From the November 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
In part one of this two-part article, I discussed how medical imaging is considerably more complicated today.
Because of the multitude of individual systems involved and the myriad interdependencies between those systems, the selection of any one component or subsystem related to medical imaging across the enterprise should be a process orchestrated by a team comprising the leadership in the imaging departments and IT. There should be no individual decisions.
Now is the time for the organization to develop the enterprise imaging strategic plan that will specifically describe how the organization is going to achieve the level of systems integration required to deliver any piece of clinical information to the caregivers in the most cost effective and efficient manner.
The team should be made up of the senior leadership in the information technology department (CIO, CTO), as well as those individuals responsible for hardware/ software infrastructure, networks and data center operations. The team should include the directors from the various imaging departments, both those with established PACS, and those without PACS. System administrators (PACS, EMR, HIS, RIS) need to be included. Program directors and senior project managers whose responsibilities are connected in any way to the organization’s medical imaging operations should be included.
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Of course, this will quickly become a lengthy list, so most of the actual work will undoubtedly be assigned to working groups, but the entire team must be kept apprised of the details and recommendations. It is highly advisable to encourage physician participation in the high-level meetings. Radiologists, cardiologists and any physicians who will actually be using the technology to interpret images should have representation on the team, as their day-to-day work experiences will be directly affected by the department-level aspect of the enterprise imaging strategy. It would also be advisable to include input from the physicians who will be using the EMR to access imaging studies.
At the very least, the physicians should be interviewed to gain their perspective and their support of the eventual strategic plan. The planning process is fairly straightforward. The high-level meetings are essentially whiteboard and slide deck sessions. The first of these educational sessions should be designed to educate everyone on the current state of medical imaging across the health care system: