Carestream’s Clinical Collaboration Platform supports high volume and workflow efficiencies critical to cancer patient care. Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is one of the world’s leading cancer research, education, and treatment centres. We strive to provide world-class patient care. Carestream’s Clinical Collaboration Platform is helping us achieve our goal

What is your cloud strategy for medical imaging? Two large hospitals see it differently. Cloud strategies for storing and accessing medical images across the enterprise are front and center in healthcare IT these days. The increasing sophistication of imaging technology has resulted in substantial increases in

Centers consolidate workstations with Carestream Vue RIS and Vue PACS Imaging technology applications have the potential to provide many benefits – including increased efficiency. With this goal in mind, Reno Diagnostic Centers of Reno Nevada implemented Carestream’s Vue RIS and Vue PACS to help streamline workflow

Access to radiology reports can help eliminate barriers and enable collaboration

Close-up of surgeons hands holding surgical scissors

The number of new innovations in health IT can be overwhelming. Hospital CIOs and administrators must help evaluate new software for referral management, applications for improved transparency, and analytics software. How can HIT directors and hospital administrators decide which technologies are worth investing in? Answer: start with the ones – like cloud hosted PACS solutions – that solve a real problem – like radiology staffing shortages.

Nicola Strickland, head of the Royal College of Radiologists, made a convincing case to The Observer in 2016 for “how the crisis in radiology recruitment will break the entire NHS system in Britain”. And in January 2017, AuntMinnie Europe painted a dire picture of how a hard Brexit would further strain the lack of radiology resources.

Other parts of Europe, especially rural areas, face a similar problem. The shortage of radiologists and other health professionals is driving medical providers with no formal or previous affiliations to find ways to pool their resources and collaborate among their sites.

Fortunately, cloud based services and teleradiology are toppling the geographic barriers. An increasing number of medical health providers in Europe are installing PACS – Picture Archiving and Communication Systems – and hosting them in the cloud. For example, Spire Healthcare, one of the largest private healthcare groups in the UK, enabled cross site reporting using the Carestream cloud. Using different cloud services from Carestream, Spire Healthcare can store and archive data to enable cross site reporting and then distribution of the reports and associated images.

Throughout the U.S. and worldwide, equipment decision criteria are not so different

There are clear advantages to having new, up-to-date medical devices; including gains in productivity and efficiency. Medical equipment can support the movement to reduce healthcare costs and increase its efficiency and effectiveness. This movement is worldwide, and nothing new, as a graphic on medical device prioritiesMcKinsey report[1] stated a few years ago. “Today, medical device companies operate in a different world. In developed countries, healthcare systems are under acute financial pressure…. Developing economies are transforming the environment, too…. Success in emerging markets requires a deep understanding of stakeholders’ needs.”

New stakeholders influence purchase decisions

And new stakeholders are changing the way organizations look at the purchase of medical equipment. “In the developed world, decisions that used to be the sole preserve of doctors are now also made by regulators, hospital administrators, and other non-clinicians…. The result of this phenomenon is a shift from individual outcomes to a focus on population-level effectiveness.” Also, big data is beginning to offer a new level of evidence-based data that helps us evaluate the true advantages of technology.

The challenges and pathways to creating a unified framework for capturing, distributing and accessing clinical information

What is interoperability in healthcare? Interoperability can be described as a well-functioning central nervous system, coordinating the enterprise’s many roles and tasks toward a common end: the well-being of each patient.

illustration depicting connection

But when communications are slow, incomplete, or missing between any two entities — patients and providers, primary-care physicians and specialists, central and remote locations, and so on — the timeliness and quality of patient care can suffer. Many other parts of the total healthcare ecosystem can be affected as well: costs can rise, resources can be allocated inefficiently, and opportunities for constructive collaboration can be lost.

Information generated by different systems, on different networks and for different purposes becomes far more useful when a unified framework is in place for capturing, distributing and using the information. Ideally, with the appropriate security credentials, any individual user or collaborative team should be able to interact with the information they need, in the format they prefer, on their choice of device.

Why is interoperability important to healthcare?

Every stakeholder in the healthcare delivery process stands to benefit from interoperable systems built on interoperability standards that deliver collaborative transparency and efficiency. These stakeholders include patients who want to take more active responsibility for their own health; primary care physicians and specialists who are seeking meaningful collaboration, without information gaps, delays, or redundancies that could compromise quality; and providers in remote and rural areas who need the ability to share clinical images and data with centrally located specialists.

Preparing for the next-generation of medical imaging data and analytics

Today, the cloud is a grownup with a seat at the IT table. The major issues around the cloud (security, access and speed) have been satisfactorily resolved by industries outside of healthcare: technology, software, financial services, Cloud_imageand retail have been using the cloud for years.

Of course, healthcare does have its own unique issues of privacy, security and access that make it slow to adopt any new technology, and the cloud has been no exception. But progress has been made. In a recent annual study of 125 large and small cloud users, for the first time in 2016, security was not the first concern mentioned. Technology has jumped ahead to meet the challenges of healthcare’s journey to value.

The cloud is an essential part of the healthcare industry’s IT structure/restructure to reduce costs, increase clinical collaboration and speed up clinicians’ access to information. As larger study files boost storage requirements, Intel and Carestream have partnered in Intel’s Storage Builder Program. The purpose of the collaboration is to blend Carestream’s expertise in healthcare information systems with Intel’s technological prowess to increase the performance of Carestream’s PACS and RIS systems and to make them more useful to clinicians.  For example, Carestream recently deployed the new Intel® Solid-State Drive (SSD) Data Center (DC) Family for PCle® P3700 featuring Non-Volatile Memory Express™ (NVMe™) and observed a threefold increase in throughput in that portion of the Carestream Vue workflow.