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Logicalis Healthcare Solutions Says Future-Ready Health Organizations Must Keep Evolving Imaging Strategies Top of Mind

Solution Provider Offers Five Tips to Help Healthcare IT Professionals Prepare for the Coming Wave of Image-Related Data and Its Intelligent Use

NEW YORK, January 23, 2018 – The number of clinical images captured and stored each year throughout America’s healthcare system is staggering: An estimated 36 million MRIs and 74 million CT scans were performed in the United States in 2017 alone, and that just scratches the surface.1Consider too the myriad of wound care and other visual condition assessments taken with smartphones, digital images acquired from surgical scopes, cardiology images, and even point-of-care ultrasounds captured annually, and it’s easy to see why enterprise imaging strategies are top-of-mind for today’s healthcare organizations.  Intuitive access to this growing number of clinical images is already playing an increasingly important role in electronic health record (EHR) optimization strategies and value-based clinical practices.  But, according to Logicalis Healthcare Solutions, the healthcare-focused arm of Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), as new technologies ranging from deep machine learning to the first FDA-approved digital pathology interpretation software come to market, the capture, storage and management of discrete clinical images is quite literally expected to explode.

“Developing an enterprise imaging strategy and then marrying that strategy to an EHR optimization program is just the beginning of healthcare’s digital transformation. But even when you have the most sophisticated EHR solution in place and have married patients’ digital images to their electronic health records, your transformation journey is not complete,” warns Kim Garriott, Principal Consultant, Logicalis Healthcare Solutions. “New technologies – things like deep machine learning and digital pathology – that are already visible on the horizon will require your organization to be much more ‘digitally mature.’ Yet, despite the complexity involved in preparing to take full advantage of these emerging capabilities, the payoff in better patient outcomes and, ultimately, better value for the organization and patient alike, will make the journey worthwhile.”

Emphasizing the importance of clinical imaging in health IT, HIMSS Analytics and the European Society of Radiology (ESR) jointly developed the Digital Imaging Adoption Model (DIAM), a multi-stage imaging IT maturity model first introduced at the 29th European Congress of Radiology in Vienna in 2016. Slated for introduction in the U.S. market at HIMSS18, the DIAM helps healthcare organizations visualize what “digital imaging maturity” looks like and understand the considerations needed to attain it.

Further highlighting the importance of clinical imaging, in the newly updated version of DIAM’s predecessor, the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), the requirement for the adoption of digital imaging has been promoted from a Stage 5 requirement to Stage 1.

Five Steps for Better Image Management

All of this means healthcare CIOs must continue to prepare for the coming wave of image-related data and its intelligent use.  To help, the experts at Logicalis Healthcare Solutions have put together a series of five important tips.

1. Develop an Enterprise Imaging Strategy: An enterprise imaging strategy should consider all aspects of imaging, regardless of type, from acquisition to analysis.  Imaging is a complex area of health IT, and it doesn’t start and stop in radiology.  While radiology is, and likely will always be, the producer of the highest volume of clinical images, it’s important to consider the widespread use of point-of-care ultrasound, digital photography and other types of clinical images as well.

2. Create a Data Governance Model: Healthcare organizations need to design and implement data standards for images and associated metadata elements now to be ready to enable a relevant presentation of images within the EHR and take advantage of upcoming analytics and deep learning capabilities as they become more mainstream. It is also important that the standards developed are applied uniformly to ensure the highest data value.

3. Focus on Interoperability: It isn’t acceptable to expect clinicians to launch multiple applications in unique frames without patient context.  Even though specialized image viewing toolsets may be needed depending on physician specialty, and while those toolsets may reside in disparate applications, it is critical that the user experiences a unified viewing environment. Therefore, potential software solutions must comply with industry standards, including Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) among others, and support seamless interoperability to the EHR and the primary diagnostic and clinical viewers in use.

4. Standardize Image Acquisition Workflows: Given the wide variety of image acquisition-related use cases across a multitude of clinical disciplines, standardizing the organization’s image acquisition workflow may seem like a daunting task. However, upon closer examination, there are really only a few variations to consider.  The creation of standardized workflows will enable faster onboarding of service lines needing image management services, and it will ensure that data standards are applied and that images are presented appropriately within the EHR.

