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KLAS Report: Demand for Image Exchange is Growing

July 2, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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As provider organizations look to implement enterprise imaging strategies, the demand for better image exchange tools and sharing capabilities is growing, according to a new report from the Orem, Utah-based KLAS.

Healthcare organizations want to exchange images seamlessly and quickly across disparate platforms, organizations, and users. Image exchange vendors have successfully addressed these needs to a large extent, the report found. KLAS interviewed 193 providers from 166 organizations to produce the report, "Image Exchange 2014: Delivering Added Value in an Enterprise World."

Seven out of 20 organizations validated by KLAS are using lifeIMAGE to exchange more than 5,000 studies per month, with 75 percent of all lifeIMAGE respondents exchanging more than 500 studies each month. lifeIMAGE’s overall performance scores match DICOM Grid’s, but lifeIMAGE has proven scalability more often in larger organizations. lifeIMAGE is second only to eHealth Technologies for providers planning to use the solution for a health information exchange (HIE). Of the seven sites exchanging more than 10,000 per months, three are using lifeIMAGE, three are using eHealth, and one is using DICOM Grid.

The study also reveals that at least half of certain vendors' customers interviewed by KLAS are considering replacing their image exchange products. Providers cited their desire to consolidate vendors and reduce costs. A director of radiology explained, “We would be crazy to not deeply evaluate a product from a vendor that we already have installed. That option would save us time and money. Even if the product weren’t the best on the market, it might be wiser to go with it if it could satisfy our needs.”

Further, the report found that the adoption of mobile device usability is still in its infancy. Providers rated eHealth’s and DR Systems’ mobile device usability highest; however, none of the vendors in the study have seen widespread adoption. Providers using DICOM Grid and Nuance have the most sites using mobile devices. And providers in general like what has been done thus far and want further development, according to the report.

"With the provider market increasingly consolidating, scalability is becoming an important consideration that could translate to some vendors gaining and some vendors losing market share," report author Matt Terry said in a news release that accompanied the report.

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