Transforming radiology’s digital ecosystem

radiologist reading clinical image

Today’s healthcare environment continues to be transformed by digital solutions. However, it is still in need of better integration, interoperability, and coordination of data resources. Healthcare providers continue to provide high-quality care amid high levels of staff burnout, staffing shortages, and constrained budgets. Addressing these challenges with improved efficiencies is top of mind for providers, and industry partners are developing tools to help them. Some of the key focus areas range from improving workflow efficiencies and automating processes to providing visibility with operational analytics, all while ensuring consistency of care delivery across locations.

In many cases, hospital consolidations are increasing, further exacerbating the current challenges and highlighting the focus on consistency in care delivery as more essential.[1] Medical imaging is one department where this is crucial, as patients may seek imaging services at various provider locations over the course of their care journey.

Addressing data management in imaging

Over time, innovations in medical imaging technologies have led to sophisticated hardware and software capabilities to improve image quality and inform clinical decision-making. Industry leaders in healthcare are also continuing to incorporate the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technologies into imaging systems and the system’s user interfaces for increased workflow efficiencies. AI applications and advanced digital innovations have resulted in more data generation across radiology, with each imaging exam generating potentially hundreds of digital images that need to be shared, stored, and easily accessed. Imaging data management is important to maintain consistency and quality while avoiding interruptions to patient care.

Data management in radiology and across a health system continues to be a focus as health systems expand or grow in geographical extent. Building an enterprise architecture to enable a holistic solution is one way to strengthen a healthcare operation’s ability to standardize processes, monitor performance and security, and maintain consistency in service.

Leveraging enterprise solutions for operational efficiency

Enterprise-level solutions offer significant opportunities for medical imaging operations to improve integration and interoperability, create workflow efficiencies, and aggregate disparate data for insightful analyses. Digital technology is helping to alleviate the digital storage burden and offers solutions that facilitate information access and collaboration.

GE HealthCare is working with customers to implement enterprise-level platforms in radiology to empower data-driven solutions to improve patient care. Imaging operations solutions are intended to support multi-site, multi-modality connectivity and drive collaboration to scale the imaging enterprise and fuel productivity. Designed with continuous improvement in mind, the solution is accessible through a dashboard, providing administrators and clinicians the information they need to make data-based decisions anytime and from any location.

“With enterprise solutions, we’re helping our customers achieve better operational efficiencies in radiology,” said Rekha Ranganathan, General Manager of Imaging Digital Solutions for GE HealthCare. "To face today’s challenges, radiology needs the ability to scale operations across multiple sites, scanners, and modalities with simplified access to data, consistency in imaging, data insights, and collaboration tools.”

Optimize operations across the imaging fleet

Distributed imaging continues to grow as health systems try to meet the needs of their patient communities, in which they provide patients with imaging services at a main location as well as multiple satellite locations. Managing a large fleet of imaging systems across locations can present multiple challenges for a radiology department, but enterprise-level solutions can optimize operations by utilizing data insights from connected medical devices as well as standardization tools that provide the visibility needed to improve efficiencies and help deliver quality clinical outcomes.

Standardizing imaging protocols can help avoid variation and can be better managed with more visibility from an enterprise level. There are many sequences and options for performing exams on different imaging modalities. Many radiologists and specialty physicians also have certain sequences they prefer to use for diagnostics. A lack of consistency and management of these variations can lead to inconsistent imaging across the health system and could affect a patient’s care journey. As a health system expands over time or through consolidation, the number of different imaging protocols can increase even more, and radiology department administrators are challenged to develop standardized imaging protocols across the entire fleet of imaging systems.

Manually updating imaging protocols on each imaging system can create additional staffing challenges as well as system downtime. GE HealthCare designed an automated, digital solution to help eliminate this manual process. This protocol management solution helps to provide consistent image quality across all devices and locations. Administrators can remotely update and manage protocols across facilities, making changes in minutes, as well as creating an audit trail of protocol changes.

Innovations in digital tools for collaboration and department performance are also driving efficiency in imaging operations. Cutting-edge collaboration tools allow imaging technologists to consult with other technologists about complex protocols or to get assistance. Department performance can also be monitored at the enterprise level when department data is aggregated and analyzed to optimize staffing and equipment utilization. Improved protocol management, resourcing, and scheduling can positively impact care delivery and patient satisfaction as well.

“We examined our business to determine areas where something could be done better using AI. Imaging 360 is built around giving us relevant clinical, staff-related, operational, and financial insights into our business. All its components put together are very much greater than the sum of the parts,” explained Dr. Peter Strouhal, radiologist and medical director of Alliance Medical in the UK, part of a multinational imaging company.

Enabling enterprise solutions with cloud technology

Enterprise Imaging solutions play a crucial role in healthcare organizations, providing a means to manage and share medical images and associated data. Digital technology can further optimize workload by using a rich data set to augment individuals' skill sets, improve clinical decision support, and eliminate redundant tasks. Shifting to cloud-based solutions in radiology to access and store this data can offer several benefits to improve operational efficiency.

Cloud-based solutions offer access and agility in terms of data flow and integration. This is particularly important in the context of Enterprise Imaging, where medical images and associated data need to be shared quickly and easily between departments and healthcare providers. By leveraging GE Healthcare’s Enterprise Imaging in the Cloud* technology, staff productivity can be improved as the department deploys and implements integrated tools to facilitate workflow and aggregate data to monitor system and staff performance.

Using cloud-based solutions can also impact cost, shifting from an IT investment or capital expenditure to more of a pay-as-you-go operational expenditure. Cloud solutions are also an attractive option because they can provide a reduced risk of cyberattacks to healthcare applications such as electronic medical record systems and PACS imaging storage.[2]

Partnering for a holistic digital solution in radiology

By integrating digital tools comprehensively across the system, department, and enterprise, they can help drive connectivity and collaboration in the healthcare system. Partnering with an industry leader like GE HealthCare can help guide providers and ensure they can take advantage of the benefits of holistic digital solutions as the healthcare industry evolves, bringing together hospitals, data, and clinical and technical innovations. The scope of enterprise solutions reflects advancements in clinical imaging, digitization, and data integration across the health system.



Watch on-demand keynote presentations discussing GE HealthCare’s digital solutions:



* Cloud-based approach for enterprise imaging will be available in USA only.

Not all products or features are available in all geographies. Check with your local GE HealthCare representative for availability in your country.



[1] National Institute for Health Care Management. Hospital consolidation: Trends, impacts & outlook. NIHCM. Last updated November 3, 2020. Accessed March 9, 2023.


[2] McKeon J. How cloud-based solutions might mitigate EMR security risks. HealthcareExecIntelligence. Published April 18, 2022. Accessed March 9, 2023.