And the benefits of this are legion, from streamlining workflow by eliminating CDs and avoiding multiple logins across various applications when providers are searching for the right patient, to reducing the loading of unnecessary images into the local PACS, said presenter Stacie Barnard of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.
“Through an app integrated into the Epic Electronic Health Record [we installed]nearly 2,000 providers at 308 connected facilities, hospitals, major health systems, medical providers and research centers across the United States in an expanding medical network are able to connect in context to the platform of imagery exchange without leaving the patient’s record,” she told the session “They can then view the imaging, associated clinical data, and diagnostic reports at any time and from any mobile device. or computer.”
Last year, the medical center integrated Nuance Communications’ PowerShare cloud platform into its Epic electronic medical record system to help providers access and share external radiology, cardiology and trauma images through electronically rather than downloading them from CDs.
“Efficiency was our main focus,” Barnard said. “Having providers pull out of the electronic health record to search for images is inefficient and frustrating, and downloading images from CDs is time consuming. Some computers don’t even have CD drives anymore.
Center IT staff integrated the PowerShare platform into the imaging tab of patient records so providers can now simply click the button that will take them through an image exchange process that automatically authenticates their credentials. For a first trial of the experiment, Barnard’s team uploaded 147,000 studies to the platform and shared 88,000 of them.
“Once they’ve selected the images they want to see, they can interact with patients for image review, order follow-up exams, appoint the study to the local PACS if radiology needs to compare it to a new study or move for second reading, or close and continue reporting,” she said.
Barnard acknowledged that while integrating image sharing has its benefits, it also has its challenges: the center is still seeing an increase in external studies uploaded to its PACS – from 60,522 per year in 2019 to 71,977 per year. in 2021. She speculated that it may be too easy for referring physicians to add studies, and she stressed the need for further discussion with them.
But overall the response to the image-sharing platform has been positive, even from the C suite. Barnard shared feedback received from the center’s Director of Medical Information, Dr. Gregg Nicandri.
“It’s a game-changer for physician workflows, especially specialties that interact with a lot of outside images,” Nicandri said. “Previously, we had to log into a separate system, remember a single login, find the patient knowing the date of birth and the spelling of the name, and wait for the images to load. Having PowerShare directly in the folder eHealth enables us to access images with the click of a button and frees up valuable time for direct patient care that was once wasted searching for images.”
And after? Eliminate CD burning and enable Epic’s MyChart patient portal to manage images.
“We now have teams testing the integration into the Patient Portal,” she said. “If a patient needs to take images to one of their providers, it’s no longer a CD but a push to PowerCare. They log in, click the imaging tab in MyChart and get instructions . [on how to proceed].”
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