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With the further adoption of federal pay-for-performance models, physicians are incentivized to collaborate across specialties for better patient outcomes. When looking closer at high-cost health conditions that these initiatives are focused on improving, imaging is a key component of the diagnosis and treatment continuum of care. More than ever before, the need for consistent and efficient cross departmental collaboration is on the rise. Consolidation and standardization of advanced viewing applications can create beneficial downstream effects for clinicians and IT to support efficient, consistent specialized patient care.
After an imaging study is performed, it may be displayed within the department and processed by a local specialty workstation. The studies typically are stored at a higher enterprise level, in a PACS or VNA, and subsequently shared out to various departments for review and treatment decisions. Whatever the current state of your organization, it's likely there's room for more consolidation of these one-off, departmental workstations. Consolidating these solutions can lead to savings (hardware/maintenance/training), and provides for consistent workflow across specialties.
Very few viewing providers can offer the full spectrum of 2D/3D/4D tools and interoperability required to make this type of consolidation a success. In addition to sophisticated multi-specialty toolsets, you'll want to ensure your viewing provider can deliver a scalable enterprise based model as opposed to single workstations. Beyond the IT factors, the viewer must offer the ability to share saved presentation states or scenes, integrate to your PACS and other critical IT systems. Viewers must have an intuitive user interface and easy collaboration tools. When you undertake this consolidation effort, the end result will provide an abundance of efficiencies for both IT and the clinical audience alike. You'll immediately begin to see less administrative requirements, simplified user management, a reduction in maintenance and service costs (for all the departmental systems that are no longer needed), minimized user training, ease of image access and a consistent user experience across your enterprise.