Web Image Access – Are You Ready for the Next Phase of Radiology Image Distribution?

Exciting innovations in web-based technology are allowing smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops to be used to deliver imaging information to the modern day physician without the need for physical media. These new technologies are spawning a new phase of image distribution in healthcare. The days of burning CDs for referring physicians will soon come to an end and web image access will become the new standard. The question is: Is your organization ready for the next phase of image distribution? Below are some important areas in which all imaging providers must have a solution to stay above water in the coming years.

Full Featured Mobile Access

The modern imaging provider must have a solution to deliver their referring and consulting physicians mobile access to images and reports from anywhere. Physicians today require on-the-go access, so it is critical that the portal solution is supported on all smartphone and tablet devices. It is not uncommon to see a primary care physician bring a tablet into a patient’s room to review a study, or for a physician to grab his/her smartphone to view critical results for a study. It’s necessary to provide referrers of specialties such as surgery and emergency medicine with easy to use features such as scout lines, distance measurement, flipping, rotating, zooming, panning, window and leveling, and multiple viewport layouts while they review their studies.

Instant Emergency Access

Readiness for emergency situations should not be overlooked when it comes to meeting the demands of the healthcare industry today. The ability to provide outside physicians with emergency access to imaging studies on-demand has become a necessity. Outside physicians should be able to access their studies in emergency situations to view images and the diagnostic report. Modern RIS/PACS technology provides a simple means for imaging facilities to offer instant study access to any individual who will aid in patient care during emergency situations.

In-house EHR Access

The ideal solution for image distribution to referrers is to allow them to access images and reports directly from their own EHR. Physicians would have just one place to go to review images and reports for all of the patients to whom they provide care. Stage 2 of Meaningful Use is driving this goal by including the Menu Measure Imaging Results, which states that images and reports must be accessible through the Eligible Physician’s EHR. Modern EHRs are able to transmit diagnostic reports with an embedded link to the images directly into an outside referrer’s EHR via Direct messaging. This eliminates the need for costly HL7 interfaces and custom integrations. The US Government continues to push forward with Meaningful Use, and adoption of MU-certified technology is aggressively rising. It is clear that the demand for providers to be able to deliver referrers with images and reports that are accessible through their own EHR will be critical in the coming years.

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