Why are doctors so bad at sharing EHR Images and Referrals?

Effective Doctor CommunicationWhen we were little we were taught to share, but as we grew older and started our practices we stopped sharing effectively. Why is that?

As the medical industry integrates the EMR – Electronic medical records into daily practice, health care professionals are brainstorming similar ways to electronically share different forms of essential information to improve treatment. One such topic of current discussion is imaging.

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Online Image and Referral Sharing

Since most health care providers do not feel that one single company can provide all the layers necessary to make such global collaboration possible, two formats are currently being examined. One is the (VNA) centric approach and the other is a PACS enterprise archive solution. What is a VNA? It stands for Vendor Neutral Archive and it is the working component of the system that manages, stores, retrieves, and queries medical images.

A PACS enterprise archive solution then is a picture archiving and communications system, a network of computers that radiologists use to store digital copies. Right now both systems are capable of preserving their imagery, but not sharing.

Potential Players

GE and Phillips are the two candidates if a VNA system is chosen, while Fuji seems to be the current best selection if the PACS enterprise archive centric strategy is selected. Agfa and Merge are currently the two most closely linked vendors to the VNA strategy. Acuo and TeraMedica are also two possible non-PACS vendors; however, most prefer TeraMedica’s ability to store a variety of clinical data. Meanwhile, Acuo’s supporters tout its image distribution and data migration as its overwhelming benefits.

Ben Brown, an imaging research director, stated, “As providers start to bring in more studies and the studies themselves increase in size, the need for storage will increase. In addition, as a provider explained, images will need to be managed as well as stored.”

For now, it seems that an institution’s size largely dictates their favorite. According to KLAS, hospitals with more than 500 beds prefer the VNA format while those will less felt more secure with the PACS platform. Clearly the medical community as a whole is not ready to make any permanent decisions, but it is apparent that everyone is desirous of implementing some form of image share.

The cost of implementing the above solutions are impractical for most organizations, due to the high set-up costs, and integration issues with the current EHR. Due to this fact, we decided to design a much less expensive and more effective option called referralMD.

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Please take a tour to learn how referralMD can help you share, manage and track critical referrals, insurance authorizations, and image information more efficiently.

How do you currently share?

Still using the fax, the standard mail, or triplicate form to share information? Share your story below on what you like or dislike with the current system and your thoughts on making it better.

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