Hyland is addressing the clinical blind spot

Digitising patient information is a step in the right direction, but siloed repositories of digital information are not the desired outcome. To improve patient care, a holistic view on patients’ medical information is needed, including structured and unstructured content. Razvan Atanasiu, CTO Enterprise Imaging at Hyland explains how the company has mastered this challenge.

What clinical needs are addressed by tying medical images and unstructured data into an electronic medical record (EMR)?

This concept addresses the problem of the "clinical blind spot". An estimated 70% of clinical data is not part of a patient’s EMR because these systems focus on structured data. As such, clinicians only have direct access to a fraction of the health information that exists on a patient. By connecting unstructured content (e.g. DICOM and non-DICOM medical images, clinical documents) to the patient record, clinicians gain a more comprehensive view of a patient’s overall health, which enables more informed and accurate clinical decisions.

Currently, patients have health information trapped in several systems and departments that span multiple ‘ologies’ within a hospital. Plus, this information exists in various – and often proprietary – file formats. Enabling a holistic view on a patient’s medical information across these diverse sources requires systems that have the flexibility to capture data from a broad range of devices and store that information in a secure, standards-based and user-friendly way.

How do hospitals benefit when medical images and unstructured data are integrated with an EMR?

The ability to access a comprehensive EMR that contains both structured and unstructured data at the point of care provides a hospital with three key benefits: 1) Financially, the cloud-based lifecycle management of the consolidated patient information reduces costs. 2) Operationally, this approach streamlines manual processes and offers centralised and improved security as well as economies of scale. 3) From a clinical perspective, this strategy enables higher productivity of clinical personnel thanks to more efficient workflows: The right information is accessible at the right time and in the right context due to the patient-centric and rolebased presentation of the data.

What is a best practice for integrating images with an EMR?

PACS technology alone is insufficient to meet the image management, sharing and collaboration needs of today’s hospital. An enterprise imaging strategy that enables healthcare providers to standardise the capture, management, viewing, sharing and distribution of clinical data in diverse formats including non-DICOM (like wound care photos and surgical video) and DICOM content (e.g. X-rays, MRIs and CT scans) has become the best practice for today. An enterprise imaging strategy not only enables access and sharing of medical images across specific departments, but also across hospitals and entire healthcare networks. Vendor neutral archive (VNA) technology is a key contributor to a successful enterprise imaging strategy. This technology allows hospitals to capture, manage and view stored images or documents without the restrictions imposed by a vendor. VNAs help to eliminate information siloes and facilitate the sharing of data by creating a framework for standardising imaging. By building it on a flexible foundation, it can grow along with a provider’s individual enterprise imaging strategy.

How do your solutions support this strategy?

Hyland’s solutions support a client in implementing its entire enterprise imaging strategy. The data acquisition of DICOM and non-DICOM imaging archives is handled by PACSgear, which also captures videos, scans documents, including old radiology film. It can also connect to EMRs, PACS or RIS (Radiology Information Systems). Our Acuo VNA solution manages data and images from various information siloes in a single repository and distributes those as needed. Our NilRead viewer empowers an EMR with image viewing capabilities at the point of care. Although each solution can be bought separately, they also work very well together.

What makes your solutions stand out from competitors?

Our VNA offers much more than managing storage, we are vendor-neutral at each step of the process, allowing clients to mix and match. This promotes data ownership and control over the data. Hyland also facilitates digital transformation in healthcare by enabling improved and tailored case management. We provide clinicians with a more comprehensive view of a patient’s medical information and facilitate the integration with other vendors’ PACS. Our clients profit from our expertise in implementing solutions as well as maintaining them. They also benefit from our modular approach that enables us to serve customers with individually configured solutions that match their operational and financial requirements. Finally, our solutions are also highly scalable to meet all imaging requirements–no matter how demanding. With medical studies continuously growing year by year, scalability is important.


Hyland Healthcare delivers a suite of unparalleled content and image management solutions to address the clinical, financial and operational needs of healthcare organizations. Globally, more than 2,000 healthcare organizations rely on  Hyland’s world-class solutions and experience to connect diverse content to patient records, eliminate reimbursement delays and enhance business processes.

28500 Clemens Road
Westlake, OH 44145
United States

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