Blog

Transfer center
December 13, 2017

Three Reasons Your Transfer Center Needs Image Exchange

Transfer centers serve as the logistics hub for all aspects of patient transfers. If your organization has a transfer center, then you probably already know the tremendous work that this department manages day in and day out.

Before joining lifeIMAGE, I was a member of the transfer center team at a large pediatric hospital. Like most hospitals where CDs are used to transfer images, we struggled. CDs were often lost or unreadable. The obstacles of transferring images via CDs oftentimes cost time and money. To save valuable resources and have a more positive impact on patient care, we became early adopters of the lifeIMAGE hybrid network at our institution.

Here are three reasons you should consider doing the same:

  • Facilitate and streamline communication across your team. At my facility, all emergency referrals went through the transfer center. This included patients for the emergency department, trauma, critical care, cardiac critical care and neonatology. Our responsibilities included collecting patient demographics, connecting physicians and nurses for sign-out, securing patient beds, sending notifications for the trauma team and dispatching the in-house critical care transport team. Using antiquated CDs just isn’t effective with this many players needing this much information.
  • Get the complete patient picture before the patient arrives. lifeIMAGE allowed our transfer center to get the complete patient picture before the patient arrived and, oftentimes, even before the referring and receiving physicians spoke. Our team of providers used lifeIMAGE as another tool to help with treatment recommendations and better prepare for the patient’s arrival.
  • Perfect your transfer process. Transfer centers are coordination and strategy powerhouses, handling every logistic to seamlessly transfer patients from one facility to another. The process should be studied and manipulated until you find the path of least resistance, which is what lifeIMAGE helps do.

To solve those problems, we relied on lifeIMAGE, the largest image management vendor in the space and the leader in dealing with complex workflows like the ones used; and we encouraged other departments to follow suit.

At first, we only used it only for critical care transfers and trauma patients. However, once the solution became more widely used, word spread and providers from other departments started to request to use it for all outside imaging. After implementing lifeIMAGE across our organization, it became standard practice that the images arrived before the patient did. Our physicians were more informed when providing consultations, better prepared for the patient’s arrival, and in many cases had already contacted other specialty services to make them aware of the inbound patient. The biggest value was allowing our transfer center to yield better service to our providers, which in-turn provided better service to our patients.

In the ever changing world of healthcare, all departments – including transfer centers – must show their value. Along with cloud-based data-sharing, image accessibility at the time of transfer is a relevant tool. If your transfer center doesn’t have a solution for getting images electronically, it is time to implement one.  Tech-savvy providers are wanting it and their patients are expecting it.

To learn more about how to implement lifeIMAGE at your transfer center or to request a demonstration of our platform, email info@lifeimage.com.

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Paul D. Raymond, Jr.

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