One of the biggest advantages that a Cloud based solution offers is the ability to collaborate with other physicians. Since childhood, the notion of teamwork is drilled into us. However, for the most part, working in concert has been a little difficult in the world of modern medicine. I’m not talking about in the Operating Theater, I’m referring to everything else. Outside that OT or OR, there really is a lack of real time collaboration. But wait! We have good news: you can now put those skills to work as you finally have the resources to collaborate with countless specialists around the world...in real time.
Using Horos? Listen Up.
Working with Horos, OsiriX, and other desktop viewers is great. In fact, we often hear that these viewers are more powerful and user friendly than many paid-for versions. In a way it makes sense. If you use an open source product like Horos, you have a worldwide community that is constantly working on the code to better the overall product. However, such products lack one extremely important quality: reliability. They have a sky high risk of losing your data permanently. But we’ve written blogs about that already. Today, we want to discuss how the Cloud can improve medical outcomes in a different manner altogether. A topic that is not discussed nearly enough is the impact sharing and immediate access to images can have on a case. Here’s a real scenario that should sum it up…
A Medical Outcome Hangs In The Balance
Anna is an eight year old girl. At a very young age she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Her physician informed the parents that their daughter would require regular chest x-rays for the rest of her life. Anna’s father Mike has always wanted to ensure that each physician treating his child has all the information they need. Hence, during each visit to the hospital, Mike takes pictures of Anna’s scans. In case you are wondering, he stores them on his cell phone. Why? It’s the purple elephant in the room: images don’t always get where they are needed when they are needed. Often, Mike will get to an appointment with Anna (one that was made months in advance), and the CD with the images hasn’t arrived in the mail. It’s times like this where Mike pulls out his phone to show the physician the images. However, not only is it a small screen...it's not a diagnostically approved image. It’s a frustrating experience for everyone.
It so happens that when the practice does receive the images in the mail and they upload it on their Horos or OsiriX viewer, they have to physically send a copy with their notes to the next specialist in line. So obviously when the next doctor in line has gotten the medical images, a great deal of time has passed. Overall, these specialists can call the other physicians on the case to discuss anomalies. They can describe the concerns they see in the scans over the phone or video chat. But with a desktop viewer, they CAN NOT collaborate on the case in real time.
Now, Consider This...
If these specialists all had a Cloud based solution, this process would never take months. Instead it would take moments. As soon as the chest x-ray is taken, it would be sent up to the Cloud from the modality via an image router. The medical image could then be pulled by any physician, so long as they have the correct credentials. It gets better - ALL of the specialists on the case could view the images, see the notes that are being made, as well as identify any anomalies in real time. Not only does this save time, it can make the difference between a good and bad medical outcome. Just think about it: what if Anna developed an anomaly that needed to be operated on immediately, but due to images being shared via CDs and DVDs, the concern was not discovered until it was too late? This is the case today with countless patients and their physicians. Unless if you use a smarter method to share and access medical images, you are not optimizing the way you practice medicine. Still unsure? We have some tips for saving money on your PACS update...
While desktop viewers like Horos and OsiriX work well for their purpose, that purpose does not include the ability to collaborate on a case. Depending on your specialty, that might be a necessity to have at your practice. The Cloud enables real time collaboration through SAM: the sharing, access and mobility of medical images. Essentially, you can share a diagnostically approved image by the click of a button through a secure connection provided by your vendor. Just think about it, instead of Mike taking blurry pictures on his phone, Anna’s doctors could simply share the image with him, and since it is diagnostically approved, he could go to any specialist in the world and share that image with them. It’s that easy. Your recipient can really access that image anywhere in the world, given that they have internet access and credentials. And for those that just don't have enough time in the day, you can view these images on any device: PC, smartphone, tablet- that’s right you are no longer limited to a Mac...unlike Horos. So consider the value that the Cloud can offer you. In fact, if you are interested in learning more about updating your practice and optimizing the way you share and access medical images, check out our webinar! We promise, it's purely educational...no sales pitch whatsoever.