Don’t Get Caught up in Hospital Data Loss

hospital data lossA study from Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation reveals that only 30 percent of hospitals in the U.S. are part of a health information exchange (HIE). While there has been a slight increase in the number of healthcare providers involved in HIE participation since the passage of the HITECH Act in 2009, there is room for improvement, especially due to hospital data loss issues.

Vermont, Rhode Island and Delaware are seeing excellent HIE participation rates, hovering around the 70 percent level. These are markets where non-profit hospitals abound and are far more likely to get into an exchange than are their for-profit brothers.

Consider the following from the Healthcare study related to what types of hospitals are participating in HIEs:

  • 49 percent of large hospitals are involved in HIEs
  • 35 percent of medium-sized hospitals are involved in HIEs
  • 20 percent of small hospitals are involved in HIEs
  • Around 46 percent of hospitals with a electronic health record system are involved in HIEs
  • Hospitals without an electronic health record system participate at a rate of 31 percent.
  • 21 percent of public hospitals are in an HIE
  • Eight percent of for-profit hospitals are in an HIE
  • 37 percent of non-profit hospitals are in an HIE

One of the benefits to joining an HIE is the reduction in costs. While America spends more of its gross domestic product on healthcare than any other country, we rank toward the bottom when we compare our services to those in other developed countries. Therefore, there is a growing need for cost-effective solutions. Fortunately, an HIE improves the cost issue while also improving the quality of care.

Providers are also looking for a way to better handle their imaging. For instance, DICOM exchange of radiological data across various vendor platforms is giving facilities the ability to process critical data within healthcare communities. However, there aren’t many HIE vendors capable of handling the DICOM format. DICOM gives providers a way to securely share images of all types, regardless of the platform. This gives them the advantage of offering the best patient care because all data objects are exchanged as DICOM objects.

What has evolved from the HIE is the health image exchange. This involves technology that is used for sharing and storing in the cloud. Since it’s a browser agnostic viewing system, there is no roadblock when it comes to viewing images. The beauty of the system is that any radiology service provider can upload data into the exchange and seamlessly integrate with other HIE platforms.

OffSite Image Management, Inc. has created a health image exchange that benefits the many hospitals that utilize it to share and store their medical images. We have a commitment to offer low-cost, high-quality services to our clients, regardless of their size or location. Our many rural clients can attest to the fact that our health image exchange connects them with other providers at a cost they can afford. Contact us today for more information about joining.