One of the country’s top health information exchanges adds image-sharing capabilities

One of the largest health information exchanges in the country has expanded its offerings to allow healthcare providers across Colorado to share medical images, according to a May 14 announcement.

The new ability comes by way of a partnership between the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO) and data-exchange company Health Images. 

As a result of the endeavor, CORHIO’s more than 19,000 users will be able to share high-quality images such as MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, mammograms, and x-rays, regardless of health system or electronic health record.

“This project marks an exciting milestone for CORHIO and we are thrilled to partner with Health Images to make these results available to the healthcare community in Colorado,” Morgan Honea, CEO of CORHIO, said in a statement. “Health Images is the first organization to successfully provide links to diagnostic images in our HIE, which will greatly enhance the patient results available in the CORHIO network.”

Before the partnership, users were required to log into a separate system for such images, or be forced to call other institutions to have them deliver the physical scans. Now, providers across the state can click an in-portal link for access. It’s a benefit both parties believe will improve patient care across Denver and the surrounding areas.

“We at Health Images take pride in providing quick, easy access to patient’s reports and images for doctors and staff. This leads to more efficient and effective treatment for patients,” says Shelley McLeod, VP of Operations at Health Images. “With CORHIO as an avenue that is widely used, we are excited to collaborate with them on this offering.”

Image-sharing has long been a challenge for healthcare providers, with many still lacking the necessary technology and infrastructure to easily transfer information between departments in the same institution. And there’s been a number of efforts to help bring widespread interoperability to radiology.

For example, the Radiological Society of North America announced last December that it has joined forces with key players in the data exchange industry, including Ambra Health, LifeImage, and Philips Healthcare, in a bid to pivot toward a DICOM-based imaging exchange network.

A number of practicing radiologists-turned-tech-executives have also joined together to move the field away from storing images on CDs, forming a group called “Ditch the Disk.”