Doctors can view diagnostic images faster and easier using eHealth Connect® Image Exchange. Emergent exams are available to specialists immediately, before the radiologist has issued a report. All images are accessible from the full patient record through a zero-footprint viewer.
Rochester RHIO (Regional Health Information Organization) recognized the importance of including image delivery as an integral part of their Health Information Exchange (HIE) which provides 1200 area physicians at over 400 practices with patient information from more than 38 healthcare organizations in the greater Rochester New York region. This includes hospitals, imaging providers, reference labs, insurance providers, and radiology practices—serving more than 1.3 million patients.”
Traditionally, medical image sharing required clinicians to log into multiple, disparate picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) in order to view their patients’ images,” said Ted Kremer, Executive Director of Rochester RHIO. “Clinicians and patients often had to transport CDs, DVDs, and films between locations, or very large DICOM studies were manually transmitted, all of which are expensive and time consuming.”
Image access is essential
A more reliable and cost-effective means to access diagnostic-quality medical images was essential. The goals were to improve the timeliness of patient care, reduce wasted healthcare dollars, avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation from redundant exams, and eliminate the costs of inefficient image distribution and management.
It was also essential that the Rochester RHIO be able to integrate a technology directly into its existing HIE core framework, further leveraging the network by seamlessly connecting the disparate PACS at eleven radiology and cardiology imaging centers.
Rochester RHIO teamed up with their HIE framework provider and eHealth Technologies™ to implement eHealth Connect Image Exchange providing users with near instantaneous access to recent and prior imaging exams, in full diagnosticquality, from any Internet-connected computer. Within a few months, Rochester RHIO was “live” in six radiology centers.
Authorized users within the HIE can access all images from anywhere they are delivering care, including X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds. With a single click from within the context of the patient record, the image is displayed with a zero footprint viewer that lets physicians analyze details and make side-by-side comparisons, similar to the PACS software used by radiology professionals.”
eHealth Connect has helped to improve the quality of care for patients where images are critical to providing treatment,” explained Kremer. “It lets specialists and primary care doctors see not just radiology reports but the images on which those reports are based, immediately.”
“Emergent” images, which need to be seen right away for emergency treatment, are now accessible before a radiologist has issued a report. For example, an X-ray taken at an urgent care clinic or small hospital emergency department can be instantly available to the specialist or larger hospital where a patient may need to go for more treatment.
“eHealth Connect has helped to improve the quality of care for patients.” Ted Kremer, Executive Director for Rochester RHIO
More than 130,000 images are added to Rochester RHIO every month, including those from 18 hospitals and major imaging providers. Implementing this service has helped the Rochester RHIO reduce healthcare costs and improve patient safety by eliminating unnecessary duplicate imaging procedures while decreasing risk of medical errors due to incomplete patient records. “
eHealth Connect offers a tremendous advantage over traditional methods to obtain and view medical images. This new method of distributing patient images throughout the community allows us to access diagnostic quality images, right from the patient’s record,” said Dr. Daniel Jacobson, President, of Rochester Radiology and Rochester Diagnostic Imaging.