DICOM Grid, the leading provider of cloud imaging software, announced that it has been contracted by Greater Houston Healthconnect to electronically deliver medical images to area hospitals and physicians at the point-of- care.
Healthconnect, the regional HIE serving 20 counties in Southeast Texas, is collaborating with DICOM Grid to create an image exchange network that will enable sharing of diagnostic images in real-time irrespective of where and when the image was originally performed. It is estimated that out of roughly 300 HIEs that exist today, less than 2 percent support medical images.
“With this solution we will help physicians and hospitals to access prior imaging studies much faster. That accelerated delivery time will mean providers can make more informed treatment decisions and help to eliminate unnecessary duplicative tests, which are often not reimbursable,” says Phil Beckett, PhD, Healthconnect’s Acting CEO and Chief Technology Officer.
This service will be available to upwards of 15,000 physicians and 130 hospitals in the region. Using the image exchange network, participating providers in Healthconnect can use query and retrieve functionality to electronically collect, view, share, and store patient image exams. By facilitating this process, DICOM Grid’s solution will reduce the current method of sharing exams on CDs.
“Text-based records are only telling part of a patient’s story. Access to medical images gives care providers a more complete record of a patient’s profile and helps to give text- based records contextual support,” commented Dr. Randall Stenoien, CEO of Houston Medical Imaging. “The sharing of medical imaging data provides a wealth of untapped potential for HIEs.”
Only a small percentage of HIEs have incorporated an image exchange component into their data sharing abilities, but real-time sharing of diagnostic imaging holds great promise for patient outcomes and efficiency “Images are an integral part of the patient’s medical history,” says Morris Panner, CEO of DICOM Grid. “Due to large file sizes and formats image exams can be the most difficult part of the medical record to manage and exchange. New security and cloud technology breaks down these barriers and puts the information at the physicians’ fingertips when and where it is needed.”