Many providers and organizations (likely even your own) continue to rely on old-fashioned devices, including using CD-ROMs to share medical images. Besides damaging our efficiency, these outdated technologies can also be harmful to the patient experience, which makes them harmful to your reputation, and eventually, the bottom line of your business.
While the definition of “patient engagement” isn’t always clear, it generally refers to an individual patient’s knowledge of, and participation in, their own health care and decision-making. Having access to health data, including imaging results, is an important part of the patient experience. In the specialty care space, those aspects remain, but with one additional piece: patients are often scared because they don’t know what to expect from specialty care.
According to Jennifer Kemp, MD, MB, FACR, a diagnostic radiologist and a body imaging subspecialist at Denver-based Diversified Radiology, that’s usually the situation in radiology departments.
“When a patient walks into a primary care office, she knows what she’s going to encounter,” Kemp explained during an interview with PatientEngagementHIT.com. “She’ll talk to her doctor, and the doctor will listen and check her general health. But when a patient walks into the radiology department, a lot of times she won’t know what’s she’s in for. Most people know what an x-ray is, but a lot of people don’t know what an ultrasound is or a CAT scan or an MRI or what to expect. There is a lot of fear around the unknown.”
As a provider, this is your day-to-day — but for many patients, being sent to specialty care is unnerving and complications with something as “simple” as a CD can drive your patients even further away from you.
How can CDs threaten patient experience?
CDs are inconvenient. Since they force patients to physically collect from the provider. If they aren’t physically collected, the transportation and personnel costs associated with shipping them are can add up very quickly.
CDs can be misplaced, stolen, or damaged, compromising protected health data and making their contents unreadable.
A patient’s CD may be unexpectedly password-protected, creating frustration as they attempt to access their own health data.
Images on a CD are difficult to share, such as when seeking a second opinion.
Can CDs be replaced?
There are numerous options for radiology practices and other healthcare providers that want to replace CDs with more efficient image-sharing solutions. These include:
● Cloud-based solutions ● Image-enabled patient portals ● Mobile radiology apps
While it can be a significant time and financial commitment to migrate from CDs to more modern options, the result can be more efficient options and improved patient engagement.
Take advantage of the technology available
Move beyond outdated CDs for sharing patient images. Instead, give your patients and referring physicians a simple, secure QR code with CryptoChart, which allows them to instantly view and share their images right from their mobile devices.
Instead of burning medical images to a CD, CryptoChart users can send providers or patients a simple QR code that allows them to view and share images from a mobile device or desktop computer. This helps protect patient information while controlling costs and saving time. Interested? Learn more here.