Healthcare CIOs weigh in on the topics of PACS consolidation, image migration and vendor neutral archive (VNA) consideration
Commvault surveyed more than 100 College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) members to understand the current state of the industry as it relates to medical image management. The survey showed that an overwhelming majority of CIO’s (86 percent) think it is important for healthcare systems to consolidate clinical, revenue cycle management and business information into one platform. Most important, healthcare leaders are adopting VNA’s at a rapid pace with 66 percent either in the planning stages or currently using a VNA. Our results highlight the importance of enterprise imaging as part of a holistic data management strategy, and suggest that a variety of approaches and technologies are being deployed to aggregate, archive and share medical images.
Medical imaging has changed dramatically in recent years. Changing standards of care, data growth and industry trends that promote the widespread deployment of IT solutions have brought medical imaging to the center of the healthcare industry’s consciousness. Once used primarily for diagnosis, medical imaging has taken on a much larger role in the treatment of patients in today’s world. X-ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound are now used by all medical specialties to augment clinical judgment not only in diagnosis, but also to gauge the success of care protocols post-treatment and prevent future medical events. As such, the exchange of medical images and the facility with which primary and referring clinicians can access them has become ever more important, with real implications for reimbursement models such as Value Based Care. Medical imaging data, which makes up more than 50 percent of a hospital’s data volume, is increasing at a rate of 30 percent per year. Due to the sheer volume of these data sets, combined with their increased importance in care protocols, concerns about image management have become top of mind for hospital IT departments across the world, necessitating a radical shift in the mindset of their management enterprise imaging as part of a holistic data management strategy, and suggest that a variety of approaches and technologies are being deployed to aggregate, archive and share medical images.
86% of systems reported that it was important or somewhat important for their organization to consolidate their clinical, revenue cycle management, and business information into a single platform.
15% will allow their current PACS vendor to lead.
7.5% will employ the use of data migration product/service.
7.5% will do it themselves.
Importance of a Single Platform for all Data
It is important to remember that medical images are just one component of a hospital’s overall data management strategy. The study found that the majority of systems (86%) reported it was important for their organization to consolidate their clinical, revenue cycle management and business information into a single platform which includes EHR, imaging, billing and financial. Overwhelmingly, CIOs responding to this survey agree that a true, holistic data management strategy is one that accounts for both business and clinical data.
When it comes to an overall enterprise imaging strategy, approximately 60 percent of responding organizations consolidate imaging platforms while 40 percent employ the use of multiple platforms. These results suggest that although there is evidence that image consolidation into one enterprise imaging platform is the industry preference, there is no single best practice when it comes to managing a hospital’s medical images. To further underscore the slim delta between those organizations that consolidate and those which access more than one PACS, 55 percent of respondents answered that they have two or more PACS in production today. This information allows us to conclude that vendors who are able to work consultatively with hospitals to fit into their existing imaging strategy—be that one of consolidation or decentralization—are poised for success in this rapidly evolving industry.
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of respondents answered that they have 2 or more PACS in production today.
Of those who were likely to consider decommissioning legacy PACS in the next 12 months, the vast majority (70 percent) planned to work with their VNA vendor for this service. Smaller subsets of the group were considering one of the following paths forward with regard to migration: allow their current PACS vendor to lead (15 percent), employ the use of a data migration product/service (7.5 percent) or DIY (7.5 percent). These results suggest that overall, healthcare organizations considering VNA prefer a one-stop-shop approach in which the vendor both migrates and archives images.
Respondents were split into three camps when asked how likely their organization was to consider a VNA solution for medical images. One third of those queried said they are currently using a VNA, and another third are likely to consider a VNA within the next 12 months. The outlook on VNA as a solution, therefore, is overwhelmingly positive, with two thirds of respondents either utilizing a VNA solution at present or planning to move that direction in the near future. Of the 33 percent of CIOs surveyed who were not considering a VNA in the next 12 months, the majority cited lack of budget, which may suggest a willingness to move in this direction if money was not an obstacle. The management of medical images continues to evolve, and momentum continues to build toward more flexible—and more connected—environments. It is clear that healthcare providers understand the importance of holistic data management across their enterprise—not just for medical imaging, but for all clinical and business data.
60% of respondents answered that they consolidate imaging platforms.
40% suggested they employ the use of multiple platforms.
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