Why DIAM? The Importance of a Strategic Roadmap for Medical Imaging

HIMSS Analytics

In the complex and continuously evolving environment of medical imaging, there is a distinct need to deliver imaging securely, through the right channel, with the right context, at the right time to the right person. That need is compounded when one considers that diagnostic imaging accounts for 10% or $100 billion of the total annual healthcare costs in the United States. Furthermore, recent studies have found that there are clear inefficiencies that need to be addressed: “Basic imaging (radiography, ultrasound, and mammography) accounted for 85% of the estimated avoided cases of repeat imaging.”

Many of these inefficient or duplicate processes can be avoided by using better workflows, consolidated strategies and leveraging technology. As imaging has evolved, there are now more services and tools in the field. With this added complexity, there are even more disparate processes that need to be maintained, supported and standardized across an entire enterprise environment.

Enter the Digital Imaging Adoption Model, or DIAM.  DIAM offers a framework to guide healthcare providers in adopting the right digital strategy to improve internal workflows and outcomes for patients. The model assesses the maturity of IT-supported processes in medical imaging for both hospitals and diagnostic centers around the world, and leads organizations towards a fully digitized imaging IT environment. HIMSS Analytics developed DIAM with the support of the Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM), the European Society of Radiology (ESR), and the European Society of Medical Imaging Informatics (EUSOMII).

By providing a strategic roadmap, DIAM helps healthcare providers reflect and better understand their implementations to improve upon their current software imaging capabilities.  DIAM can support an organization’s existing strategic plan by identifying strengths and weaknesses of technology and workflow.   For example, imaging in lower volume specialties (like Ophthalmology, Dermatology and Neurology) is difficult to do well, and even more difficult to receive the attention of decision makers. DIAM brings clarity to management teams and hospital boards. The model supplies a framework and taxonomy that can be used to facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration. This added attention helps support the IT imaging professional that is trying to make further improvements.

Healthcare providers can utilize more than 100 distinct indicators of maturity from multiple focus areas such as software applications, image capture, distribution and viewing, imaging governance, clinical decision support, imaging analytics, or patient engagement.  The model includes the key elements needed to successfully and comprehensively implement, deploy and enable Enterprise Imaging capabilities.

By using DIAM, organizations are taking the first step in acknowledging the critical importance of imaging. It is a challenging component of any health system, with the expectation of instantaneous, on-demand data. DIAM is a great tool to further develop an organization-wide digital imaging strategy, to ultimately optimize internal workflows, increase patient safety and improve quality of care.