One of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare industry today is access to a complete patient record. This issue stems from patients having multiple identifiers for every healthcare organization they’ve visited throughout their life, with no easy way to correlate other identities institution to institution. With a lack of a national patient index, it’s not currently possible to know a patient across institutions or communities.
Building an intelligent image exchange network
The healthcare industry needs to continue to evolve into a federated model where it can inform other interested parties of existing patients and their imaging histories in a centralized registry. This will ultimately enable a flexible workflow for accessing a broader patient record, the ability to exchange exams easily with anyone, and, in the future, from any source, regardless of physical location.
The right image exchange solution is one that adheres to standards, allowing imaging exams and documents to be submitted, registered, searched, requested, and easily retrieved, regardless of the image exchange vendor. Standards-based architecture allows for all vendors to implement systems that can perform these actions and ultimately bridge the gap between providers, communities and patients.
Paving the Path to Success
To successfully build an intelligent image network, there are key foundational elements that need to be in place.
Enable entities to manage submission and access to its exams in a centralized exam registry
For this to happen, two or more institutions must have the ability to submit exams to a shared imaging exam registry through a publically available cloud. They must also have the ability to share a patient’s imaging history between institutions and the ability to be notified when a patient has a new or amended exam. Patients should also be able to access their centralized exams and patient identifier number.
Enable authenticated entities to search, retrieve and view imaging exams and reports
In this workflow, the properly authenticated entity can query the shared resource for patients, retrieve and view any exam for that patient that has been registered. This could be an institution, a provider, or even a patient. This also includes the ability for an institution to make their registered exams available externally. An entity with the proper permission should also have the ability to search for a patient in a centralized exam registry, find available exams for that patient and request that the exams be retrieved from the registry and delivered to the associated account.