One of the more constant demands when patients are referred to physicians is: “bring your x-rays”. Since the beginning of modern medicine, this has meant a visit to the hospital to access the images, usually via a CD. Well, technology now exists to bring this diagnostic imaging information directly to the patient.
Hamilton Health Sciences has partnered with a company called PocketHealth to give patients online, electronic access to their imaging records. This gives them the ability to easily access, download and share their diagnostic-quality images and associated radiologist reports. This service is now live and available to all HHS patients.
A Solution that Works at Scale
For HHS, which performs over 700,000 imaging studies annually across five hospital sites and five specialized facilities — including a Children’s hospital — this partnership means moving with a solution, implemented on a large scale, to empower patients. As one of the largest imaging departments in the country, we are regularly looking for ways to more efficiently deliver care at scale, while improving the patient experience,” says Shairoz Kherani, Director of Diagnostic Services and Medical Diagnostic Units at HHS.
PocketHealth helps HHS reduce costs spent on image releases by eliminating the need to put images on a CD and allows instead to deliver them right to a patient’s phone or computer so they can then be shared with a physician. It gives control of these records back to the patient, saves them time and money spent on return visits to the hospital, and gives physicians a seamless, privacy-compliant and secure image access experience.
Harsh Nayyar, Chief Technology Officer at PocketHealth, adds: “when patients control the flow of their health data, the operational benefit for imaging providers — especially large, integrated health systems like HHS — is massive. We’re grateful to the HHS team for the opportunity to partner on a deployment with such a far-reaching patient impact.”
Now Live and Available for Patients in Need
Since the platform’s launch in April 2019, HHS patients have been able to securely enroll, verify their identity and receive access to their diagnostic imaging within minutes across all HHS sites. New records are being made available automatically in the patient’s account following every diagnostic imaging test.
There is a $5.00 transfer fee at the time of enrolment, and it includes permanent access to all available imaging records at the hospital — which often exceeds well over 100 exams. Once patients receive access, they can share their imaging digitally with any physician in seconds, or even burn their own CD or USB from home. Physicians that receive access can view the required imaging in seconds using a powerful, Health Canada-certified diagnostic viewer right from their web browser, without any software required.
This is a huge leap forward for patients. This tool gives them more control over their own care, saves them money, and helps them become meaningful participants in their health journey. Initiatives such as HHS’ MyChart — which provides patients to patient information other than imaging — are going live at the same time, so the timing is perfect to introduce our patient population to a new, digital way to control their diagnostic imaging records.
Hamilton Health Sciences joins over 500 other hospitals, clinics and mobile imaging sites across North America that have deployed the PocketHealth platform for their patients.
About Hamilton Health Sciences
Hamilton Health Sciences is a hospital system of 15,000 staff, physicians, researchers and volunteers that proudly serves southwestern Ontario residents. We also provide specialized, advanced care to people from across the province. HHS is the only hospital in Ontario that cares for all ages, from pre-birth to end-of-life. We offer world-leading expertise in many areas, including cardiac and stroke care, cancer care, palliative care and pediatrics.
PocketHealth is a patient-centric cloud platform that enables imaging providers across North America to share imaging records electronically with patients, instantly and securely. Since its launch in 2016, the platform has grown its functionality to enable direct sharing between hospitals and physicians, as well as instant DICOM retrieval and automated importing capability, creating a unified image management solution for their over 500 hospital and imaging clinic customers across North America. The company believes that by placing patients at the center of the record release process, data moves more ethically, easily and securely throughout the care journey. Learn more at www.pocket.health.