Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hyland Onbase’s Patient Window = Silo Buster?

As a physician, when it comes time to view images within their hospital’s EMR, the experience can be frustrating. Hyland OnBase has a solution for aggregating these disparate imaging viewers (DICOM and non-DICOM content) into one application: Patient Window.

This solution is described with words like “Unify”, “Connecting information silos”, “seamless integration with EMR”. As a certified engineer working with OnBase working on Healthcare solutions, I applaud this effort to truly help physicians find their information efficiently. The demo looks great, but what about the implementation?

So, how can this silo buster get traction within the fortified walls of an EMR’s embedded imaging viewer? Behind these applications are dedicated teams who have spent years implementing these point solutions within the EMR. Chances are good that these teams are managed within the EMR’s umbrella. This means the ECM's team manager will have to have discussions with the EMR's team manager to negotiate how to "unify" these applications.

Showing the image for the patient’s case is the culmination of purchasing the machine, licensing and configuring the software, testing it, configuring the manufacturer’s viewer to be embedded in the EMR’s software. The team that did all of this work, had many meetings with the informatics team to review the physician’s requirements and industry standards, with the EMR team to review how it should be setup with the EMR’s solutions, with IT’s infrastructure and security team to validate the integrity of the solution, with the interface team to make sure that patient information integrated correctly, and so on.

The silo is not just the information, it’s the whole process. Process reengineering is a key part of implementing this type of aggregation. I’m not saying it can’t be done. What I’m saying is that, unless there is already an EMR process overhaul taking place, there is a mountain to climb here.