Feature | December 05, 2014

Patients Take Control of Their Medical Exam Records

Internet-based RSNA Image Share system allows flexible patient access to images

patient engagement, RSNA Image Share

December 5, 2014 — Patients value direct, independent access to their medical exams, according to a new study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Fragmentation of health information among physicians, healthcare institutions or practices, and inefficient exchange of test results can decrease quality of care and contribute to high medical costs. Improving communications and giving patients more control over their care are critical goals of health IT initiatives.

"Easy and timely electronic access to an online unified source of radiologic exams under a patient's direct control can potentially improve healthcare quality, enhance the patient's engagement in their medical care, and reduce unnecessary imaging utilization and exposure to ionizing radiation," said Giampaolo Greco, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor in the department of population health science and policy at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Greco and colleagues set out to evaluate patient and provider satisfaction with the use of RSNA Image Share, an Internet-based interoperable image exchange system that gives patients ownership of their imaging exams and control over access to their imaging records. The network enables radiology sites to make imaging exams available for patients to incorporate in personal health record (PHR) accounts they can use to securely store, manage and share their imaging records. Sites can also use the network to send patient imaging records to other participating sites to support better informed care.

As compared to other systems based on point-to-point private networks, the RSNA Image Share system avoids the legal delays and expenses associated with virtual private networks and enables the same flexibility of access characteristic of physical media like CDs. Patients who use this system have the ability to allow any provider they wish to access their images, as they do with CDs.

"This is a standards-based solution designed to achieve full interoperability of health information technology systems. Anyone, physician or other, no matter their location or affiliation, can view the images with proper patient authorization," Greco said.

For the study, patients undergoing any radiologic exams in four academic centers were eligible to establish online PHR accounts using the RSNA Image Share network. Patients could then use their PHR accounts to maintain and share their images with selected providers, creating a detailed medical history accessible through any secure Internet connection.

Between July 2012 and August 2013, the study enrolled 2,562 patients, mean age 50.4, including a significant representation of older individuals. Older individuals have the highest healthcare utilization and often experience or perceive a significant barrier in using information technology.

"The high level of enrollment among people in this age group demonstrates their interest in tools that may facilitate the management of their complex medical records and communication with their providers," Greco said.

The median number of exams uploaded per patient was six. Study participants were provided a brief survey to assess patient and physician experience with the exchange of images, and 502 patients completed and returned their surveys. Of these, 448 patients identified the method used at the visit to share images: Internet, CDs, both Internet and CDs, or other, and 165 included a section completed by their physician.

Nearly all (96 percent) of the patients responded positively to having direct access to their medical images, and 78 percent viewed their images independently. There was no difference between Internet and CD users in satisfaction with privacy and security and timeliness of access to medical images. A greater percentage of Internet users reported being able to access their images without difficulty, compared to CD users (88.3 percent vs. 77.5 percent).

"We found almost unanimous agreement from patients on the value of having direct, independent access to their imaging exams," Greco said.

Co-authors on the study are Anand S. Patel, M.D.; Sara Lewis, M.D.; Wei Shi, M.S.; Mary Torosyan; Alan J. Moskowitz, M.D.; Rehana Rasul, M.S.; Bradley J. Erickson, M.D., Ph.D.’ Atheeth Hiremath, B.S.; Wyatt M. Tellis, Ph.D.; Eliot Siegel, M.D.; David E. Avrin, M.D., Ph.D.; Ronald L. Arenson, M.D.; and David S. Mendelson, M.D.

For more information: www.rsna.org

Related Content

Carestream Health has signed an agreement to sell its healthcare information systems (HCIS) business to Philips Healthcare. Image by geralt on Pixabay

Carestream Health has signed an agreement to sell its healthcare information systems (HCIS) business to Philips Healthcare. This includes its radiology and cardiology PACS and reporting software. Image by geralt on Pixabay 

News | Radiology Business | March 07, 2019
Carestream Health has signed an agr
What is Next in Healthcare IT?
News | Information Technology | February 28, 2019
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) shared insights on what’s next in health on the heels...
Philips Introduces IntelliSpace Portal 11 at ECR 2019
Technology | Advanced Visualization | February 27, 2019
Philips announced the launch of IntelliSpace Portal 11, the latest release of the company’s comprehensive, advanced...
Welch Road Imaging Integrates RamSoft PowerServer RIS/PACS With openDoctor
News | PACS Accessories | February 20, 2019
Welch Road Imaging in California recently became the first RamSoft customer to integrate openDoctor with its...
Fujifilm Exhibits Enterprise Imaging Solutions and Artificial Intelligence Initiative at HIMSS 2019
News | Enterprise Imaging | February 15, 2019
Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. and Fujifilm SonoSite Inc. showcased their enterprise imaging and informatics...
PaxeraHealth Launching Universal Image Sharing Platform at ECR 2019
News | PACS Accessories | February 13, 2019
PaxeraHealth will launch the PaxeraShare image sharing platform at the 2019 European Congress of Radiology (ECR) annual...
Survey Finds Personalized Patient Engagement Improving But Still Lacking
News | Patient Engagement | February 12, 2019
Software company Pegasystems Inc. announced new survey data revealing the positive impact of quality patient engagement...
Laurel Bridge Software Highlights New Imaging Interoperability Clients at HIMSS19
News | Enterprise Imaging | February 07, 2019
Laurel Bridge Software added more than 40 new clients in 2018, in addition to helping more clinical information...
IMS to Unveil Prototype Imaging Machine Learning Platform at HIMSS19
News | Artificial Intelligence | February 06, 2019
International Medical Solutions (IMS) announced a solution that will enable radiologists and other clinicians to use...
Philips Spotlights IntelliSpace Enterprise Edition at HIMSS 2019
News | Enterprise Imaging | February 06, 2019
Philips announced it has expanded its IntelliSpace Enterprise Edition, which combines Philips Radiology, Cardiology...