The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN), which runs a statewide health information exchange (HIE) in the state, is piloting an image sharing program.
The program, which will include 10 hospitals and healthcare facilities, well test a model for sharing digital imaging and communication in medicine (DICOM) standard images such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs through the HIE. The model, developed by the St. Joseph, Mo.-based Offsite Image Management, uses the DIRECT secure messaging functionality available for most 2014 certified electronic health records (EHRs). It uses a cloud-based technology, allowing physicians and hospitals to receive, view and download images to their picture archiving communications system (PACS).
Image sharing as part of an HIE is still in its infancy, with only the leading organizations doing it. In Houston, Greater Houston Health Connect, a public nonprofit regional HIE, covering 20 counties in southeastern Texas, invested in DICOM Grid’s (Phoenix, Ariz.) software to allow its members to share images in the cloud. The HIE has rolled out the image-sharing capabilities at three of its 10 member hospitals.