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Expect More From Your Enterprise Image Exchange: 5 Questions to Ask About Your Current Solution

2 healthcare providers reviewing enterprise image exchange solution on tablet

Thinking about modernizing your enterprise image exchange solution? Don’t overlook these 5 questions.

In the world of healthcare, where every decision impacts patient care, your enterprise image exchange solution may have a bigger impact than you realize on the patient experience.

The problem with legacy image exchange systems is that they deemphasize patient access, focus on provider-to-provider image transfer only and have network restrictions in place that rely on outdated sharing methods like CD burning to help fill gaps. This creates unnecessary barriers to the timely access of imaging records and reports, eroding patient experience, retention and continuity of care while incurring avoidable costs for healthcare providers.

Consider these alarming statistics: According to a 2023 PocketHealth patient poll, while 92% of patients state that it’s extremely important to be able to review their imaging reports, 62% feel more informed about their online shopping deliveries than their medical imaging results.

If there was ever a time to pause and reevaluate, it’s now. For example, does your current image exchange meet patient expectations beyond mere functionality? Are you able to use your image exchange to improve patient engagement and retention? Are patients choosing your institution because you offer fast, easy access to imaging records?

If you answered no to the above, then it’s time to stop accepting the status quo and challenge the shortcomings of your legacy system. This article serves as your guide, posing 5 pivotal questions to assess your current image exchange solution, so you can be sure your investment not only meets but exceeds the needs of your patients, staff and partners.

1. Does the solution drive patient retention by improving patient engagement?

Putting patients at the center of the image exchange ecosystem is integral to establishing trust, reinforcing positive provider-patient relationships and fostering long-lasting relationships early in the care journey, improving both patient retention and follow-up compliance.

According to a 2023 PocketHealth patient survey, 87% of patients are more likely to return to a provider when they offer easy online access to their medical imaging and reports. Furthermore, 78% of patients agree that having access to their reports resulted in asking hospital or imaging center staff fewer questions, while another 65% caught information that their doctor didn’t share in a follow-up appointment.

Enterprise Imaging Exchange 87% pie chart stat

Look for these patient-centric features when evaluating an image exchange solution:

  • Educational tools to help patients better understand imaging exam results, ask the right questions and know what next steps to take.
  • Image-sharing capabilities to allow patients to easily share results via channels like email, fax or print with other members of their care team, specialists, caregivers or family members.
  • Communication touch points, both at the pre-appointment and post-appointment stage, help create a more integrated care experience to take the burden off administrative staff and improve follow-up compliance.
  • Storage capabilities that centralize patient records with the ability to store both imaging and non-imaging records.

2. Does the solution enable seamless record exchange between physicians, patients and partners?

Healthcare providers often encounter roadblocks when exchanging imaging records across networks. This leads to a reliance on manual stop-gap solutions such as CDs and working with multiple systems to resolve complex interoperability issues.

This also makes it difficult and time-consuming for physicians to find and reconcile fragmented patient information, disrupting continuity of care. A 2022 patient survey found that 46% of patients have been misdiagnosed or knew someone who experienced a misdiagnosis.

It’s critical to look for an imaging exchange solution that offers:

  • Instant sharing across any image gateway or network to facilitate the move to a zero-CD model when fulfilling patient, out-of-network or legal requests.
  • Easy provider access with no extra logins or accounts required to view and upload images.
  • An intuitive workflow that’s easy to use and is customized for physician, staff or patient use.
  • Reduced liability for healthcare providers, with the image exchange solution taking responsibility for signed patient consent forms and provider indemnification before the release of images.

3. Does the solution unlock cost savings and drive revenue?

Incorporating patient-centric image exchange also generates significant cost savings for providers. By using a patient-centric approach and leveraging tools to engage patients, providers can foster loyalty and increase patient retention, which, in turn, drive revenue.

These sustained patient relationships translate into tangible benefits, such as reduced staff intervention and simplified image- and report-sharing workflows, enabling providers to realize hundreds of thousands in cost savings.

While all solutions will tout some cost-savings, there are a few features that can move the needle:

  • Easy, out-of-network sharing eliminates CDs and reduces reliance on VPNs organization-wide, instantly cutting associated CD burning and administrative costs.
  • Patient image and report access minimizes staff intervention related to fulfilling patient image requests, allowing them to focus on higher-value tasks.
  • Patient education tools that help increase patient engagement during the pre- and post-appointment stages.
  • Improved patient experiences lead to higher patient retention rates, referrals and increased revenue.

4. Is the solution easy to implement?

Implementation isn’t “one size fits all”—nor should it be. The implementation process should be easy and uniquely tailored to your healthcare system’s size and location while involving support from the right experts at the right time through to onboarding.

Look for a solution that prioritizes the following:

  • Customized implementation and onboarding process where the image exchange vendor takes on the bulk of the administration burden while minimizing change management.
  • Seamless integration with existing systems (e.g., PACS, EHR, VNA, HIS) and existing image exchange gateways and workflows—including patient portals.
  • A designated implementation team to manage the technical solution setup and deployment, onboarding and any ongoing improvements required post-setup.
  • In-person staff training while also providing all communication and promo materials for physicians, patients and outside/partner sites.

5. Is there support available when you and your patients need it?

If the system isn’t working as expected, your team needs help—fast. That’s why it’s important to have a dedicated support team available to resolve issues immediately.

Ask your image exchange provider if they offer the following:

  • 24/7 support for staff and outside providers, so you can be sure any of your requests are taken care of promptly.
  • Coast-to-coast patient support so your administrative team doesn’t have to field any imaging-sharing questions.
  • An account lead who acts as the point person for your hospital or imaging center and can look into issues on your team’s behalf, without you getting stuck in an email backlog with hundreds of other support cases.
  • A focus on image exchange innovation, with a product team dedicated to building image exchange features for providers rapidly and responsively.

Expect more from your enterprise image exchange with PocketHealth

PocketHealth is the only patient-driven, network-agnostic image exchange solution that empowers patients while improving retention for providers.

With PocketHealth as your enterprise image exchange, you can expect:

It’s time for your organization to get more from your image exchange—more patient satisfaction, more efficiency and more support.

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