5. Embrace Image Lifecycle Management: Most organizations are still retaining clinical images using expensive, antiquated storage technologies or ignoring the lifecycle management capabilities provided by their vendor neutral archives (VNAs) or image management solutions.  The use of hybrid cloud strategies, starting with Tier 4 image storage, is a great way to reduce the overall cost of retaining an image while accommodating the long-term retention requirements needed for research and for compliance with regulatory mandates like those required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

About Logicalis
Logicalis is an international multi-skilled solution provider providing digital enablement services to help customers harness digital technology and innovative services to deliver powerful business outcomes.

Our customers span industries and geographical regions; our focus is to engage in the dynamics of our customers’ vertical markets including financial services, TMT (telecommunications, media and technology), education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services, and to apply the skills of our 4,500 employees in modernizing key digital pillars, data center and cloud services, security and network infrastructure, workspace communications and collaboration, data and information strategies, and IT operation modernization.

We are the advocates for our customers for some of the world’s leading technology companies including Cisco, HPE, IBM, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa.  It is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with revenues of over $4 billion.

For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.

January 23, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 5 blogs containing over 11,000 articles with John having written over 5500 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 18 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Logicalis US: Image Management is One of Healthcare CIOs’ Toughest Tasks

Solution Provider IDs Five Core Components in an Effective Enterprise Imaging Strategy

NEW YORK, March 24, 2015 – Gathering, storing, accessing, and analyzing a rapidly expanding volume of patient images is one of the most complex IT tasks in today’s healthcare environments. These images tell a patient’s clinical life story, and with the recent proliferation of affordable digital technologies such as point-of-care ultrasounds, digital cameras and medical/surgical scopes, images in varying formats are being produced in record numbers by a variety of service lines outside of radiology – including surgical services, dermatology and pathology.  According to Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), the key to managing these images is to develop a comprehensive enterprise imaging strategy that addresses five core components and to do so, in a standardized, vendor neutral way.

“Developing a thorough enterprise imaging strategy is quickly becoming one of the most important things a hospital CIO can do,” says Kim Garriott, Principal Consultant, Healthcare Strategies, Logicalis Healthcare Solutions.  “Medical imaging is so much more than just capturing and storing X-rays and ultrasounds; it’s a multi-modal discipline that gathers images from a variety of sources and makes them readily available to clinicians through the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) regardless of the underlying technology used to obtain them. Imaging gives clinicians information they need to enhance patient outcomes, and having that technology available, from a business perspective, can result in increased reimbursements from insurance and Medicare.  Beyond the obvious quality of care issues, hospitals that aren’t taking the steps necessary to move their imaging management practices to the next level risk regulatory infringements and compromised data security making the development of an enterprise imaging strategy one of the most important tasks in healthcare IT.”

Healthcare Imaging’s Five Core Components
Logicalis Healthcare Solutions’ imaging experts have identified five core components that, when properly addressed within the healthcare system’s enterprise imaging strategy, will result in improved coordination of care, increased satisfaction among clinicians, improved patient engagement, streamlined operational costs, and stronger regulatory compliance:

  1. Acquisition: Healthcare IT pros must discover the technologies and clinical workflows used to acquire medical images across as many as 40 service lines before developing their EMR optimization plans.
  2. Storage: Keeping medical images on hand involves more than just storing them; it also requires an in-depth disaster recovery plan and whole-system monitoring to ensure those images are both available and secure 24×7.
  3. Access: Until now, physicians have accessed medical images in a variety of cumbersome ways ranging from portals to unsecure CDs and other portable media delivered directly by the patient into the doctor’s hands.  What doctors want – and are beginning to expect – is to have the patient’s entire medical image library available through their EMR and accessible for viewing regardless of device or source of acquisition.
  4. Sharing: The ultimate goal is for a variety of clinicians to be able to collaborate, securely sharing a patient’s images both within the same healthcare provider and between providers regardless of where those images reside.
  5. Analytics: Clinicians also need to be able to analyze medical images and the associated meta-data in a thoughtful, patient-centric way that leads them to new diagnoses and treatment plans that can benefit both the individual patient as well as a larger patient population as a whole.

Want to Learn More?

About Logicalis
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration, data center and cloud services, and managed services.

Logicalis employs over 3,800 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex IT infrastructures to meet the needs of almost 6,000 corporate and public sector customers.  To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, CA Technologies, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of $1.6 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific and is one of the leading IT and communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.

The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of approximately $6 billion.

March 24, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 5 blogs containing over 11,000 articles with John having written over 5500 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 18 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.