Thursday, November 7, 2013

Future looks bright for PACS and Systems Administrators

Janet Skinner, CEO
With all of the challenges to PACS and Systems Administrators posed by healthcare reform, PARCA eNews checked in the Janet Skinner, owner and CEO of Skinner and Associates Executive Search, Inc. to get a snapshot of the career prospects for PACS and Systems Administrators. Skinner and Associates specializes in nationwide recruiting for healthcare imaging, IT and informatics. For this interview, Skinner says she looked at recent job descriptions, and surveyed some recent recruits and her team of five recruiters to broaden her perspective.

Q. With healthcare reform and the other changes occurring in healthcare what do the prospects look like for PACS administrators and systems administrators over the next five to seven years?

PACS News Roundup

OCT. 29, 2013 – MOLECULARIMAGING – With the emerging research on traumatic brain injury (TBI) related to professional sports, there is renewed interest in developing better imaging techniques for diagnosing and treating these injuries. A group of researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Va., are using PET to trace neutrophils as they go on the defensive in response to trauma to the brain.

OCT. 25, 2013 – DIAGNOSTICIMAGING – Given the debacle of the Healthcare Exchanges roll-out this past month, many experts are concerned that an even bigger challenge may be looming around the corner. With less than a year remaining to implementation, there are many unanswered questions about the level of preparation among providers and payers that haven’t fully embraced what must be done to be ready for ICD-10. No one knows whether payers will be ready to process ICD-10 claims when the system goes live on Oct. 1, 2014. Most payers, including Medicare, haven’t completed a dry-run to ensure they’re able to meet ICD-10 requirements. 

OCT. 18, 2013 – AUNT MINNIE – Radiologists should be particularly cautious regarding devices with high-reflectivity display characteristics that increase glare in all ambient lighting conditions, according to the group, who shared their findings in an article published online Oct. 10 in the Journal of Digital Imaging.

OCT. 17, 2013 – DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING – Between 2013 and 2018, the report predicted a 5.2 percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR). Enterprise PACS are expected to experience more significant growth, soaring to $510 million by 2018. Significant growth is also expected for VNAs – a rise from $165.3 million in 2013 to $335.4 million in 2018. 

SEPT. 24, 2013 – DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING – Looking at the function of the apps rather than the platform, the FDA will focus on apps intended to be used “as an accessory to a regulated medical device,” such as accessing a PACS server on a tablet to make a specific diagnosis. They’ll also regulate apps that transform a mobile platform into a regulated medical device, such as an app that helps a device function as an electrocardiography (ECG) machine, helping to diagnose heart attacks or abnormal heart rhythms. 

Pair of studies show missed mammograms increase risk of late-stage diagnosis

A pair of studies of mammography utilization show that women who missed mammograms tended to be diagnosed at a later stage. In a single institution study in the Nov. 2013 American Journal of Roentgenology researchers found that, regardless of age, women who underwent mammography were more likely to have early-stage breast cancer at diagnosis than were those who did not undergo mammography. In a failure analysis study of 7,301 breast cancer patients in the Sept. 9, 2013 Cancer, Harvard researchers found that among the 609 breast cancer deaths, 65 percent had never had a mammogram.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Colby Dillion first to acquire PARCA's CHEA certification

Colby Dillion is a senior software engineer at PACSHealth, LLC, which develops software for monitoring PACS systems and radiation dose. The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company develops software systems for medical imaging technology. Its PACSHealth and DoseMonitor applications use advanced monitoring and reporting tools to improve PACS work flow and throughput. Dillion is a 13-year veteran of healthcare IT, and recently became the first to become a Certified Healthcare Enterprise Architect (CHEA) from PARCA.

Colby Dillion, senior software
engineer for PACSHealth, LLC,
is the first to be CHEA certified
Q. What made you decide to pursue CHEA certification?

I view the entire lineup of PARCA exams to be oriented to those people responsible for system implementation and integration. CHEA has the much deserved title of "capstone" in this line of certifications.

Q. Do you feel that IT executives need to “up their game” in face of the changes occurring with PAC/RIS systems and integration with EHRs and other challenges coming with healthcare reform?

The changes coming with healthcare reform will force everyone to "up their game," especially those in executive positions. PARCA certifications build a solid foundation for the technical requirements coming with healthcare reform.

PACS News Roundup

Whatever else you say about Meaningful Use, it has been a powerful force driving more integration of healthcare information systems. The ultimate goal is to develop systems that deliver the complete patient record, including images to the right provider at the needed time. Having managed the evolving integration of PACS and RIS systems, PACs administrators are poised to play a key role with other healthcare IT professionals in the integration of these systems with electronic health records. The articles below touch on several key aspects of this next big challenge in healthcare IT.

SIIM 13: Panel dicusses the promise of HIEs in medical imaging

DIAGNOSTICIMAGING —June 6, 2013 – Only a tiny fraction of the health information exchanges in the U.S. today share medical images, but James Philbin, PhD, of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions says HIEs have the potential to transform health care. Philbin spoke as a member of a panel discussing the promise of HIEs at SIIM 13 in June. The experts discussed the obstacles for transmitting medical images across a health organization and new web-enabled technologies already available or being developed to overcome some of these obstacles.

Why is giving patients control of their medical images a good practice?

HEALTHIMAGING – May 17, 2013 – The more complicated and cumbersome it is for providers to access patients’ imaging histories, the more likely it is for them to order duplicative exams and for patients to face delays in care and be exposed to excessive radiation. Enabling patients to receive and share results of imaging exams empowers patients to be truly engaged in and actively participate in decisions about their health. Having control of their medical images makes it more practical for patients to seek and receive vital advice on potential alternative therapies or options that best fit them.