Monday, December 29, 2014

NORC issues report on HIE progress in six states

PARCA eNews – Dec. 29, 2014 – National Opinion Research Center (NORC) released its latest case study report as part of the evaluation of the State HIE Program. The study involved more than 100 interviews with HIE participants about what is working, and what isn't in HIE. One of the major takeaway messages is that states need to play a central role in leadership, coordination, collaboration, and policy development to identify local health IT needs and gaps.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Coding déjà vu all over again

ICD-10 will be implemented Oct. 1, 2015

Marilyn Tavenner
PARCA eNews – Dec. 15, 2014 – Seems like only yesterday everyone was getting ready for ICD-10, but then last July, under pressure from health care providers who felt they could not meet the 2014 deadline, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued another extension setting a new deadline of Oct. 1, 2015.

As a result ICD-10 implementation was once again a topic at RSNA 2014 (click on subevent  MSAS21A). While much has been reported on getting ready for ICD-10, there has been relatively little coverage of what benefits ICD-10 will have for health care. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New federal health IT strategic plan for interoperability open for comment

PARCA eNews – Dec. 10, 2014 – The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for 2015-2020 on Dec. 8 and is open for comment. 

The Strategic Plan serves as the broad federal strategy setting the context and framing the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap that will be released in early 2015. The Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap will help to define the implementation of how the federal government and private sector will approach sharing health information.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Highlights from RSNA 2014

PARCA eNews – Dec. 6, 2014 – The theme of the RSNA 2014 that wrapped up Dec. 5 was “A century of transforming medicine.” It is sometimes useful to take a step back and look at how much imaging has advanced over the years. Following the introduction of ultrasound in 1955, CT or computed axial tomography (CAT scan) machines in 1972, the first PET scanner in 1975, and MRI in 1977, the first PACS systems were unveiled at RSNA in 1982. Today, in addition to continuing advances in those technologies the trends seem to be focused on the global challenges facing imaging professionals, including integrating imaging systems into enterprise imaging, informatics and “big data.” 

Top five trends at RSNA 2014 as noted by HealthImaging, Aunt Minnie, and Diagnostic Imaging:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

PACS administrators should lead strategic shift to enterprise imaging

Paul Chang, MD, University of Chicago
As many health care organizations move from radiology-centric PACS systems to enterprise imaging, the challenge of making it all work to improve workflow for providers and patients requires a paradigm shift in thinking, says Paul Chang, MD, professor of radiology and vice chair of radiology informatics at the University of Chicago Medicine.

Dr. Chang has been a leader in imaging informatics and is a sought after speaker at major health care IT symposia including HIMSS, SIIM and RSNA, where he will be presenting and leading several discussions at RSNA 2014, Nov. 30 - Dec. 5. He is an outspoken advocate for strategic thinking in the development of health care enterprise IT.

“The PACS administrator must establish a comprehensive framework, a strategic perspective toward enterprise imaging,” he told PARCA eNews by phone. “It is not just how to get images outside the firewall, or how to get cardiology online, what is needed is a reproducible methodology."

News Roundup

HIMSS Submits Comments to NIST on Cybersecurity Infrastructure Framework RFI

PARCA eNews – Oct. 28, 2014 – HIMSS submitted comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in response to its recent request for information (RFI), "Experience with the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity."  HIMSS outlined a roadmap for addressing the three general areas of the cybersecurity framework outlined by NIST. In brief summary the points HIMSS made included:

RSNA to celebrate 100 years at 2014 annual meeting

Final registration deadline for North America is Nov. 7

PARCA eNews – Oct. 28, 2014 – The 100th Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Nov. 30 to Dec. 5, will host more than 50,000 attendees from around the world, at McCormick Place in Chicago. Among other highlights of the meeting, Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of National Institutes of Health will deliver the keynote speech.

What You Need to Know About PACS and VNA

            Graphic courtesy of  Offsite Image Management
PARCA eNews – Sept. 4, 2014 – As facilities face demands for greater information sharing, Meaningful Use compliance, and increased efficiencies, VNAs are on track to become indispensable utility players. And, sales data proves it – according to an October 2013 Research and Markets report, the global VNA market is set to balloon from $165 million to $335 million by 2018. 

Small changes add up to big energy $avings in the radiology department

PARCA eNews – Sept. 30, 2014 – In a single institution study, radiologists found that small steps to save energy in the radiology department saved $11,629 over a 12-month period. The small steps amounted to shutting off equipment when not in use.

