As providers move to tightly coordinate patient care, they have to find ways to efficiently share patient information. That includes scrapping use of physical media such as CDs for sharing medical images, and exchanging images and reports on cloud-based platforms, according to a new study from consulting firm Chilmark Research.

"As the health care system moves from a reimbursement model based on fee-for-service to one based on outcomes, health care organizations of all sizes will not only need to continue to optimize operations to remain competitive, but will also need to develop more collaborative care processes to manage transitions in care more effectively," according to the study. "To reach these goals, HCOs are beginning to take a close look at all departments, including radiology, for optimization in support of new collaboration processes across care settings."

The study compares the benefits of physical and cloud-based access with images and reports, and concludes there are significant benefits of moving to a platform. The study includes four brief case studies on challenges providers face as they make the move. Chilmark concludes: "The use of physical media for image exchange simply does not support real-time collaboration and it certainly creates a number of internal workflow challenges for the admitting hospital."

Life Image Inc., a cloud platform vendor, sponsored the study, released it at RSNA 2011 and is making it available at Registration is required.

This article first appeared on the Health Data Management web site.



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