Common Rural Hospital Data Challenges

rural hospital dataWhen it comes to rural hospital data, providers often find themselves hitting barriers, whether it’s resources related to personnel or money, finding the right solution at the right cost can be a challenge.

1. Budget
One of the most common issues cited by providers in their rural hospital data scenario is that reimbursement is a barrier to more technologically advanced means of archiving and sharing medical images. Medicare doesn’t reimburse providers for a fee-for service system.

2. Regulatory Issues
As more healthcare providers merge into a national system, licensing and other regulatory issues become a barrier. When providers team with another provider across state lines, even if they are small providers, there can be a large amount of regulatory jargon to wade through. There are even provisions in the Social Security Act that limit the use of various technologies to certain providers.

3. Too Much Buzz
You’ve likely either heard of or are using some form of vendor neutral archiving (VNA) today. VNA has become a buzzword, and unfortunately, it has many definitions. Rural hospital data can become a victim of this hype as providers adopt a VNA to find out later it isn’t true VNA, which means it isn’t capable of processing DICOM data without barriers.

4. Resistance to Change
The same providers that were resistant to letting go of their film processes in radiology to adopt CD burning technology are likely the same providers who are resisting the change to more electronic data archiving and sharing technology. However, there are great efficiencies to be found when using off site storage and sharing processes developed by reputable vendors.

5. Hardware
PACS are being pushed beyond their limits today, and providers are pricing new hardware to take over where their current PACS is showing weakness. However, hardware doesn’t have to be the barrier – if providers used the cloud for their rural hospital data issues, there would be no need for expensive hardware and the complex migration of data.

6. Proof of ROI
Many providers are reluctant to jump into a cloud-based solution because they aren’t convinced that it will be the right solution for them. Rural providers are sometimes met with all-or-nothing solutions, which means they’re priced out of a cloud-based archiving system. However, some vendors cater to the rural provider and offer a “pay for what you use” method.

PACS and VNA are merging into PVNA. To get a clearer picture of how the technology works, visit OffSite Image Management, Inc., and find out how we can add value to your image management. We know what is holding back rural providers because our team has experience working in rural America. We know cost can be a barrier, and how few qualified IT personnel may be available to you, which is why we run everything off site with our professionals managing the system at a lower cost. Contact us today and find out more about our solutions.