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Q&A with David Brown, chair of SIIM

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | April 13, 2015
From the April 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

There is also the option of developing a standard, open API that could be leveraged for image exchange between vendors. This option would require a critical mass of image exchange vendors opting to develop and support an open API for its success. Whatever the approach, a proposed solution would need to be made available on a wide scale, preferably at a national and international level.

HCBN: How do you think the sector will evolve or need to evolve?
It is clear that there is a strong need to develop a standards-based infrastructure to support the imaging data exchange between healthcare providers. In order to avoid repeat CT or MRI scans when a patient is seen by different providers, there needs to be an efficient manner to share the images between these providers. If I am a neurosurgeon and preparing to perform a surgery on a patient who had a recent CT exam outside of my facility, I would want access to the images.

The imaging report is not enough. What is also clear is that the sector is moving toward cloud-based solutions. While a facility may maintain a strong local footprint within their organization’s firewalls, we are increasingly seeing new functionality being presented that is leveraging cloud services. This is the direction that our society is going as a whole. Healthcare IT is not immune. But just as we are not immune to the direction that consumer IT is headed, we are not immune to the vulnerabilities that are presented. Malware, lost devices, or mismanaged cloud environments need to be on everyone’s mind.

The recent Anthem exposure is still on everyone’s mind, but will be forgotten over time. That is, until the next major breach occurs. Personal health information needs to be protected, and our sector must act responsibly when it comes to PHI. As vendors embrace cloud solutions, they must be very serious about how they implement their solutions, and be ready to provide evidence that they are following best practices with regards to PHI management and HIPAA compliance.

Finally, the sector must evolve to support high quality care at affordable cost. This will only be achieved in our sector if we look at our current standard of practice, and look for ways to reduce costs without compromising the quality of care. As our population ages, and more of our population needs healthcare, there needs to be a way of containing costs in order to keep our country’s economy strong for future generations. This will be accomplished by using new technologies balanced withhold-fashioned common sense.

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