The study by the radiology department at St. Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin, was published online Sept. 4, 2014 in the journal Academic Radiology.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How Examity works to boost flexibility, integrity of PARCA exams

Michael London, CEO, Examity
Michael London is a founder, president, and CEO of Examity, the leading proctoring service provider for online university and certification exams. PARCA recently contracted with Examity, which will allow PARCA members to take its certification exams online with greater assurance of integrity and security. As this is a relatively new online business, PARCA eNews talked with Mr. London about online proctoring and how it works. The idea came to him when he was administering standardized online tests for Mayor Bloomberg of New York. He was dissatisfied with the online proctoring services available at the time. He found them lacking in the ability to catch cheating, ensure privacy, and they relied heavily on paper records despite being an online service. Following that experience London began developing ideas for providing enhanced online proctoring services.

Q. What sets Examity apart from other online proctoring services?

News Roundup

Info sharing across organizations lags adoption of EHRs 

PARCA eNEWS – Aug. 11, 2014 – Despite massive investment in EHRs the ability to share information across such systems has lagged, according to a health policy brief published by a partnership of Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Following the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act in 2009, more than $26 billion has been invested in developing “meaningfully useful” EHRs according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The result has been a significant boost in implementation of EHRs with 48.1 percent of physicians using at least a basic EHRs in 2013, up from 21.8 percent in 2012. At the same time a Health Affairs survey found only 14 percent of physicians are able to share patient data outside of their own organizations. 

PARCA Q. Has info sharing been an issue for your organization? Join the discussion

Cerner acquires Siemen’s division for $1.3 billion

PARCA eNEWS – Aug. 5, 2014 – Siemens Healthcare plans to sell its hospital information system business (HS) for US$ 1.3 billion in cash to US-based Cerner Corp. Siemen’s hospital systems business is focused on administrative hospital IT and electronic patient records, and is different from the IT division of Siemens that enhances the capabilities of imaging modalities and laboratory equipment. Cerner was one of only three EMR vendors that increased its market share in 2013. The company saw GAAP net earnings stand at $398.4 million, up from $397.2 million in 2012, according to Health care IT News.

PARCA Q. Will this acquisition affect your PACS? Join the discussion    

Interstate Medical Licensure could spur growth of telemedicine

PARCA eNEWS – July 30, 2014 – The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is a streamlined process that would allow physicians to rapidly become licensed to practice medicine in multiple states. If the compact were to be approved by state legislators and incorporated into the laws of most, if not all, states, it could catalyze the growth of telemedicine, according to a July 28, 2014 JAMA editorial. Telemedicine, whether by telephone, e-mail, videoconference, or online, has increasing uses in medicine, ranging from radiology and pathology to mental health visits. The Federation of State Medical Boards hopes to finalize the compact in 2014, so that in 2015 state legislatures could consider bills that would incorporate the compact into state law.

PARCA Q. Would interstate medical licensure for radiologists affect your institution? Join the discussion    

More Top Mobile Apps for Radiology

DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING – July 23, 2014 – Healthcare applications are expected to reach 500 million people in 2015, according to research2guidance, which published the “Global Mobile Health Market Report 2013-2017” study. The study indicates that 43 percent of mobile health applications are primarily designed for healthcare professionals. Leading the way are several aimed at radiologists including: 

PARCA Q: Have you been asked to support mobile apps by a user on your PACS? Join the discussion 

Philips’ VISIQ tablet ultrasound given FDA nod

PARCA eNEWS – July 8, 2014 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given 510(k) clearance to the VISIQ ultrasound system by Philips. The tablet-sized ultrasound system offers greater mobility, in a single miniaturized solution that can easily be placed on a beside table or tray. It produces high-definition images that can easily be carried from bed to bed and clinic to clinic. Its SonoCT technology acquires multiple lines of sight and compounds them in real time. It offers 2.5-hour battery life, and WiFi connectivity to upload images for DICOM data transfer to hospital and cloud PACS. 

PARCA Q: Do you find integrating mobile apps for radiology and tablet-sized modalities into your PACS a growing operational challenge?  Join the discussion 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Swedish IT professional adds CHEA certification to boost his career development

Mattias  Hörger, gliding over Uppsala, Sweden
Mattias Hörger is a consulting engineer at Mawell, a Swedish health care company specializing in providing quality management solutions for health systems and hospitals across Scandinavia and Great Britain. Its Clinical Process Support division provides quality management solutions for integration of PACS and RIS, digital dictation and speech recognition systems. The Health Care Intelligence division provides IT support for decision support systems, while its Patient Involvement and Care divisions provide online and mobile support for patient engagement and compliance systems, and eldercare counseling and monitoring systems. Hörger is an 8-year veteran of healthcare IT, and holds all PARCA certifications including the recently added CHEA certification.

