Northwest ImageShare provides area physicians centralized access to patient images and reports resulting in improved, overall care.
Northwest ImageShare is a cloud-based regional imaging management solution run in collaboration between Harrison Medical Center, Advanced Medical Imaging, Harrison Health Partners, The Doctors Clinic, and Olympic Radiology to overcome the technical challenges of accessing patient images and information from various offices. Historically, patients were required to visit provider offices to pick up CD’s of their imaging studies if they visited a new physician. Now with Northwest ImageShare, one data center supplies all necessary patient information – when requested – regardless of which provider did the study.
What does this mean for patients?
What does this mean for participating physicians?
Dec. 2, 2013
Northwest ImageShare shortens wait times in emergency department. Read the press release (PDF).
Health Imaging article about Northwest ImageShare. Read article (PDF).
Imaging Economics article, "A PACS Pact". Read article (PDF).
Feb. 13, 2013
ImagingBiz article, "Economies of Scale Between Competitors: Northwest ImageShare". Read article (PDF)
Participating healthcare providers include:
Technology making a positive difference
Northwest ImageShare came together as a result of problems identified by referring physicians and their ability to quickly access a patient’s prior images and reports, which occurs as patients change or visit different providers. In trauma situations, Harrison Medical Center's emergency room (ER) physicians often had difficulty accessing patient imaging studies conducted at other facilities which led to rescanning of the patient, incurring additional cost and radiation exposure, and slowing down diagnosis and treatment. The former model also hurt physician productivity, as they would have to log into and learn multiple PACS interfaces that were used by the various imaging providers on the Kitsap Peninsula. Additionally, when patients would bring in their own CD’s of images, they often were not compatible with the viewer and could not be read.
With the creation of Northwest ImageShare, the group has overcome traditional technical and competitive boundaries to drastically reduce IT costs, create economies-of-scale, and improve physician efficiency by providing easy, centralized access to patient information/images, and reduce duplicative imaging procedures, which work in concert to provide improved patient care.
Better patient care
Northwest ImageShare enables better physician access to medical images throughout the Kitsap County region, resulting in more immediate and higher-quality care for patients. The program ensures that radiology studies acquired at any participating facility will be available for digital review at patients’ Northwest ImageShare providers. When changing physicians or visiting specialists, patients will no longer need to request their original studies on CD or bring discs with them to appointments; should a patient enter the hospital through the emergency department at Harrison Medical Center, his or her entire imaging history will be available to the treating physician.
The ultimate goal of Northwest ImageShare is better patient care and shorter times spent in the Emergency Department; without this community healthcare program, patients in both emergent and non-emergent situations could wind up undergoing duplicative imaging studies, resulting in unnecessary costs and additional radiation exposure. With Northwest ImageShare, patients’ images move with them throughout the system—regardless of where they go.
Northwest ImageShare at work for patients
A long-distance runner with painful, persistent knee pain ends up in the Emergency Department of Harrison Medical Center. Three days before, she’d had a scan of her knee done at The Doctors Clinic as part of a routine evaluation. Her emergency physician easily accesses her prior images and tells her she likely has patellofemoral pain, often referred to as “runners’ knee.” From the patient’s perspective, this is a simple scenario, but imagine if Harrison Medical Center and The Doctors Clinic weren’t involved in Northwest ImageShare. That long-distance runner just might need another scan. Most insurance plans likely would reject it as a duplicative test, resulting in a higher cost to her; the exam would take needed time out of her day; and she would be exposed to additional, and unnecessary, radiation levels. Fortunately, she lives in a community where competing providers have come together to make patient care their first priority.