The image archive: today through 2020
One of the most challenging aspects of healthcare is planning for the future. In particular, information systems that include images require an understanding not just of the most useful information for today, but also a vision of the projected needs of our many stakeholders in five, 10 or even 20 years from now.
While we don’t claim to know it all, it is clear that the stakeholders in an information system of the future will include many more collaborators than it does today. Also, the role of the patient will become even more critical as more patients take responsibility to report their own clinical data through wearable devices that send data directly to the electronic health record (EHR). Meanwhile, our clinicians grow in appreciation of the value of access to a complete patient record, including images. And we haven’t yet mentioned the need to provide access to genomic data to inform clinical decision support.
Our CIO eBook chapter on this topic is a good “thought starter”, whether you’re a CIO, a clinician or a professional engaged in healthcare. Here are a few highlights from the chapter.
To help scope the discussion of planning the archive of the future, we called on two experts—Dr. Mark Blatt, MD, now retired, formerly Worldwide Medical Director, Intel; and Dr. Marco Foracchia, Medical IT Systems Manager, Santa Maria Nuovo Hospital in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Dr. Blatt talked about the trends and developments in technology that enable an institution to organize and access the growing amounts of data that the future will require. Dr. Foracchia gave us an extremely practical view of the experience of planning and implementing an enterprise-wide image-enabled information system.
At Reggio Emilia, the Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) enables intelligent storage of data to support collaboration. The VNA supports storage of various types of images including radiology DICOM data, multi-frame cine loops and images from other sources. This year, they will add genomic information to the VNA.
In his interview, Dr. Blatt describes the amount of data that can go into the VNA as “enormous”. It includes radiology of course, but also dermatology, cardiology including cath, echo, nuclear, GI labs, ophthalmology, pathology, wound care, otorhinolaryngology, neurosurgery and oncology, including the genomic data that’s now stored as image data.
LISTEN NOW: Dr. Mark Blatt on source data for the VNA.
Where do you start with archive planning? At the beginning by surveying the data sources. Dr. Foracchia’s audit of Reggio Emilia revealed 534 data sources, many of which were not apparent prior to the audit.
For more detail on the planning of an archive of the future, along with interviews of Dr. Foracchia and Dr. Blatt, read the CIO eBook, Chapter 7.
What’s in your enterprise archive? What have you left out and why? Please comment!
About the CIO eBook: Carestream publishes an eBook based on issues of importance to CIOs and often based on webinars facilitated by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2) Online Thought Leadership Series. It is made possible through an unrestricted grant from Carestream. Read blog posts summarizing earlier chapters of this eBook on Everything Rad.
Jeff Fleming is Carestream’s Vice President of Sales and Services for Healthcare Information Systems