A Partnership for Better Care
“Our partnership with eHealth Technologies translates to better care for patients,” says Brian Egan, director of health information technology support services at HealtheConnections. “That’s really what it comes down to.”
HealtheConnections is a qualified entity of the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY) and operates the health information exchange (HIE) for 26 counties of the Central, Northern, Southern Tier, and Hudson Valley regions of New York.
The HIE has been working with eHealth Technologies for nearly a decade, all the while increasing the efficiency of its users in the health care community by expanding the breadth of services provided, including image sharing. Prior to working with eHealth Technologies, patients and caregivers had to do a lot of legwork in order to gather the external images that they needed—through phone calls and emails between locations as well as burning, transporting, and uploading images from CDs.
“Waiting is a thing of the past. Our partnership really helps us meet our customers’ needs,” said Egan.
From Days to Only Hours
Before working with eHealth Technologies, HealtheConnections participants relied mostly on phone calls, CDs, couriers, postal mail, and patients to transfer images. Not only did these processes consume an inordinate amount of valuable time that could otherwise be spent delivering care, they also resulted in postponed appointments and delayed care.
“Even with a hospital or imaging center just a few miles away, it might take 5 days to have a CD mailed,” explained Egan. “With eHealth Technologies, that’s a thing of the past. Now there’s no more waiting.”
Today, by taking advantage of the wide variety of Image Exchange services available through the HIE, HealtheConnections caregivers at practices, hospitals, and clinics have immediate access to reports and patient images. This level of efficiency and automation is only possible by combining Image Exchange with the core services that are incorporated into an HIE such as HealtheConnections.
The results are numerous—reducing costs, eliminating unnecessary duplicate studies and delays, and helping care providers to deliver the best quality and timely health care.
“Our clients depend on us, they trust us to help them do their business,” said Egan. “And we know we can depend on eHealth Technologies to help us deliver.”
eHealth Connect Image Exchange Allows Care Providers to:
- Access their patients’ full medical imaging history from all connected imaging systems across the region with a single click.
- View and compare imaging studies stored at multiple locations on a common diagnostic quality viewing platform almost instantaneously.
- Import studies of particular interest onto a local system without having to make a single phone call, burning or uploading a single CD, or performing any data “reconciliation.”
The Goal: True Interoperability
Through eHealth Connect Image Exchange®, HealtheConnections is able to provide access to diagnostic quality images when and where they are needed.
Since 2009, eHealth Technologies has integrated medical images from hospitals and imaging centers as well as private, regional, and statewide HIEs across the US.
Image Exchange makes medical imaging truly interoperable with all other health record systems.
Transfer-to-PACS Creates a Seamless Workflow
By adding Transfer-to-PACS for its entire imaging network, HealtheConnections offers authorized HIE users the ability to import images from all connected imaging systems. Image transfer has been the fastest growing image sharing workflow at HealtheConnections.
HealtheConnections users have access to their patient’s most complete imaging history, containing all imaging studies from regional sources large and small whenever they are viewing their patient’s longitudinal health record. Users can select the imaging studies they need to transfer into their PACS by simply checking a box. The images will be imported into their local PACS automatically–without any additional burden on clinicians or staff.
Transfer-to-PACS enables HealtheConnections partners to store images from other locations locally, which is a common requirement when comparison to prior studies is needed. Along with faster access, users have peace of mind—which has helped HealtheConnections build trust with constituents and drive steady growth in monthly image transfers and viewings since launching in 2016.
A Partnership that Works
In his role, Egan works with many outside vendors to coordinate the most efficient resources for participants.
“The team at eHealth Technologies is by far the easiest partner we work with,” said Egan. “They are responsive, and they always help us work through any issues. We’re a mature client for them, yet we still feel the impact of the attention we receive. I look forward to our team calls.”
Using Image Exchange saves many hours a week in staff time. “We take the time to get to know their workflow and help them see efficiencies and cost savings that benefit both patients and staff,” said Egan. “When we roll out image exchange services to practices, the first question new users want to know is “’how will this impact my costs?’” Based on current transfer volume of approximately 14,000 imaging studies per month, it is estimated that HealtheConnections enables monthly savings of more than $140,000 in direct operations costs for its participants.
Egan says HealtheConnections has partners—such as radiology and imaging providers—that choose to participate with the HIE because of its imaging services alone.
“It’s part of our value proposition,” says Egan. “Working with eHealth enhances our partnerships with other organizations. It’s a real game changer.”