We (the Image Exchange subgroup of the HIMSS-SIIM EI work group) published our first white paper in June, during SIIM 2016 in Portland. It’s called Considerations for Exchanging and Sharing Medical Images for Improved Collaboration and Patient Care. (Yes, we know, it’s a mouthful.) It outlines clinical and financial benefits of a sound image-exchange strategy as a component of your Enterprise Imaging plan, and we hope it is helpful to you.
Moving forward, I’ll be collaborating with Dr. Chris Roth,Vice Chairman of Radiology, Information Technology and Clinical Informatics a Duke University Medical Centerto co-chair a new subgroup: The EI Value Proposition. We are lucky to have some very thoughtful people participating in the subgroup with us. While the value of EI is apparent to many of us, lots of organizations are still trying to make sense of it and understand its value. We plan to provide real-world success stories, lessons learned, and tools to help those just getting started to evangelize and quantify EI value.
Some EI value points to consider…
Eliminating Redundant Systems and Costs
Imaging needs of service lines like pathology, the emergency department, ophthalmology, and dermatology often fly under the radar of IT. They may purchase redundant storage systems, pay redundant systems support fees, and pay for redundant resources to support their own data solo. Many can be eliminated or consolidated, and provide meaningful savings.
Reducing HIPAA Vulnerability
These same service lines may use existing cameras, mobile phones, and desktop computers to capture and manage images. The Health and Human Services HIPAA Breach reporting page lists health systems that were fined up to $850,000 for HIPAA breaches might have been avoided with EI. Laptops and cameras have been stolen – devices that contained clinical photographs of skin and CT scans (among other PHI). Avoiding fines (and negative press) for HIPAA breaches alone can justify investment in EI.
Accelerating MACRA Readiness
Health systems are in the early stages of understanding the impact of MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, passed in April 2015). But they need to come up to speed quickly. The performance period that will be used as a basis for 2019 payments begins in January of 2017 (though the reporting period parameters are in flux and will likely change). At the very least, health systems have to start collecting metrics to understand how the 2019 payments will be affected by current performance.
EI can support many of the Radiology Performance Metrics in this to-be-finalized legislation. Analytics and Image exchange components of EI, for instance, can help radiology organizations understand and improve performance on metrics for Quality, Advancing Care Information, Clinical Practice Improvement, and Resource Use.
These examples don’t begin to scratch the surface of how EI can help organizations. The EI Value Proposition workgroup just recently kicked off work on this important topic. We’ll keep you posted as we develop case studies and other resources that your organization might find helpful.