Web-Based, Vendor-Neutral Technology for Sharing Radiology Images and Reports Debuts at Three Institutions after Successful Beta Test
KALISPELL, Mont. – Image Movement of Montana (IMOM), a grassroots organization composed of 30 Montana healthcare facilities, announced today that three of its facilities have gone live with eMix after a successful beta test of the groundbreaking new technology. eMix (Electronic Medical Information Exchange) uses cloud computing to securely share radiology images and reports.
The IMOM facilities -- including Great Falls Clinic ( Great Falls, Mont.), Kalispell Regional Medical Center ( Kalispell, Mont.) and St. Luke Community Healthcare ( Ronan, Mont.) -- will be the first medical institutions in the nation to securely share patient data via eMix.
The three institutions began testing eMix in late November as a pilot project for IMOM. Implementation of the technology was planned for early 2010 if the test went well. The test was so successful that the facilities went live with the beta eMix a few weeks after the test began.
“The test proved that with eMix, we can provide a better continuum of care for rural patients that receive part of their care at large hospitals in another area,” said Gayle Knudson, Radiology Manager at Great Falls Clinic and an IMOM co-founder. “In emergency situations, we can push radiology data to where it’s needed in a matter of minutes, and without involving a highly skilled IT person as we would with a VPN. Anyone who can do email can do eMix.”
During the pilot phase, eMix was thoroughly evaluated in a variety of scenarios. The trial exchanges included exceptionally large files such as MRIs and digital mammograms related to current patients.
“We did an exhaustive test run and had no failed sends, so all three facilities started using eMix for all live patient data exchanges,” said Bill O’Leary, Regional Outreach/PACS Administrator at Kalispell Regional Medical Center and also an IMOM co-founder. “That was back in mid-December. Since going live, the system has worked perfectly, as well. I can’t imagine a better or quicker way of transferring full resolution images and reports – especially when you’re talking about institutions with disparate PACS and other information technology.”
eMix was developed by DR Systems, a leading provider of healthcare information systems including RIS/CVIS/PACS.
IMOM came into existence to address image-sharing problems that are common to all healthcare facilities but are especially important for rural institutions. These facilities must sometimes transport patients to large urban hospitals for treatment of conditions such as cancer, burns, and major trauma. Physicians at urban hospitals often need to compare the patient’s current imaging studies to prior radiology studies from the rural facility. When the patient returns to the rural center, physicians there frequently need to review studies performed at the urban hospital.
Until now it’s been difficult for healthcare facilities to securely share radiology data between proprietary information technology (IT) systems made by different vendors. The standard workaround solutions – burning and mailing CDs, printing film, or faxing reports – are labor-intensive, costly, and too slow for emergency situations.
eMix has security features that enable institutions to comply with requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
For now, the IMOM facilities are primarily using eMix to exchange radiological data between medical personnel. In the future, the technology will enable the facilities to avoid operating costs and generate revenue when files are requested by patients. To create revenue with eMix, a facility simply directs patients to eMix where, for a small fee, they can request and manage access to their own images and reports. Because all data are electronic and transferred automatically, there is zero supply cost.
eMix is a new business venture incubated by DR Systems, one of the most respected names in healthcare information systems. Electronic Medical Information Exchange (eMix) is cloud-based technology developed for sharing medical imaging studies and reports between disparate healthcare facilities and physicians with the speed and simplicity of email. eMix will also facilitate the inclusion of patient images into electronic medical records (EMRs) and patients’ personal healthcare records (PHRs).
The interoperable, vendor-neutral eMix builds on innovations in cloud computing. The result is a simple, secure, universal exchange of imaging data in real time.
eMix will follow up the B-to-B (business-to-business) capability being initiated by IMOM, with the launch of a patient portal for B-to-C (business-to-consumer) data exchanges later in 2010, as well as a long-term storage feature with highly flexible user-driven storage rules and options.
For more information about eMix, call 877-EMIX-MED (877-364-9633) or visit www.emix.com.
Image Movement of Montana (IMOM) is a grassroots organization that represents 30 Montana healthcare facilities. IMOM has its origins in a survey of Montana hospitals by MHA, an association of Montana healthcare providers. The survey revealed the difficulty of sharing images between different facilities. IMOM was formed so that survey respondents could cooperatively search for a solution.