The process of transferring and storing medical images such as x-rays, CT scans and MRIs is a very important one. However, this process comes with its own set of complications to consider. With the advancement of technology, it is not just physicians who have access to these images. Patients have more options than ever to take control of their own health care needs and requirements. New advancements in the technology field have made access to medical images much easier. These changes in technology are needed by small business and large business alike.
Keeping Images Stored Together
One of the biggest changes in the healthcare industry with regards to information technology is the movement towards enterprise imaging from traditional picture archiving methods. The basic idea of this involves taking all data on a patient and moving it to one system instead of spreading out over numerous data silos.
Key Things To Consider When Transferring Or Storing Patient's Medical Images
Security and privacy issues have always been documented in the medical community. It has already been reported that more than 30 million patients across the United States have had their personal data breached. Whether it is stored through a third-party provider within the cloud or on an in-house server, it is very crucial that all medical records be encrypted. This includes medical images.
Patient privacy is a top priority in the healthcare industry. Unfortunately, many hackers, professional thieves and rogue medical employees find themselves unable to resist exploiting patient information for profit. Because of this, it is crucial that all medical organizations take steps to ensure their patient files are securely encrypted for the privacy of their patients.
Another thing to consider when it comes to transferring or storing medical images is allowing those images to be accessible by various vendors. Images and other patient data should not be saved or stored in a single proprietary file format. The expansion of the medical community has made it important for all images to be accessed, distributed and stored in a format that is available to everyone.
Vendor-neutral archives separate the capturing and distribution of medical images from the archiving process. This allows all functions to require more than one proprietary solution. These archives often incorporate many of the common standards into their systems to enable greater use and retrieval of images in the archives.
Storing medical images comes with its own unique set of challenges beyond basic medical records. The file sizes needed to store and transfer medical images is often extremely large. The size of medical images is expected to continue growing as the need for convenient and quick access rise alongside it. Servers in medical facilities can easily become overwhelmed with the amount of data being stored and transferred. Organizations need to find solutions to this as soon as possible before their servers become inefficient and not capable of being used.
•Complying With HIPPA
Many security issues with the transferring and storage of medical images are found in the areas of non-compliance and compliance. HIPPA holds healthcare providers responsible for ensuring the security and privacy of their patient records and medical images. All personal information for each patient is covered. The electronic information of patients is held to much stricter regulations because a hacker could break into a healthcare server and steal thousands of patient's data in one instance. Breaches like these will often bring steep HIPPA fines, patient mistrust and unwanted negative publicity for healthcare providers.
•Leveraging Storage In The Cloud
Many healthcare providers are now adopting cloud-based solutions for the handling, storing and transferring of their patient's medical images and records. Having active patients requires the need for providers to easily access images and other patient information rapidly. Cloud services help healthcare providers solve their medial image and patient data storage needs. It also gives them the ability to scale their storage requirements with ease. Many cloud service providers offer solutions that are HIPPA compliant and fully encrypted.