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#RSNA15: Simplification – the key to innovation

Susan deCathelineau, Vice President of Healthcare Sales and Service, Hyland, creator of OnBase
Susan deCathelineau, Vice President of Healthcare Sales and Service, Hyland, creator of OnBase

The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) has more than 54,000 members from 139 countries, making the RSNA Annual Meeting an incredibly large show with an amazingly diverse audience. Held in Chicago since 1985, the city welcomes the most innovative minds, technologists and equipment in medical imaging. With more than 444 educational sessions, innovation was everywhere. However, there was an underlying theme that seemed to permeate the show: simplicity.

As a disclaimer, I did not attend all 444 educational sessions. But I heard from many attendees, including presenters, members, exhibitors and journalists, that innovation is crucial to the success of the industry but so is simplicity. Healthcare is growing more complex every day but complexity is not fixed with more complexity. We need to simplify how healthcare is delivered and empower our clinicians to provide the best possible care.

Our clinicians need to focus on what they do best. It’s our job as software vendors, IT managers and innovators to better support clinicians in providing excellent care to their patients. Healthcare providers have made enormous investments in technology to improve patient care and productivity. But have they achieved their goal?

With a background in health information management and now working in enterprise content management (ECM) with vendor neutral archive (VNA) capabilities, I can confirm that many providers are making better investments in technology that simplify daily operations and increase efficiency. From my personal experience, here are three examples of how ECM with VNA optimizes technology investments, increases productivity and improves patient care.

  • Enterprise access to patient content: Connecting data across the organization and enabling clinicians to see all relevant patient content from within the EMR is paramount to better care higher patient satisfaction scores. Managing all patient content on a single platform ensures information is readily available across the organization. Clinicians can access CT scans, MRIs, lab results and more from within the electronic medical record (EMR) and within context of the patient record.
  • Move quickly to focus on what matters: IT departments have a seemingly endless list of new projects to help provide better care. Since it is much easier to maintain the IT infrastructure of one platform with one code base and one repository, IT departments can focus on new projects that have a greater impact on patient care and satisfaction.
  • Empower people to drive change: Easy to configure, adapt and evolve with business and clinical processes, ECM empowers workers in every department to better leverage technology to drive efficiencies. Instead of relying on overburdened IT staff to make changes, workers can automate processes and enable clinicians to provide more timely, quality care.

Simplifying the work of clinicians and patients improves the healthcare experience for everyone. Providers, IT staff members, clinicians and patients all gain from becoming more efficient, increasing transparency and improving access to information. This leads to better, faster care at a lower cost.

RSNA has driven amazing developments over the past 100 years and the future is more exciting than ever.