The healthcare industry is constantly transforming, and imaging computing has a lot to do with how physicians and patients receive information, secure their systems, and ultimately operate. Imaging computing has improved speed, accuracy, and time and cost savings, making it easily accessible at your fingertips.
What is imaging computing?
Computer imaging is as simple as it sounds, but it can also be as complex as it sounds. It is image information by technology. Imaging informatics also takes the name of radiology informatics, as it explains the transfer and use of imaging technology in medical systems.
The complexity, of course, lies in improving such a system and the immense way it has driven healthcare professionals and patients to get their data as efficiently as possible.
How imaging computing is transforming healthcare today
Gone are the days when patients had to wait for their results in the mail or the long waits to see a doctor. Yes, it’s true. Health IT is patient portals, telehealth visits, healthcare applications and more. Therefore, imagery Computing is the technology used to see the human body to help diagnose and treat patients. An example of this can be an x-ray. These imaging technologies include Image Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) and Radiological Information Systems (RIS). PACS provides low cost storage and enables image communication. RIS manages the data flow for the reporting process.
Benefits of imaging computing
Punctuality and efficiency
IT planning, integration, and system implementation make imaging software easy for project management, especially when you include speech recognition software. Changing data and information, being responsive and creating accurate reports has never been easier to maximize the productivity of healthcare organizations to get the job done.
Knowledge from physician to patient is shared on a more understandable scale, as imagery can be used to explain medical complexities. For example, an x-ray can show a broken bone and the progress of recovery. These images also allow physicians to accurately prescribe medications and transfer information between medical systems, whether to other healthcare professionals who may need it or to the patient themselves.
With telehealth on the rise and emergency care facilities welcoming more and more patients, efficiency matters. When the data is reliable, tested, and true, it is easier for patients to trust healthcare workers on a less personal visit when it is strictly focused on data or lab results. Impersonal visits to the doctor are more frequent, and test results are even taken at home. This is beneficial for patients when they can rely on IT to see their results and improve their health (see patient engagement below).
So let’s think about this. If it’s easy for digital transfers, crisp images and reported data in seconds… it must be a huge money-saver, and in the long run it is.
The University of Illinois at Chicago conducted a study on imaging computing and found that hospital visits were reduced (which means fewer bills for the public). Additionally, many unnecessary x-ray tests have been eliminated (again, money saved) and approximately $ 2 million has been reduced in operational costs.
Thanks to the accuracy and reliability of data provided by imaging computing, it eliminates redundant laboratory tests and blood tests, for example. All tests, results and other information about a patient can be nested directly in their patient portal.
When patients can physically see an image, such as an X-ray, of what is going on inside their body, they are more likely to participate in their health care. Participation can range from making a follow-up appointment to taking their medication on a regular basis.
There are even home test results. When a patient obtains a result through their patient portal, they are more likely to be empowered to obtain the necessary care based on the test result.
Think of it as a continuous cycle. As patients get better, they will need fewer visits, saving healthcare professionals more time, patients more money, and overall a healthier world. .
Since there are many advantages to computer imaging, all is not favorable.
When technology works – it’s fantastic – but when technology doesn’t and we’re dealing with health care, it’s not that great.
Disadvantages of imaging computing
We mentioned earlier how imaging computing saves money, and we weren’t lying. Really, he can… in the long run, at least. However, it becomes expensive to set up, and if there is a problem in the system, it also means that maintenance is required. Implementation can be a smooth process and, again, will help save money in the long run, but the initial startups can be expensive and cost thousands of dollars per physician.
On the financial side of medical care, there could be a drop in income, which is beneficial, but still penalizing. The more accurate the reports, the less redundant the tests have to be, so this is an advantage for the efficiency of the new system. However, it acts as a double edged sword in the loss of income.
Interruption of work flow
New systems mean a new way of learning, so at first it will slow the productivity of healthcare workers as they get used to the system. Likewise, it will be a learning curve for patients, as they will learn to read the data displayed on their records in their patient portals.
Imaging computing is a very smart system and can change the structure of power in the workplace. In retrospect, this might seem like a small problem, but work culture can also affect productivity. This power imbalance could even address physician-to-patient and technology issues. The National Center for Biotechnology Information says overreliance on technology can become a problem. Doctors can also lose their independence from their patients because these computer systems can block tests and prescriptions.
There are workflow assessments that healthcare facilities can participate in to ensure their system is operating at peak performance. In addition, companies can be hired to help these facilities optimize their time and savings, performance and security.
Imaging computing is online. When we put classified information online, it comes with an added responsibility for information technology security systems.
Now, there are many companies that can help ensure that information is not hacked. Of course, no one can hack the system, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be very careful in monitoring, especially when it comes to doctor-patient confidentiality.
Speaking of imaging computing in general
It’s no secret that technology has completely transformed the way healthcare professionals, providers and patients execute their healthcare plans. For example, RIS and PACS make logging and tracking much more efficient for healthcare professionals. In the long run, imaging computing benefits dramatically the way physicians work and view their patients, but there are short-term consequences as well.
Benefits at a glance:
- Project management to help healthcare professionals stay on track
- Timely reporting and responsiveness to data
- Data driven and results driven saves time and money for patients and physicians
- Accuracy eliminates redundant testing
- The participation of patients in their health is strengthened
- Improving the quality of care visits
Overview of the disadvantages:
- Initially, the money is spent on high-tech service, as well as on maintenance
- Workflows are interrupted to learn the system
- Doctors may have less control over patient care
- Computer security can pose a threat to data and information
When you look at the list of pros and cons, there seem to be more long term benefits than short term irritations.
Computer imaging is already a fairly widespread concept in the healthcare world today. Besides X-ray imaging, we’ve seen healthcare informatics like telehealth transform the way we view our doctors and healthcare nurses, especially during a global pandemic.
A lot of IT is to thank when it comes to high risk people, and really for most of the world when we were in quarantine.
Despite its initial setbacks, the world is becoming a technological playground and health is catapulting itself ten steps ahead.
Image credit: cottonbro; pexels; Thank you!