News Roundup

The universal content viewer defined

By Imad Nijim
AUNT MINNIE – June 13, 2014 – Choosing a “universal viewer” depends on how you define it. What are the key questions to ask?
  • What is a universal viewer? 
  • Will the viewer be used for distributed image display?
  • Will the viewer be used for reports and unstructured clinical content?
  • Will the viewer be used on mobile devices as well as workstations?
  • Will the primary users be specialists, generalists, or patients?
  • Is the content stored in various silos across your enterprise?
There are common attributes that define a universal viewer. This article explores the "universality" of these attributes by focusing on the multi "-ology" nature of content-generating departments, the universal nature of the end users, and the operating system diversity.

Diagnostic accuracy of displays unaffected by DICOM standard calibration

By Anna Steere
HEALTHIMAGING – Jun 10, 2014 – No significant differences were seen between the diagnostic accuracy in medical-grade gray scale displays and consumer-grade color displays with and without the calibration method established by the DICOM standard calibration method, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

iPad-based image viewer offers remote radiology consults

Johns Hopkins REACH program developed iPad viewer
By Erik L. Ridley, AuntMinnie staff writer
AUNT MINNIE – May 30, 2014 – An iPad application developed by a Johns Hopkins team offers the promise of recapturing the clinical and educational value of frequent face-to-face consultations, according to a study presented at Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) in May. Called Radiologists Engaging and Collaborating in Healthcare, or REACH, the application's user interface combines a Web-based PACS viewer, access to radiology reports, and videoconferencing. It allows radiologists and clinicians to consult and collaborate in real-time using their iPads.

Transition of imaging informatics can give radiologists value

DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING – May 28, 2014 – An increase in users outside of radiology, other departments wanting to store their images in PACS, new regulations and declining reimbursement have all contributed to the push to enterprise IT. Since its implementation, PACS has been a trademark for radiologists. Image sharing- and EMR-talk is inescapable. It was only a matter of time until PACS was invaded, and now everyone wants access. Controversy ensues when processes are changed but this may not be a bad thing, according to Albert Oriol, vice president and chief information officer, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego in a presentation at SIIM 2014.

Monday, June 30, 2014

PACS professional career and certification options

Over the past several years, PACS support professionals have evolved from being “one does all” generalists into several different career paths with corresponding professional certifications.  Depending on the strengths and preferences, as well as ambitions, of these health care imaging and IT professionals it is now possible to select one or more career paths to meet individual and organizational goals. Note that the careers described below are equally applicable to PACS administrators as well as PACS support professionals, such as biomedical engineers, service and support technicians as well as interface and workflow analysts, working either on the provider side or the vendor side. 
The different career paths have a foundation based on the basic skill set of clinical and IT knowledge, with additional specializations after that, which not coincidentally, have corresponding certifications.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Integration: Next stop for enterprise imaging

Louis Lannum, director
enterprise imaging, Cleveland Clinic
Among the next biggest challenges facing imaging IT professionals is to integrate imaging across the enterprise into EMR systems, which is why PARCA launched its Certified Healthcare Enterprise Architect, or CHEA certification last year. The Cleveland Clinic successfully completed its enterprise imaging system, called MyPractice nearly two years ago. To find out how they did it, PARCA talked with The Cleveland Clinic’s Louis Lannum and Kimberley Garriott. Mr. Lannum heads the enterprise imaging team that systematically integrated nearly any image, regardless of its capture modality, into a Clinical Imaging Library and integrated it into the patient EMR. Ms. Garriott joined Cleveland Clinic’s MyPractice Imaging team in 2011 as program manager for design and implementation of the enterprise imaging strategy. Both will be speaking at SIIMS 2014,
Kimberley Garriott, program
manager, enterprise imaging,
Cleveland Clinic
May 15-17 in Long Beach, and the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Convention in San Diego in September. The Cleveland Clinic now offers their expertise in a consulting service for other health systems through
MyPractice Imaging Solutions.

Q. How did the Cleveland Clinic’s enterprise imaging program get started?

A. Lou – Radiology purchased a system to replace their legacy PACS and also bought a VNA as part of that strategy. Our ITD, Information Technology Division, took advantage of that VNA and created an enterprise program where we went out and developed workflows and image management strategies for other imaging departments.

News Roundup

AHIMA demands 2015 start for ICD-10

Healthcare IT News – April, 16, 2014 – In the letter to Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Coalition for ICD-10, which represents organizations from across the healthcare community, makes the case that a new compliance date is needed quickly in order to maintain the momentum already made on the way to ICD-10.

