Friday, March 8, 2013

The Healthcare Information Integration Paradox

The Healthcare Information Integration Paradox

PACS is no longer a one-vendor solution nor an island of image information detached from the healthcare enterprise.  The end user is no longer looking for one company to provide a comprehensive solution to solve their PACS workflow challenges.  Providers are searching for a solutions vendor skilled at their segment of the workflow.  A specific answer to a very specialized task.    This is most obvious with vendor neutral archives, VNA’s.  Deploying a vendor neutral archive is the cornerstone of a decentralized, workflow enriched PACS.  But what is the risk of breaking up solutions between vendors?
Integration is the biggest fear and unknown quantity once multiple vendors are involved in what was a “big box” product solution.   So what do you look for when talking to a vendor about integration across multiple products? First,  it is best to focus on the company’s history and experience.  In the case of UltraRAD Corporation, we have been offering solutions that bridge multiple vendors for over twenty years.  The next topic to consider is touch points.  A touch point is defined by how many different segments of the workflow the product is connecting with.  In the case of UltraRAD’s UltraPREFETCH , the application may interact with an EMR, HIS, RIS or DICOM modality worklist on one side of the workflow as well as multiple archives, workstations or other type of DICOM nodes.  The aforementioned workflow takes place over multiple product vendors with variables such as bandwidth, issues in normalizing data types, and more complex integration touch points. UltraRAD addresses a number of these  in our whitepaper “Beyond the Web Viewer” and “Automated DICOM Pre-fetch for Legacy Application using UltraPREFETCH”.

So what does this all mean for you, the Provider?  It means making sure the vendor you are working with is comfortable working with other teams and disciplines.  Make sure the vendor is open to discussion  ensuring both parties acquiesce to the workflow and not to their inability to create flexible solutions.  Have a preliminary conference call with invested vendors to analyze their ability to have open dialog while minimizing pointing fingers at or defending their solution as the foundation for the workflow.  In a market that has never been faced with such radical change, it becomes imperative that you choose a vendor that is both proactive and reactive to changes in the workflow and help facilitate in a way that can show a direct return on investment.

Please drop us a line and let us know how UltraRAD can partner with you.

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