Vice President of Product and Market Development