FDA Approves ResolutionMD for Diagnosis on Mobile Devices

DiagnosticImaging – April 7, 2014 – The FDA has approved ResolutionMD as an enterprise image-viewing solution for diagnosis on mobile devices for most imaging modalities. The system allows doctors to securely view patient images and reports from a variety of computers and mobile devices. It also offers the ability to collaborate with other practitioners and diagnose from any location. The mobile medical diagnosis software of ResolutionMD can be integrated into any EMR and plugged into existing distributed storage systems. The FDA’s safety and effectiveness review found ResolutionMD to be substantially equivalent to PACS or dedicated diagnostic workstations. 

The time is now for deconstructed PACS

Brad Levin, Aunt Minnie
contributing writer
By Brad Levin 

A perspective on PACS evolution

Aunt Minnie – March 31, 2014 – Increasingly, many believe that the next PACS renaissance is here, but it's not PACS at all. The latest strategy for imaging informatics is actually "deconstructed PACS," where the core elements of PACS are best-of-breed or component-based solutions, integrated together using standards-based approaches.

What You Need to Know About Replacing Your PACS

By Whitney L.J. Howell

DiagnosticImaging – March 19, 2014 – At some point, your hospital or radiology practice will be faced with an out-of-date RIS/PACS that no longer meets your organization’s needs or those of your patients. With the drive toward integrating imaging systems across the enterprise with the EMR, deciding to replace your system, can be a challenge. Any RIS/PACS must be affordable, faster, and integrated.

History class: How to increase availability of clinical history during interpretation

By Evan Godt

HealthImaging – Apr 13, 2014 – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center was able to increase the percentage of radiology exams accompanied by a complete clinical history from less than 40 percent to greater than 90 percent. The quality improvement initiative aimed to improve the consistency with which radiologists are provided a complete clinical history when interpreting radiography examinations performed in the outpatient and emergency department settings.

CT dose notification, alerts negligibly affect workflow

By Anna Steere

HealthImaging – Mar 20, 2014 – The use of CT dose notification and alert values in clinical practice has a negligible impact on workflow in clinical practice, according to a study published online Mar. 20 by the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Certification forms foundation for integration challenges facing PACS

John DeLong, VP Marketing,
Medicalis Corporation
As healthcare reform drives the transition from a fee for service to a fee for value reimbursement model in the US, the focus for IT and PACS administrators is shifting to one of providing patient-centered solutions for integrating clinical and imaging information. Medicalis has been developing and refining evidence-based decision support, work list and workflow solutions to the radiology/PACS community since 1999. To learn how the company’s solutions help meet healthcare reforms imperatives for quality and efficiency, PARCA e-News talked with John DeLong, Vice President of Marketing at Medicalis.

Monday, March 3, 2014

PACS News Roundup

By Michael J. Cannavo
AuntMinnie – Mar. 3, 2014 ­– At just under 39,000 attendees, participation in the HiMSS 2014 in Orlando, FL, was the highest in the organization’s history and was up 12.5 percent over the 2013 edition of the show. The show featured 1,233 vendors and occupied more than 500,000 sq ft of exhibit space. There were more than 5,500 C-suite and senior management attendees, with close to that same number of IT professionals. Attendance for those key decision-makers for IT-related purchases was up 18.8 percent over last year, while attendance of other IT professionals who recommend those purchases was up 17 percent, according to the HiMSS.
Integrated reading rooms enhance value of radiology
By Erik L. Ridley
AuntMinnie – Feb. 14, 2014 – It's no secret that radiologists need to increase their visibility with referring physicians if they want to ensure the future health of their specialty. One way to do that is by integrating radiology reading rooms into clinical areas, according to researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center.

By Leah Lawrence
DiagnosticImaging – Feb. 13, 2014 – Capturing data on computed tomography radiation doses from RIS/PACS databases was more accurate and cost effective than self-reported survey data, according to the results of a single-center study published in the European Journal of Radiology. - See more

AuntMinnie – Feb. 6, 2014 –The trend has been to move away from having individualized data silos for each clinical system and toward a centralized data repository (CDR). There are a host of reasons behind this. Not only does ongoing support cost play a huge factor, but which CDR to pick usually requires a fairly extensive evaluation process. Things that need to be factored in include facilities archive requirements, as well as disaster recovery and even business continuity plans. This too requires IT involvement.

By Anna Steere
HealthImaging – Feb. 5, 2014 – A DICOM decomposed storage model (DCMDSM) is suitable as a storage layer for projects where DICOM images are stored once and retrieved whenever necessary, according to a study published online Feb. 3 by the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.