Maine Prepares to Launch First Statewide Electronic Image Network
New medical image archive will reduce costs and make health care more efficient
Medical tests like MRIs, CT scans, x-rays and mammograms can be an essential element to proper care and diagnosis in health care. Physicians and hospitals are not always able to share results with each other easily, which can delay treatment, lead to errors and often result in patients having to have the tests repeated. Maine is looking to make those issues a thing of the past by creating a statewide medical image archive housed within its existing health information exchange. The state has partnered with HealthInfoNet and Dell to create a central cloud-based data storage system that will be tested this summer by the three largest health-care organizations in the state. The primary benefit of the cloud approach is the significantly lower data storage and transportation costs which currently average $12 per scan. Providers are projected to save more than $6 million over the next seven years, while the more efficient coordination of patient records should lead to better health outcomes. After successful completion of the pilot phase this summer, the program is expected be rolled out statewide by 2013.