Secure medical image sharing for faster, better care

Secure medical image sharing for faster, better care
Updated: Jul. 27, 2017 at 1:01 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - If you have ever had imaging done at a medical office or hospital, then had to go to another office for follow-up, chances are, you have had to go with a CD of your file or paper copy.

That is changing, though, thanks to a medical image sharing network called PowerShare by Nuance.

Lake Charles Memorial Hospital has implemented the system that utilizes a cloud-based platform to securely share images and imaging data in real-time, across hospitals, clinics, and communities, according to Director of Radiology, Scott Daigle. 

"All I basically do is click the image, the report pops up, and I click view images, then I can see the images," said Daigle.  "I can manipulate them with all the regular tools that a normal PACS system has."

Right at his fingertips, Daigle, can see his own x-ray, on the free PowerShare app or on a PC computer.

Daigle says prior to PowerShare, the process of creating CDs of MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, and other medical images ate up a lot of time and money.

"Before this, we'd either make copies of the actual film and mail it or the patient would have to come pick it up or we can put it on a disc, like a DVD or CD, burn it to a disc, the patient has to come pick it up or we would have to mail it," he said.

There were cases where discs could become corrupt, with unviewable images.  That could cause surgeries to be delayed and in some cases, repeated tests.

"It saves the patients from unnecessary tests and radiation.  What was happening, if you go to MD Anderson and vice-versa, if a patient comes back to us, if the doctor couldn't have immediate access to the images, they would just repeat the test because they need to know what's going on," said Daigle.

There is a fast-growing list of participating hospitals and medical offices nationwide, using PowerShare.  In Southwest Louisiana, CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital and several other medical offices have launched the PowerShare System, and two hospitals - West Calcasieu Cameron and Lake Area Medical - are in the process.

"There's hundreds nationwide," said Daigle.  "We're directly connected with 46 hospitals locally between Texas and Mississippi."

PowerShare saves images for two months.  Patients, as well as medical staff, can download the free app to access the images anytime, anywhere.

Daigle says with cost-management, it is a net-zero effect, because the money spent creating discs offsets the price of the system.

If a hospital or clinic does not have PowerShare, the physician/medical provider can be sent a link with a temporary name and password to instantly view a patient's images.

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