April 17, 2014 - Sharing images with interpretive reports across an EHR is an ongoing challenge. Over the past few years, cloud-based image exchange networks are designed to support sharing of images and patient data across the health care networks.
On the forefront of this trend is Nuance Communications, Inc., which just announced the availability of Nuance PowerShare™ Network, a cloud-based network for securely connecting physicians, patients, government agencies, specialty medical societies and others to share essential medical images and reports as simply as people exchange information using social networks. Nuance PowerShare Network promotes informed and connected physicians and patients who can instantly view, share and collaborate while addressing patients’ healthcare needs.
“Organizations are being tasked to communicate efficiently both in and out of their networks to provide clinical insight to physicians beyond one person or office to a much broader team involved in the continuum of care,” said Keith Dreyer, DO, PhD, FACR, vice chairman of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) IT and Informatics Committee.
“Nuance PowerShare Network addresses the information sharing challenge physicians face today with a network that supports things we’ve dreamed of doing for years,” he added.
Nuance PowerShare Network is used by more than 1,900 provider organizations for sharing images via the cloud using open standards. Made possible through the acquisition of Accelarad, this medical imaging exchange eliminates the costly and insecure process of managing images on CDs and removes silos of information in healthcare that inhibit providers from optimizing the efficiency and quality of care they provide. Anyone can join the network regardless of IT systems in place to instantly view and manage images needed to consult, diagnose or treat patients, enabling clinicians to more seamlessly evaluate and deliver care for patients who transition between facilities or care settings.
Nuance is used by more than 500,000 clinicians and is a component within the radiology workflow and a partner for 1,600+ provider organizations that use Nuance PowerScribe for radiology reporting and communications. Health care organizations that use Nuance PowerScribe can immediately leverage their existing investment and begin sharing radiology reports along with images, such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, EKGs, wound care images, dermatology images or any other type of image. This simplifies secure health information exchange between multiple providers, patients and disparate systems without costly and time-consuming interfaces, CD production or the need to install additional third-party systems.
“Integrated image and report sharing helps us deliver quality care and drive down costs especially when patients transfer from one facility to another. Whether at their desktop or on their mobile device, our physicians can see the study that was done along with the interpretive report, which provides the information they need to treat the patient and avoid duplicate testing,” said Deborah Gash, vice president and CIO, Saint. Luke’s Health System in Kansas City. “By integrating this with our EHR, PowerShare will enable physicians to manage inbound imaging through one point of access and login. Physicians in our 11 hospitals and 100-mile radius referral network see this cutting-edge technology as a way to deliver the highest level of patient care."
Image exchange networks are growing rapidly. Many are built on vendor-neutral archives (VNA) or picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) integrated into electronic heath records (EHRs) to their network. In fact, the global VNA and PACS markets are spreading their reach and will be worth $3.5 billion by 2018, according to a study1 by MarketsandMarkets.
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