Cleveland Clinic to include diagnostic images in EMR

When a doctor delivers a patient a spoken prognosis, often times the content is not fully processed because of technical barriers or any number of other issues.

As such, many medical experts and politicians have expressed a need to increase transparency between doctors and patients by providing patients with faster and more digestible access to their clinical data.

While many facilities are in the process of transitioning to electronic medical records software to improve upon this paradigm, facility managers at the Cleveland Clinic – a non-profit academic medical center – are taking steps to enhance patient engagement even further by upgrading their existing EMR system to include diagnostic images.

According to a report published by Cleveland newspaper The Plain Dealer, this undertaking will involve integrating any images related to patient care such as x-rays and laboratory tissue samples with a patient's written clinical history. 

"The innovative piece of this project is that it contains images from different departments in one central place," said Louis Lannum, the clinic's director of enterprise imaging. "Doctors can not only see radiology images, but also visual results of endoscopic procedures, ultrasound procedures and even photographs of patients taken in the emergency room to document a trauma or in dermatology to show progression of treatments."

However, the process of integrating visual data takes up an enormous amount of space, reported in the article to be roughly 650 terabytes.

Considering the task of storing all this data, facility managers interested in enhancing their EMR with clinical images would benefit from deploying the assistance of a medical technology consulting company. These professionals can assist in-house employees in compartmentalizing the huge amount of data necessary for a project of this magnitude. Consequently, a facility can enjoy a more organized electronic records system so that providing patient images alongside written histories will be a more manageable task.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.