Guest blogger, Dr. Chivonne Harrigal from Personalized Imaging Consultants, explains why collaboration and coordination are so critical for cancer care—and how Nuance PowerShare helps ensure each of her patients can easily access the care they need.
This blog was contributed by Dr. Chivonne Harrigal from Personalized Imaging Consultants.
Every cancer patient has their own story—and each of their treatment journeys is unique. At Personalized Imaging Consultants, we treat all our patients like they’re members of our family, dedicating ourselves to ensure they get the very best care for their unique needs. But getting access to the best care isn’t always easy for patients living in rural communities in Nevada, where we’re based.
Delivering high-quality care for complex conditions requires tight coordination between dispersed teams of radiologists, oncologists, and other specialists. Things can change very quickly in cancer treatment—and time is of the essence for these patients. Successful treatment is dependent on having accurate, up-to-date information, so it’s vital that everyone’s on the same page, with access to the latest imaging and relevant priors.
Before we implemented Nuance PowerShare, our patients carried the burden of managing their own imaging. They were responsible for getting CDs of their imaging and mailing them to the facilities providing different aspects of their care. But mail gets lost and CDs get broken; and if clinicians don’t have the most up-to-date studies and comparisons, they don’t know if a treatment is working.
The power of connection
Many of our patients have to travel for hours to multiple facilities, so we must be connected to these centers to make sure they’re getting the care they need. The size and reliability of the PowerShare network enable us to collaborate closely with out-of-state academic medical centers and local oncologists to deliver more precise and timely care.
Real-time image sharing through PowerShare also makes it much easier and faster for patients to coordinate their care across multidisciplinary teams in different facilities. Anything we can do to remove the administrative burden from cancer patients has to be a good thing. Sharing imaging online instantaneously also gives our patients immense peace of mind. Patients know that when we push their imaging studies to a facility, the information has reached its proper destination—cancer patients have enough on their plate without having to worry about lost or broken CDs.
Increasing health equity
Sharing images on PowerShare allows patients to have their imaging completed locally, so they don’t have to travel to the major medical centers in California—that’s revolutionized their care.
If you’re getting chemotherapy, the last thing you want to do is drive for hours over a snowy mountain pass to get a CT scan. Many of our patients simply couldn’t get the care they need if they had to drive all that way and stay overnight at a hotel just for an imaging procedure.
The ability for us to be able to instantly exchange studies with care teams at different facilities is huge for our patients. PowerShare helps us keep their care as local as possible, saving time and reducing the cost of care while giving patients the benefits of being treated at academic medical centers in California.
I can honestly say that using PowerShare has changed my life (you can read the recent case study we created with Nuance to find out how) and given me and everyone at PIC more time back in our day to focus on our patients.
If you’re considering implementing PowerShare in your facility, I urge you to get on board—I truly believe it’s the most powerful tool we have for helping every patient access the right care at the right time.