IMV Report Finds Cardiology Departments Looking to Integrate CPACS, CVIS Systems

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Top IT priorities center on facilitating department workflow, integrating with the enterprise electronic medical record (EMR) system.

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Cardiologists need patient images to be integrated with related nonimage patient information and structured reporting to improve diagnostic efficiency.

A newly released study by IMV Medical Information Division shows that cardiology departments in U.S. hospitals are moving beyond separate cardiovascular image management systems (CPACS) and information systems (CVIS) with an eye to the improved efficiency provided by integration with other capabilities such as radiology PACS, other departmental IT systems, and the hospital’s EMR system.

The dual objectives of integrating CPACS and CVIS information into one cohesive system while integrating with the hospital’s EMR system are reflected in the respondents’ ratings of their departmental priorities. Based on average ratings, the top two priorities rated are “manage the integration of cardiovascular IT (CV-IT) systems with EMR” and “align CV-IT systems with workflow practices.”

“U.S. hospitals have made progress in integrating cardiology images with nonimage data over the past four years,” observed Lorna Young, senior director of market research at IMV. “Cardiologists need patient images to be integrated with related nonimage patient information and structured reporting to improve diagnostic efficiency.”

IMV’s study shows that U.S hospitals are at various degrees of implementation along this path. More than three-quarters of the surveyed hospitals, 77%, indicated they have both CPACS and CVIS. An additional 17% have one system or the other, while only 6% of the hospitals have no formal implementation of either a CPACS or CVIS. Of the sites that have both systems, nearly half indicated that their CPACS and CVIS are fully integrated, while the rest have not yet fully integrated these two systems.

While the evolution in the use of CV-IT systems has progressed, it is clear that the respondents do not feel that their journey on the cardiology information continuum is complete. When asked where they felt their current implementation of CPACS/CVIS is relative to their ideal, only 33% of the respondents reported they were more than three-quarters of the way to their ideal system. Continued investment in CV-IT systems is proceeding, with two-thirds of the sites planning to upgrade or implement a new or replacement CPACS and/or CVIS over the next three years.

Despite their acknowledgement that the ideal architecture includes integration with the EMR or electronic health record (EHR) system, respondents feel their ideal CV-IT solution should not necessarily be integrated by their EMR/EHR vendor because of cardiology’s priority of aligning its CV-IT system with its workflow practices. In fact, a higher proportion of all the respondents are more likely to favor their current CPACS or CVIS vendor, or even their radiology PACS vendor, to be the integrator for their ideal CV-IT solution than the EMR/EHR vendor. Having an enterprise-wide archive solution that is developed for cardiology, radiology, and other hospital departments also is part of the vision.

IMV’s report identifies trends in the installed base market share of CPACS, CVIS, radiology PACS, and EMR/EHR vendors; respondent satisfaction with their CPACS/CVIS; and vendors being considered for future implementations of their cardiovascular information technology over the next few years. Vendors covered in this report include Agfa, Allscripts, Carestream, Cerner, CPSI, DR Systems, Epic, GE, Fujifilm, Lumedx, McKesson, Meditech, Merge, Philips, and Siemens.

In other report findings, cardiac catheterization and echocardiography images and structured reporting form the backbone of the ideal integrated CPACS and CVIS, with either or both modalities specified by all the respondents. About half of the current CPACS users also mentioned that they currently have access to intravascular ultrasound, interventional radiology/angiography, and vascular ultrasound images from their CPACS.

Of the survey respondents who have both radiology PACS and CPACS, the top two components that are integrated/interfaced are the data archive infrastructure and a common patient-centric database.

The top three functional capabilities sought are critical results reporting, additional/enhanced structured reporting, and mobile access (capability to view images on portable devices), which were preferred by half of the respondents.

IMV's new report, the "2014 Cardiology Information Continuum: Present Access and Future Integration Strategies for Cardiovascular Information Technology," is based on responses from 194 department administrators who are CPACS decision-makers, including cardiovascular services administrators, IT and management information systems (MIS) directors, CPACS managers, and radiology administrators in U.S. hospitals that have at least one cardiac cath lab installed. For more information about IMV’s report, visit or call 847-297-1404, ext. 116 to speak with a representative.

In this report, cardiology PACS or “CPACS” is defined as integrated systems that at least have the ability to access cath lab and echo images, and might also have the ability to access images from other modalities, such as cardiac cath, echocardiography, interventional angiography, electrophysiology, CT, MR, SPECT, and PET/CT images. Cardiovascular information systems or “CVIS” contain other patient-specific cardiovascular-related data, such as hemodynamic monitoring, electrocardiogram, and reporting capabilities for clinical results.

About IMV

IMV is a market research consulting firm founded in 1977 specializing in medical imaging and other advanced healthcare technology markets. IMV's marketing consulting services, in combination with our census databases of U.S. imaging sites with selected modalities, provide clients valuable assistance in strategic planning, customer satisfaction, product development, and sales initiatives.

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Gail Prochaska
IMV Medical Information Division
+1 (847) 297-1404 Ext: 116
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