A patient driven approach to healthcare essentially evokes the idea that the patient is an active participant in their treatment. While we like to think that in 2017 everyone practicing medicine is putting this approach to use, the reality couldn’t be more opposite. With flip phones slowly becoming dinosaur technology, perhaps it's time we all take a hint. If technology rules the roost….why can’t it become the medium by which we communicate diagnoses and medical images?
Internet & Medicine: It’s A Love-Hate Thing
While technology has made life so much better in many ways, it also has its downsides. One of the banes of most physicians is the internet. While it's incredible from a clinical point of view, and enables access to a world wide library of resources, it provides the same to patients...which is where the irritation takes root. Today’s patients have websites like webmd at their fingertips. People are more curious than ever, and want to know what is wrong with them, how to cure their loved ones, and of course: the secret to long lasting beauty. That being said, you may have already experienced a patient or two demanding access to their medical imaging. It may not be conducive to your staff’s hard pressed time, but if a patient requests a copy of their scan for a second opinion, you have to provide it. So if you are still using CDs, or (gasp) film to share medical imaging, we have something that can make your life a whole lot easier. You most likely already use it and don’t even realize it. It's the norm in the tech industry. But most of all: it's efficient, it's effective, it's reliable….it's the Cloud. Yes, Cloud as in the way you store all of your images with Google Photos. Cloud, as in the way you manage and store all of your documents, music, apps, videos and photos across your Apple devices via iCloud. That same Cloud has the capability to offer you SAM: the sharing, access and mobility with medical images.
Have you ever gotten a call from a patient or doctor looking for help to view images on a CD? Somehow the fact that a surgeon in a different facility cannot view the images your staff burned on a CD has come around to becoming your problem. As if you didn’t already have enough to worry about! Unfortunately, this issue applies to countless physicians. Now more than ever, doctors' offices are having to play the role of IT support for patients as well as referring practices. Quite frankly, it's too time consuming!
The Cloud is not a quick fix, it's a long term solution. It is both, economical and reliant. It provides the physician and patient with the access to the medical images they require, on any mobile device. That’s right - for those of you still relying on Horos or OsiriX to answer all of your needs, you no longer need to be confined to a Mac desktop viewing station. The possibilities are endless. From a physician’s perspective, enabled SAM or sharing, access and mobility with medical images is absolutely critical to providing quality healthcare services. Why rely on bulky film and fragile CDs when you can go green? One mouse click and you are able to instantaneously share and access medical images.
The Cloud Will Save You Time & Money
In healthcare, not only do we want to deliver the best quality of care possible, we want to do so economically. With a local desktop viewing station and even local PACS, you are restricted. Your images if sent to another practice may or may not be able to be read due to “technical difficulties”. Note, the Cloud cannot lose your medical images in the same manner that a CD or film can be lost or broken. In fact, secure online medical image sharing isn't bound to a physical medium. Your patients no longer have to wait for another CD to be burned and sent out. Which by the way, adds time and manufacturing costs for you. Instead, patients can continue to receive care and not have to worry about losing their medical imaging, because it's always available in the Cloud. However, making your patients happy shouldn't have to be accomplished at the expense of operational efficiency. That's the beauty of electronic image sharing. By integrating it into your practice, efficiency actually improves as office managers no longer have to burn CDs. The Cloud assists in saving time and minimizing the considerable room for human error related to CDs ending up in the wrong hands. It also allows practices to save on the cost of ink, CDs and equipment repairs to expensive CD publishers.
Ultimately, online medical image sharing provides transparency for patients. It helps establish trust and shows you are willing to deliver that extra level of care patients need and desire. The best part is that adding Cloud enabled sharing to your practice is easy. There is no need to disrupt your current workflows. It's something that experienced technicians can painlessly implement in short order, allowing you to provide a greatly improved patient experience. In the long-run, you will reap the rewards of retained and new customers as a result of your superior customer service.
The thing about patient driven healthcare is that the patient always comes first. By upgrading to a Cloud solution you are gaining the ability to implement SAM to begin sharing, accessing and going mobile with your images anytime anywhere….so long as you have internet access and appropriate credentials. Allowing SAM to become a part of your workflow allows you to treat your patients in a more time efficient manner. It furthermore opens up your staff’s schedule (since they no longer have to burn those CDs) to focus on other important matters. The Cloud allows physicians to interact and collaborate in real time on studies, potentially saving lives, or at least improving medical outcomes. So how about it? Tired of being left behind and having patients that won't stop asking for copies of medical images? Consider a Cloud based solution...providing you with SAM.