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Case Study

IHDE uses eHealth Connect® Image Exchange to provide diagnostic quality image access to all HIE users

Idaho Health Data Exchange (IHDE) is Idaho’s designated health information exchange (HIE). IHDE was established as a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization with the purpose of governing the development and implementation of a HIE in Idaho. IHDE is using eHealth Connect® Image Exchange to provide diagnostic quality image access to all HIE users, from any PACS connected to their HIE.

IHDEs mission is to improve the coordination and quality of health care in Idaho by enhancing the timeliness and accuracy with which providers receive patient health information. Over the past five years, IHDE has transformed into one of the most successful and pioneering HIEs in the nation. IHDE is one of the first state-wide HIEs to have adopted images as part of the patients’ record; improving efficiency, quality and safety of care.

IHDE’s HIE has produced immediate benefits for physicians. First, IHDE has improved the efficiency of care transitions. Physicians no longer need to wait for faxes, image CDs or make hundreds of phone calls in order to receive medical records. Instead, lab, hospital transcription and ADT and radiology reports and access to images are sent electronically to the appropriate health care provider as soon as they are available. This comprehensive patient medical history is available to authorized clinicians on demand, from any secure web browser— from the office, their home, or out of town.

“It is critical that images are included with the rest of the medical record,” said Scott Carrell, executive director of IHDE. This vital component of the patients’ record helps to eliminate scheduling delays, and improves patient safety as images are available instantly, even before the results report – which is especially valuable in emergency care settings.”

“The sharing of images improves a patient’s care and reduces the redundant images and tests that are so pervasive in health care,” shared Marc Chasin, M.D., VP, CMIO/CIO at IHDE participant St. Lukes Health System. “Prior to IHDE enabling Image Exchange, a patient would have to bring a cd to their appointments, or the results would have to be fax’d or sent by courier. With Image Exchange radiologists are able to pull up a cached copy of the image in the IHDE and compare an old image with a current image, therefore improving the diagnostic quality, prognosis and treatment plan for the patient.”

eHealth Connect® Image Exchange provides immediate access to full diagnostic-quality images including X-rays, CT and MR scans, ultrasound studies, and ECGs—both in conjunction with results reports and or on an emergent basis. Hosted securely in the cloud, medical images canbe accessed, downloaded, viewed, and shared from any PC, Mac and iPad.

“IHDE’s image exchange has also improved collaboration,” continued Carrell. “Using the eHealthViewer® ZF, a patients’ clinical care team can conference together at one time to provide a consult on a patient case, from wherever they are working; no more travelling across town or across the state for expert consultation. The entire team has diagnostic quality image viewing with real-time image manipulation tools. Patient diagnosis is much more efficient, and convenient for everyone.”

The eHealthViewer® ZF is a powerful, zero-footprint unified viewing platform, launched from the patients’ medical record, in any secure browser. Both internal and external clinicians can view and manipulate images and even collaborate in real time by using its intuitive, easy-to-use tools. Common problems of lost images and films, non-viewable CDs, or large file transfers are eliminated. All images are available when and where they’re needed, saving significant health care dollars from being wasted on unnecessary repeated procedures. eHealth Connect Image Exchange provides a uniform approach for image sharing across the HIE without requiring an expensive centralized archival solution. There are many benefits to being able to access images quickly from within the HIE and in the context of the rest of the patient record, including improved care and reduction of costs when a patient presents to the Emergency Department and prior images are needed.

Every patient deserves faster access to care

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