CIOs Indicate Lack of Interoperability is a Key Challenge as Institutions Build Enterprise Imaging Strategies
lifeIMAGE (@), the nation’s leading medical image exchange technology connecting health care networks, providers and patients to improve care quality, released the findings of a survey it commissioned from members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) (@). The survey results show enterprise imaging strategies are key priorities for healthcare leadership and that many organizations are well on their way to implementing them, but interoperability roadblocks remain a critical challenge. And, while IT executives have an understanding of what needs to be done, they also recognize that unattainable image data can negatively impact patient care. An eBook outlining more detailed results of the Survey is available for download here.
For the survey, lifeIMAGE polled 100 members of CHIME, who represent various facilities, including hospital/acute care, medical groups and long term/extended care. These health IT leaders revealed the following insights:
- Imaging Isn’t Just for Radiology, It’s a Shared Enterprise Responsibility: The survey found that imaging, which was once under the tight control of radiology, has evolved into a core responsibility for an organization’s IT staff, with 86 percent of surveyed CIOs reporting that IT owns enterprise imaging either exclusively or as a shared initiative with radiology departments. In other survey findings: More than 58 percent of facilities have implemented an enterprise imaging strategy to help manage, store and exchange medical image data. And, nearly half of respondents agree that a successful enterprise image strategy is a shared responsibility. CIOs recognize that such capability is needed in many clinical disciplines, citing a variety of departments in need; chief among them: cardiology, orthopedics and radiology.
- Interoperability Impacts Patient Care: More than 50 percent of respondents indicated that inefficient imaging practices could lead to delays in diagnosis and care, unnecessarily repeating studies, and patients potentially going elsewhere for care. The overall interoperability outlook, however, is bleak: While 86 percent of CIOs note improving care coordination is a driver for interoperability, more than half of the organizations surveyed cannot yet move imaging data between systems and applications. Other drivers of interoperability include reducing redundant testing for value-based care (71 percent), improving physician satisfaction (63 percent) and reducing patient exposure to radiation (42 percent). Additionally, 46 percent said that the biggest challenge is integrating imaging technology systems with an Electronic Healthcare Record.
- Interoperability Cost Implications are a Secondary Concern: One-third of surveyed CIO respondents indicated their facility might be losing revenue because of image data interoperability challenges. Several respondents cited value-based contracts that do not reimburse for duplicate exams. Overall, the survey responses tell the story of how payers are incentivizing interoperable health data through bundled payments and other programs that reward health providers who do not re-image patients when it is clinically unnecessary.
“It was telling to learn that the majority of CIOs surveyed say meeting interoperability at their facilities remains a challenge,” said Matthew Michela, CEO and president of lifeIMAGE. “Healthcare IT executives have an understanding of what needs to be done, because they’re seeing how unattainable image data can negatively impact patient care, but they haven’t yet solved the technical issues surrounding image interoperability. To thrive in today’s competitive market, CIOs must develop enterprise-wide clinical imaging interoperability strategies supported through partners like lifeIMAGE to reduce unnecessary testing, better coordinate care and engage patients.”
In order to share images, health systems need an integrated combination of both technology approaches to achieve true interoperability and realize tangible results with image exchange workflows.
lifeIMAGE commissioned a survey of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), the professional organization for Chief Information Officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders, in June 2016. It was completed by 100 member executives, representative of those who oversee the information services department and chair the information technology steering committee within their facilities.
lifeIMAGE is the nation’s leading medical image exchange solution connecting health care networks, providers and patients to imaging records, regardless of where exams are performed or stored. It has been adopted by more than 130 multi-site health systems across the country to improve care coordination for patient consultations, referrals and transfers. Providers use lifeIMAGE to improve the quality and timeliness of care, expand referral business, and eliminate wasteful spending.
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,900 CIO members and over 150 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve.