The State of DICOM, 2016

DICOMWhat we learned last year in the healthcare industry is that with new healthcare regulations, providers were given incentives to avoid procedures deemed unnecessary. This means more and more providers are moving toward more collaborative solutions that cut out the filler, especially in medical imaging where the health image exchange and DICOM are concerned. Let’s look at some healthcare trends to watch for in 2016.

New PACS Requirements

Federal regulations mandate that PACS data (and other data) be backed-up. Most providers were already in the practice of protecting their data against software and hardware malfunctions, but there is no longer a choice in the matter. The FDA has actually threatened to take compliance actions against providers in 2016 for PACS failures and loss of images, especially if it’s a security issue that could have been avoided with disaster recovery plans.

Boosting Security in 2016

Getting hacked is not something to be taken lightly. In fact, the PwC said that according to its survey, 40 percent of clients said they would use a different health organization if it were hacked. Cyber security is important, and PACS vendors are always assessing threat levels and weaknesses in their systems. Providers are urged to thoroughly examine the security protocols of cloud vendors with whom they plan to do business.

Vendors should be HIPAA compliant, have role-based permissions for users, have extended security measures for PHI, and offer a detailed audit of activity logs. Furthermore, PHI data is normally removed from DICOM layers and encrypted and stored in an Internet-safe study. Is your cloud-based vendor offering you all the security you need?

Patients Expect Fast Access to Care and Their Records

Radiology has Meaningful Use requirements to thank for pushing them to get their electronic records available within 24 hours of a study. It only makes sense because more patients are becoming active in their health management. For instance, in 2013, only 16 percent of patients said they had an app on their phone related to their health. That percentage doubled in 2015. Some are now saying that in 2016, we’ll be entering the year of “telemedicine.” Around 90 percent of doctors are say that digital health services will be an important part of their day-to-day business.

The Cloud Becomes More Interoperable

More than 80 percent of healthcare providers are using cloud-based technology. However, gaining more interoperability is what many providers are looking for today, mostly because patients are lining up at multiple doctors’ offices, seeking out the best possible care. Image studies must be transferable from one entity to the next, which is why interoperability is something most providers insist on having. If your DICOM solution doesn’t include this perk, it might be time to seek out a better vendor.

OffSite Image Management

If you’re looking for a 360 degree solution, choose OffSite Image Management. We have DICOM solutions that will not only get you through 2016, you’ll excel. Contact us today to find out how.