I recently had the privilege of contributing to an article on HIMSSwire
regarding seven important issues that healthcare organization leaders must take into account as they strive to obtain the right cardiac imaging technologies and develop effective cardiology imaging strategies.
Some issues I addressed were consolidation
, both among physician practices and within cardiology departments; costs of ownership, which nearly goes without saying in today’s increasingly cost-conscious healthcare environment; ease of workflows; and the ability to leverage big data
In light of these trends, I also cited three key technologies that I believe are especially important given the direction not just of cardiac care itself, but of all healthcare delivery in general. Here are some considerations that your department, cardiology or otherwise, can learn from a hearty imaging strategy:
The first are image-sharing capabilities. Cardiovascular disease must be managed over long periods of time, and often across multiple providers who are treating the same patients for other conditions. As a result, being able to share images within the patient's electronic health record is critical to improve care efficiency, quality and costs.
Second, cardiac imaging technologies need to foster and promote provider interoperability. Closely aligned with image-sharing capabilities, interoperability – and in particular advanced interoperability – improves patient care and efficiency by enabling providers and organizations to exchange patient data directly with each other, even if they are part of different networks or other healthcare entities. Thus, interoperable systems can generate significant care and cost advantages.
Finally, technologies need to have scalability. With all the consolidation taking place throughout healthcare, organizations are growing dramatically. Imaging systems that can be quickly and easily scaled up to match an organization’s rapid growth provide a significant advantage for those providers who leverage them.
As the HIMSSwire article points out, coronary heart disease leads to about 720,000 heart attacks in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and costs our country an estimated $108.9 billion annually. To get these figures down, it’s critical that we strive to improve population health, enhance patient care experiences and reduce costs. Keeping our eye on all these issues—but especially on image sharing capability, interoperability and scalability—can go a long way toward helping providers develop a strategic imaging blueprint that helps achieve all these goals.
What are you doing to develop effective cardiology imaging strategies?