An enhanced interoperability system allows for healthcare organizations to securely exchange imaging data, thus increasing referrals, reducing costs, and honoring regulatory requirements.
Merge Healthcare, Inc. (Chicago, IL, USA) has recently released its novel invention, the iConnect Network, an advanced imaging network that enables hospitals, providers, and imaging centers to swap or exchange imaging information securely and electronically. This interoperability service, which incorporates with current electronic health record (EHR) networks and health information exchanges (HIE), facilitates has boosted referrals and provides meaningful use stage 2 (MU2) imaging requirements in an economic manner.
“It has been an exciting opportunity to test Merge’s new iConnect Network. This technology gives us a competitive advantage for both our providers and patients. Since Marana is a part of an accountable care organization [ACO] and is patient centered medical home certified, iConnect Network is a true example of a solution that integrates with our EHR, achieves information exchange and helps our health center be more efficient by automating time-consuming processes. This ultimately enables us to improve treatment times, reimbursements and patient care, as well as meet core regulatory requirements,” said chief information officer, Luis Velasco, at Marana Health Center (Marana, AZ, USA).
With MU2 as a key component for numerous healthcare organizations and physician EHR adoption rates constantly increasing, there is a growing need for hospitals and imaging centers to provide imaging data to all EHRs used by their provider community. Without any supplementary communications, iConnect Network enables providers to honor regulatory requirements and distribute vital patient data directly into a community physician’s EHR without having to build expensive point-to-point HL[health level]7 interfaces.
“We have prior experience with Merge’s iConnect Access solution, and we know the organization’s reputation for providing cost-effective technologies with little software involvement from IT [information technology] teams throughout implementation. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from referring physicians, and we anticipate that this will be an exciting opportunity for them to provide faster treatments and, ultimately, improve patient care,” said chief information officer, Frederick Sachs, at Long Island Radiology (New York, NY, USA), one of the beta site customers who helped Merge with the release of iConnect Network.
Director of IT at Radiology, Ltd. (Tucson, AZ, USA), Merge’s second beta site customer for iConnect Network, Ron Cornett, enthusiastically agreed, stating: “The beauty of working with a platform like iConnect Network is the seamless integration with our referring physician base. Now we’re able to support our entire community of providers as they meet the demands of meaningful use as well as future technology and care initiatives.”
“We’re pleased that our customers see the value and financial opportunities associated with implementing iConnect Network,” said CEO of Merge Healthcare, Justin Dearborn.
“Not only are we enabling them to cost-effectively solve a real-world business problem, we are meeting the challenges that healthcare providers are facing with meaningful use and interoperability. We are dedicated to providing technologies that support value-based, collaborative care and will continue to innovate and expand the iConnect Network in the coming months with several phased roll outs,” he went on to add.
Further capabilities will be added to iConnect Network over time, including electronic patient referrals and online ordering processes, automated insurance precertification services for imaging centers and hospitals, and direct patient access to care navigation for scheduling and accessing images.
Merge’s enterprise and cloud-based solutions for image intensive specialties provide access to any image, anywhere, any time. Merge also provides clinical trials software and other health data and analytics solutions that engage consumers in their personal health.