by Morris Panner, Ambra Health Chief Executive Officer

Pivoting from CDs is a win for radiology, you just need to know how to do it.

Today, somewhere in America, a patient will receive a copy of their medical imaging on a CD. It’s hard to believe that this relic of the 90s still exists, let alone is in regular use at healthcare facilities. Many home computers and laptops no longer contain disc drives necessary for loading CDs, making the process for patients to view imaging inconvenient and cumbersome. And patients aren’t the only ones negatively impacted by the continued use of CDs.

The cost healthcare organizations incur from purchasing, burning, and couriering CDs is enormous. Hospitals can still spend as much as $15 per CD, according to one healthcare executive and some health systems spend upwards of $100,000 per year in courier costs alone.

The financial costs are only one part of the problem. If I challenged you to rummage through your old desk drawers, I bet you could find several, if not dozens, of old CDs destined for the landfill. This issue is exponential for radiology departments. It takes a CD roughly 1 million years to break down in a landfill.

The 21st Century Cures Act and consumer demand has added momentum to the movement away from CDs and towards cloud-based imaging systems. This Earth Day, let’s commit to ditching the disc entirely. It’s better for patients, providers, and the planet.

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