Freed Associates recently assisted a large community-based health organization implement an enterprise wide medical imaging management application using a Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA). For this not-for-profit organization—made up of more than 50,000 doctors, employees, and volunteers, and encompassing multiple hospitals and physician practices—this implementation presented a solution to their costly and limited proprietary medical imaging system.
Goal: Achieve a Successful Regional Implementation
Implementing a VNA would represent a significant cost savings for the healthcare providers, improve integration of medical imaging data into patient electronic health records (EHR), and enhance patient care due to greater image-sharing capabilities among clinicians. The vendor-neutral solution would also leverage the latest imaging technology, standardize imaging workstations, and improve the organization’s financial health by increasing productivity and retiring outdated systems.
Strategy: Collaborate to Identify and Resolve Key Issues
A prior plan for the organization’s implementation was problematic; it underestimated the scope and budget based on a lack of understanding of the newest technology. The Freed team worked with the client, their sponsor, and the technical partners to address these issues. A new strategy was developed to address technology challenges and clinical change management issues, and to realign timelines and assign resources to the implementation.
Tactics: Identify Key Technical Issues to Support the Implementation
To support the client’s implementation, Freed identified and resolved key technical issues and offered insight into capabilities of the client’s teams and technology partners to deliver and support the archive solution. Additionally, Freed provided the following services throughout the planning, execution, and post-implementation phase:
- Process design and implementation
- Workflow assessment and redesign
- Communication planning and management
- Solution optimization and user adoption
- Post-implementation optimization
- System implementation and integration
- Project management
Results: Successful Regional Implementations of the Client’s Solution
With project direction and support from Freed, the client successfully implemented their imaging management system during a five-month period. The implementation included hospitals, medical centers, physician practices with multiple campuses and several imaging clinics. Change management activities were essential to the project’s success. Post-implementation, Freed oversaw data migration of archived images from the existing proprietary system onto the new single source solution.
The benefits of centralized imaging includes:
- Enhanced enterprise-wide clinical workflows,
- Reduced manpower needs,
- Increased productivity,
- Reductions in physical records storage costs,
- Increased speeds the pace of diagnostics to improve patient outcomes.
The use of a non-proprietary archive also helps ensure long-term cost effectiveness. Healthcare enterprises looking to leverage technology to cut costs and improve patient care, can be successful with proper planning, change management and implementation rigor which are the keys to the long-term success and effectiveness of any initiative.