New information-sharing platforms break down departmental barriers that inhibit easy access to images and data

There is a growing expectation that quality healthcare depends on the ability to securely deliver clinical information to anyone who needs it, anytime and anywhere. This requires healthcare providers to provide authorized users with flexible, easy access to all types of clinical images and data.

This goal is challenging for several reasons. Rapid advancements in information technology and a growing health IT marketplace brought a rush of vendors into the arena. The proliferation of different systems achieved a huge growth in both the volume and variety of information. Much of this data is unstructured and often is stored without appropriate clinical context, which inhibits the ability to efficiently identify and access it across the enterprise.

EHRs are inherently built around structured digital data, including patient demographics, admission status, physical and diagnostic notes, prescriptions, discharge status, and many other fi­elds. However, true interoperability requires providing integration with access to unstructured data as well. Images, videos, mobile uploads, scanned documents, emails, and many other forms of clinical data that are needed for healthcare decisions may not have a structure that makes them easy to incorporate into an EHR.

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Carestream, EHR, electronic health record, interoperability, vendor-neutral archive, VNA

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