Collaboration in cardiac care increases patient safety
Immediate access to cardiac test and imaging results can save patient’s lives. Despite a need for urgency, cardiac care providers often wait too long for images, test results and reports. Even in emergency cases, taxis and couriers are hired to transport CDs, film and paper documents between specialists, hospitals and surgery. The manual exchange of medical data between cardiac care providers is not only cumbersome, but impacts the provider’s ability to make life-saving decisions.
Complete knowledge of patient history is a critical factor for cardiac professionals seeking to make an informed medical decision. In many situations, they cannot track their patients as they move from healthcare provider to healthcare provider. Existing manual methods of sharing test results and information are not only expensive, but also disjointed, and do not contribute to a collaborative end-to-end care pathway for cardiac patients.
Incompatible standards contribute to the problem
Vendors seeking to solve these problems within the cardiology market face many challenges. On a broad scale, clinical information systems and imaging archives from multiple vendors are scattered across multiple specialty clinics and hospitals. Often, data cannot be shared between these systems because they are based on incompatible standards. Yet cardiologists must be able to follow the patient along his care pathway and have immediate access to the patient’s most recent test results.
A successful solution must be able to:
- connect legacy systems
- prepare for future additional information systems and new clinical needs
- define workflows that meet the needs of clinicians
- allow cardiologists immediate access to test results, regardless of where the test was performed
- Despite the complexity of these problems, the solution must simplify the exchange of information amongst cardiac care providers.
Simplifying clinical information exchange
At Karos, our goal is to simplify clinical information exchange. To achieve this goal within Cardiology, Karos Health proposes a clinical information exchange network that connects disparate heterogeneous legacy systems, and resolves complex interoperability and communications challenges, without altering the existing operation of each healthcare institution and provider. Karos solutions preserve legacy systems, while also preparing for future additional information systems and emerging clinical needs.
A new infrastructure leverages open standards
At Karos, we believe that building upon healthcare standards and global initiatives such as Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (), and in particular the , , and other IT infrastructure integration profiles, will support and advance cross-enterprise clinical information sharing. Patient information originating from various systems can be published, indexed, stored and securely retrieved from anywhere. Physicians can review large and complete data sets of electrocardiogram, echocardiography, angiography, and other specialized modalities (including full image sets or secondary captures), in addition to lab reports, radiology images and reports, and discharge summaries. A health information exchange network provides cardiology care professionals with the means to make better informed medical decisions and improve the quality of patient care.
Partner success saves lives in cardiac care
The results of the project prove that a health information network benefits all stakeholders:
- patients receive better and safer cardiac care
- cardiologists can view the entire cardiac patient profile, including the most recently published information
- specialists can monitor patient progress at any time
- the hospital can review specialist’s findings
- surgery has immediate access to the hospital’s angiograms
- each institution and clinic increases its referral base while also reducing the number of unnecessary duplicate tests