HIMSS Webinar: Vendor-neutral archive drives images everywhere
Image Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information, Montefiore Medical Center
The Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) offered a peer-to-peer insight into Hunterdon Healthcare System’s three-stage plan for nationwide interoperability and central repository for medical images.

Glenn Mamary, vice president and CIO of Hunterdon Healthcare System, a 178-bed system in Flemington, N.J., initiated the webinar with insights into the organization’s strategies.

The vision started in 1995, he said, with an enterprise focus on building an electronic medical record to provide access to medical information, both text and images, to physicians anywhere/anytime.

The healthcare system’s strategic plan, including its IT projects, centers on patients, Mamary continued. Hunterdon’s priorities are to: provide effective healthcare based on scientific knowledge, better efficiency by improving IT, ensure patient safety and implement timely care and reduce delays in delivery of care.

The priorities, in turn, inform the enterprise’s strategic initiatives, which are:
  • Ensure technical infrastructure that is secure, quick and across all entities;
  • Improve patient safety, quality of care and clinician workflow;
  • Improve patient access and satisfaction;
  • Support decision-making, process improvement and departmental strategic plans; and
  • Identify and contain costs.

One of the established projects is an ambulatory EMR, which provides a single database for 15 system-owned practices and 15 private practices.

Other current initiatives tied to imaging include a patient charting and computerized physician order entry and an online operating room (OR) project. “We’re planning a major OR upgrade. We want to provide access to images in the OR,” explained Mamary. Currently, access is possible, but disjointed, as surgeons must log into multiple PACS to view images, which presents patient safety and efficiency issues.

The OR challenge is a reflection of Hunterdon’s varied imaging infrastructure, which includes multiple PACS images, as well as photos and outside images. In addition, “there’s no unified solution for images. Data are siloed with multiple ways to access them. It makes things very difficult. We need to solve this for clinicians,” stated Mamary.