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Specialty medical practices that expand to become large national providers gain some obvious efficiencies. Most importantly, they can aggregate the expertise and skills of elite physicians and make them available to patients from all over the country.
But if patients’ medical files can’t be easily transferred from their local providers to the national group, some of the advantages of going national go right out the window.
Such was the dilemma facing Pediatrix Medical Group, the nation’s leading provider of maternal-fetal, newborn and pediatric subspecialty physician services.
Pediatrix maintains a network of subspecialists and advanced practitioners that encompasses 34 states and Puerto Rico, so it accepts transfer patients from all over the U.S. But like other medical institutions, when it needed to receive transfer patient’s imaging files, it was forced to rely on traditional methods such as having the files burnt to CDs or DVDs and sent by ground or air.
That process was way too slow for emergency cases. It was also unreliable. Hard media can be lost, damaged, or misplaced. Even if a DVD does arrive in good shape, it may be unreadable.
Transfer on hard media was expensive, too -- $25-40 per mailing, which adds up in no time for an organization admitting the number of patients Pediatrix does. Finally, in some circumstances, courier service was not possible. For instance, one referring facility in the mountains of Colorado was sometimes snowbound, so no courier could get in or out.
When alternatives began appearing, Pediatrix reviewed them to find one that would fit its needs. It was seeking HIPAA compliance, security precautions such as encryption, and business protection in the event of an accidental breach of privacy/confidentiality.
Only one service all those criteria: eMix, which had the additional advantage of being able to transfer files at full diagnostic resolution. This feature impressed Pediatrix because it receives many files, such as echocardiograms, that are up to one gigabyte in size.
As of this writing, Pediatrix has implemented eMix at 11 of its 18 facilities, and has arranged to use it with 25 of its referring institutions. It also foresees using it for two applications related to its geographically disperse physician network:
For Pediatrix, eMix has ended both technological and financial headaches, while also offering another way to expand its influence and reach.Read More
Copyright© 2009-2013 DR Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. eMix is a trademark of DR Systems, Inc. with various product modules protected by one or more of U.S. Patent # 7,660,488; 7,787,672; 7,885,440; 7,953,614; 7,970,625; 8,019,138; 8,094,901, and other patents pending. Specifications are subject to change without notice.