Appl Clin Inform 2012; 03(04): 475-487
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2012-06-RA-0022
Research Article
Schattauer GmbH

Insight into the Sharing of Medical Images

Physician, Other Health Care Providers, and Staff Experience in a Variety of Medical Settings
J.C. Sandberg
1  Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
,
Y. Ge
2  Department of Biomedical Engineering, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
,
H.T. Nguyen
1  Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
,
T.A. Arcury
1  Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
,
A.J. Johnson
3  Department of Radiology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
,
W. Hwang
4  Department of Public Health Sciences, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA
,
H.D. Gage
3  Department of Radiology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
,
T. Reynolds
5  Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
,
J.J. Carr
3  Department of Radiology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
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Publikationsverlauf

Received 18. Juni 2012

Accepted 11. November 2012

Publikationsdatum:
19. Dezember 2017 (online)

Summary

Background: Scant knowledge exists describing health care providers’ and staffs’ experiences sharing imaging studies. Additional research is needed to determine the extent to which imaging studies are shared in diverse health care settings, and the extent to which provider or practice characteristics are associated with barriers to viewing external imaging studies on portable media.

Objective: This analysis uses qualitative data to 1) examine how providers and their staff accessed outside medical imaging studies, 2) examine whether use or the desire to use imaging studies conducted at outside facilities varied by provider specialty or location (urban, suburban, and small town) and 3) delineate difficulties experienced by providers or staff as they attempted to view and use imaging studies available on portable media.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 85 health care providers and medical facility staff from urban, suburban, and small town medical practices in North Carolina and Virginia. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, then systematically analyzed using ATLAS.ti.

Results: Physicians at family and pediatric medicine practices rely primarily on written reports for medical studies other than X-rays; and thus do not report difficulties accessing outside imaging studies. Subspecialists in urban, suburban, and small towns view imaging studies through internal communication systems, internet portals, or portable media. Many subspecialists and their staff report experiencing difficulty and time delays in accessing and using imaging studies on portable media.

Conclusion: Subspecialists have distinct needs for viewing imaging studies that are not shared by typical primary care providers. As development and implementation of technical strategies to share medical records continue, this variation in need and use should be noted. The sharing and viewing of medical imaging studies on portable media is often inefficient and fails to meet the needs of many subspeciality physicians, and can lead to repeated imaging studies.

Citation: Sandberg JC, Ge Y, Nguyen HT, Arcury TA, Johnson AJ, Hwang W, Gage HD, Reynolds T, Carr JJ. Insight into the sharing of medical images. Physician, other health care providers, and staff experience in a variety of medical settings. Appl Clin Inf 2012; 3: 475–487

http://dx.doi.org/10.4338/ACI-2012-06-RA-0022