By Sara Osberger, Senior Director of Marketing, Fujifilm Medical Systems, U.S.A., Inc.
Radiology and cardiology departments have dominated the enterprise imaging arena for more than 40 years. About one billion radiological imaging exams are performed worldwide every year, making radiology the clear leader in medical imaging volume. Add to that the global surge in echocardiography, cardiac MR, cardiac CT, and cardiac catheterization studies and there you have the lion’s share of all enterprise imaging.
So when it comes to a vendor-neutral archive (VNA), can healthcare professionals use a VNA to collect, store, manage, and share imaging data outside of these two service lines? What about imaging from specialty departments, such as ophthalmology, wound care, or dermatology? Can a VNA manage those images as well?
In order to bring the complete patient picture to the healthcare enterprise, a true VNA can and should be used outside of radiology and cardiology departments. Keep reading to learn more about the many ways your enterprise can benefit from expanding the use of its VNA.
Strengthen Radiology and Cardiology Departments
Although VNAs have applications beyond radiology and cardiology, the bulk of their imaging storage comes from these two service lines. In both radiology and cardiology, the digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) format is king. This file format is produced by CT scans, MRIs, and other prominent types of medical imaging procedures.
Even with the bulk of DICOM images coming from radiology and cardiology, those two departments are often independent of each other and unable to share images. By implementing a single PACS solution or a robust VNA for both departments, healthcare professionals can cross-reference patient imaging.
Improve Image Management across Specialties
DICOM may be the most common medical image format, but many specialties collect images and media in non-DICOM formats as well. This data has undeniable clinical value, particularly as more specialty departments begin to capture patient images. For example, video clips taken during surgery and endoscopy procedures can assist with treatment planning and follow-up care. Although you could attempt to integrate these videos with a traditional PACS, the large file size and need for editing can make integration unrealistic. Additionally, non-DICOM still images have been proven to be difficult to integrate with PACS due to departmental workflows. To overcome this challenge, a VNA helps to make image management across specialties significantly easier.
At the TeraMedica Division of Fujifilm, our Synapse® VNA can handle multiple types of non- DICOM media to seamlessly connect imaging content from more than 30 specialty departments, including:
Enable Essential EHR Interoperability
Most electronic health record (EHR) systems can’t access departmental images through various departmental viewers. This forces physicians to find and reference images, which can be a tedious and frustrating task, not to mention a major roadblock to their workflow. One application for a VNA beyond radiology and cardiology is creating an image-enabled EHR that allows users to view any image type directly within the EHR workflow through the VNA’s enterprise viewer.
Synapse VNA provides full EHR interoperability, so physicians can reference all of a patient’s images directly from the EHR, regardless of the image’s original source or file format. As a HIPAA-compliant VNA, Synapse VNA can also implement rules to limit access to images on a need-to-know basis in an effort to keep sensitive information secure.
Capture Images at the Point of Care
As more enterprises adopt bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, physicians have the ability to capture images at any point during the patient encounter. Emergency care, dermatology, and wound care are already using mobile devices to capture images at the point of care. If your enterprise uses a mobile capture strategy, a VNA can help to minimize PHI risks and securely manage these real-time image captures for your care team.
With Synapse VNA Connext Mobile, for example, physicians can capture images and automatically archive them within the VNA. The VNA then communicates to the EHR that images are available for that patient encounter. Features such as secure sign-on, encrypted transmission, and intelligent data-lifecycle management help keep this tool secure and compliant, while also respecting patient privacy.
Fujifilm TeraMedica Division’s VNA Solution
The right VNA can benefit all departments across the enterprise, not just radiology and cardiology. Synapse VNA from the TeraMedica Division of Fujifilm is designed to provide true interoperability across departments. With Synapse VNA, you can view DICOM and non-DICOM images and share them with other physicians, departments, and facilities, and even with patients.
Whether you’re working in cardiology, radiology, or another specialty department, Synapse VNA can benefit you by:
- Reducing data-storage costs: By simplifying data storage and eliminating the need for expensive data migrations, Synapse VNA can significantly reduce data-storage costs over time.
- Streamlining workflows: Synapse VNA makes it easier to provide image access to physicians, care teams, and the clinical departments that need them, saving time and allowing staff to be more efficient.
- Helping improve patient care: Synapse VNA gives physicians access to all of a patient’s images in one central location. With the full picture of the patient, physicians can make more-informed diagnosis and treatment decisions, helping to improve the overall quality of care.
Applications for Synapse VNA
Synapse VNA connects imaging content across the care continuum, so it has many potential applications. Enterprises that could benefit from Synapse VNA include:
- Large hospitals and healthcare enterprises
- Integrated delivery networks (IDNs)
- Multispecialty healthcare networks
- Pediatric hospitals
- Outpatient imaging centers
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Biotech companies
- Enterprises conducting clinical trials
Contact Fujifilm TeraMedica Division to Learn More
VNAs help to bring the full patient picture to the entire healthcare enterprise. For more information about applications for VNA technology beyond radiology and cardiology, or to schedule a demo of the Best-in-KLAS Synapse VNA, reach out to us today.