Time is an invaluable commodity for doctors, and as a result, they constantly search for any way to increase their productivity. In many cases, unfortunately, technology has yet to catch up with their need for efficient health care solutions.
In every industry, there are all-in-one software vendors that create integrated solutions designed to address a wide range of problems simultaneously. While their solutions benefit from their seamless integration, the functionality of each of the individual components usually is not as good as the stand-alone vendors.
Physicians need access to the highest-quality and most up-to-date information in order to make the best decisions for their patients. However, patient data is often spread across multiple platforms that don't always play nicely with each other. Electronic health record (EHR) systems store textual information like patient visit notes and test results. Separately, picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) provide storage and access to medical images.
As part of my education when I first entered the medical imaging market, I met with as many physicians as I could to understand how they used medical imaging in their practice. On one occasion, I met with a set of orthopedists just outside of Albany, New York. We were deep in a discussion about features, functions and frustrations, when one of the doctors turned to me and said, “Of course the most important thing about medical imaging is linking it to the rest of the patient health record.”
EHR-PACS Integration: Why we're struggling to connect healthcare records and medical images
Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Picture Archive and Communication Systems (PACS) have followed very different paths resulting in structures that inherently don’t play well together. In fact, the original development of the first EHR and PACS were separated by over twenty years and several technological generations.