Emergent images support care of patients who need immediate treatment
Rochester, N.Y., November 8, 2012 — Thousands of health care providers will get easier access to the diagnostic images that can help them treat patients—from X-rays and CT scans to MRIs and ultrasounds—with an enhancement to the Image Exchange provided through the Rochester Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO).
First introduced in 2009, the Image Exchange provides Rochester RHIO users with access to diagnostic-quality images, on any Internet-connected computer, at the click of an icon. With a system update from another Rochester-based company, eHealth Technologies™, the Image Exchange adds several features that make the RHIO more valuable to physicians.
- “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.
- Images are displayed with an onboard “zero footprint” viewer that lets physicians analyze details and make side-by-side comparisons, similar to the PACS (picture archiving communications systems) software used by radiology professionals.
Retrieval is faster than before, with new software designed to deliver full-resolution images in a few seconds.
- “The Image Exchange is an innovative tool that has helped to improve the quality of care for patients where images are critical to providing treatment,” explained Ted Kremer, executive director of the Rochester RHIO. “It lets specialists and primary care doctors see not just radiology reports but the images on which those reports are based.
“The new Image Exchange improves not only the quality but the speed of care, by providing doctors and their staff immediate access to images whenever they are needed to help treat a patient.”
Kremer highlighted multiple benefits of the Image Exchange:
- Minimizing delays in patient treatment
- Reducing the need for costly duplicate exams
- Limiting unnecessary radiation exposure for patients
- Decreasing risk of medical errors due to an incomplete patient record
- Patients no longer need to obtain and carry X-ray films or images on CDs
- Physicians in different organizations can compare current and past diagnostic tests
- There is nothing for physicians to download; images can be accessed through any secure browser via the RHIO’s Virtual Health Record (VHR)
More than 130,000 images are added to the Image Exchange every month, including those from the 19 hospitals and major imaging providers Borg& Ide Imaging, University Medical Imaging, Rochester Radiology, and Rochester Diagnostic Imaging. Altogether, more than 400 practices across Rochester, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier of Upstate New York are connected to the RHIO, for access to patient data including lab reports, hospital discharge summaries, EMS prehospital care reports and medication history.
The technology updates from eHealth Technologies have been designed to work in concert with existing HIE and EMR solutions, requiring no additional training or changes to workflows to view diagnostic-quality images. ItseHealth Imaging Solutions balance the need for rapid image access with the goal of simplicity while minimizing costs and improving the timeliness of care for patients.
Ken Rosenfeld, president and chief technology officer for eHealth Technologies, said Rochester RHIO was the first to use its technology to share diagnostic images across a community. The company now serves a total of 10 HIEs around the country and provides its services to more than half of the nation’s top hospitals.
Rosenfeld explained that the Image Exchange is a valuable tool physicians need to achieve Meaningful Use, the federal standard that medical providers must meet in order to prove they are using technology effectively in their practice to improve care for patients. “We are pleased to work with the Rochester RHIO to improve this tool, making it simpler than ever to view patients’ images whenever and wherever needed.”
Other new features on the Image Exchange include: an embedded collaboration tool, which will allow two or more people to view and work with the same image simultaneously. A “forward to PACS” feature is coming soon, which imports images from the exchange into the user’s PACS system to build a more complete image record of the patient.
About Rochester RHIO
Rochester RHIO is a secure electronic health information exchange serving authorized medical providers and consenting patients in Monroe, Allegany, Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties in Upstate New York.
The service allows a medical care team to share records across institutions and practices, making patient information available wherever and whenever needed to provide the best care. Patients benefit from fewer repeated tests, easier second opinions, a reduced risk of mistakes caused by poor handwriting or incomplete records, and more informed care during office visits and emergencies.
Physicians and patients can learn more about Rochester RHIO by visiting RochesterRHIO.org or by calling 877-865-RHIO (7446).
About eHealth Technologies™
eHealth Technologies is a leading referral management and diagnostic image exchange service provider, serving over half of the nation’s top 100 hospitals and leading health information exchanges (HIEs), including 11 of the top 17 hospitals selected to the prominent honor roll of the best hospitals U.S. News & World Report. The company’s services include eHealth Referral Solutions™ and eHealth Imaging Solutions™. These solutions utilize innovative health information technology to access medical records, pathology slides and diagnostic images in any format, and then securely deliver them in a digital format to improve continuity of care. Visit www.https://ehealthtechnologies.com/