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Providers must focus on consolidating images

In healthcare today, there are many different kinds of clinical images. In the past, they were used mostly for radiology purposes, but have now expanded to encompass cardiology, pathology, endoscopy and dermatology, to name a few. Whether it's an ultrasound, MRI, pediatric or adult x-ray, all images can be displayed on an electronic medical record system. Such evolution requires healthcare providers to consolidate and take advantage of health information exchanges so that access to images is not only universal, but easier.

"Medical imaging is a cornerstone to the ability to create a fluid care continuum," said Shawn McKenzie, president and CEO of Ascendian Healthcare Consulting, quoted by Health Imaging.

The transition to the sharing and consolidation of important patient data is a major focus of the healthcare industry, and the methods behind it were discussed at the 40th annual meeting of the Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA).

One way providers can do this is by implementing a vendor neutral archiving system to manage, store, retrieve and search different types of images.

Currently, the whole medical system is undergoing a paradigm shift from a model focused on the patient to one emphasizing the practice. This is why interoperability is key. If a patient changes providers, it's important for their information to move with them. Otherwise, the new doctor is working off of incomplete data, which can be detrimental to both parties. Such situations may result in unnecessary duplication of services, which is both time consuming and costly.

News brought to you by TeraMedica, Inc., leaders in healthcare enterprise imaging (VNA) solutions.