If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is an image in an electronic health record worth? For your surgeons, who nowadays rely on still images and video clips for most every patient, the ability to add crisp, detailed visual information to the clinical narrative is priceless. The inclusion of images into the EHR provides a complement to the operative narrative that results in a more robust summary of the care episode. Photographic documentation improves coordination of care among caregivers and reduces subjective interpretation of the written report.
"Before, you'd get a paper chart and a jacket full of images that would be the story of the patient," says one physician. "Now, with integrating the images into the electronic record, you get a much more comprehensive view of the patient's surgical history."
Challenges of video integration
Your job is to manage the clinical imaging workflow, to make sure your surgeons can view and manipulate the images and video that they capture both during and after the case. Displaying images in operative and endoscopic suites is the easy part. Storing and routing those images to the patient's EHR and ensuring that your docs have secure on-demand access is the real challenge.
You'd think it'd be easy to find a comprehensive image management solution that lets surgeons view and manipulate video and images intra-operatively and post-operatively. But there are 4 major hurdles we're still trying to clear.
- First, there are dozens of different image-capture devices in your ORs scope video, X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs and CTs. Importing all of these different imaging modalities is technically difficult. You want to find an image management vendor that can get all of these devices to "speak to each other" and store all of these images into one central storage depository.