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Imaging informatics and your enterprise imaging strategy

May 31, 2017
Health IT
From the May 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Dawn Cram

Enterprise imaging has become a rapidly growing movement within the medical imaging community.

Following the advent of the electronic health record (EHR), now commonplace in health care organizations, enterprise imaging needs and challenges became evident. As departments acquiring visible light images such as ophthalmology transitioned to electronic charting, the image storage, indexing, management and retrieval workflows previously used in a paper chart environment were quickly identified as being too cumbersome to be incorporated in concert with electronic processes and ultimately demanded better methods. Our IT departments and C-suite executives were additionally enlightened to the risks and accessibility issues implied by the acquisition and storage methods being employed within visible light imaging areas, including the extensive use of smart devices and multiple silos of image content.

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Enterprise imaging has become so relevant that seven white papers were released in 2016 by the Journal of Digital Imaging (JDI) as a joint effort between the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM). During this year’s SIIM annual meeting, attendees will have an opportunity to discuss these white papers in depth with the thought leader authors, in subject-specific roundtable sessions.

Enterprise imaging extends the imaging informatics domain beyond radiology and cardiology, encompassing imaging performed across the spectrum of specialties and including diagnostic imaging, visible light imaging, graphical representations of data, waveforms and clinical multimedia such as those acquired within neurology sleep labs or audiology departments.

Radiology and cardiology departments are often combining efforts and leading the forefront of an organization’s decision to move toward an enterprise imaging strategy in an effort to enhance clinical decisions attained from greater multidisciplinary relativity, improve continuity of care through the availability of a holistic image record and achieve enriched analytics capabilities through centralized storage of imaging performed in departments such as pathology. These benefits and the inherent challenges of pathology imaging informatics will be discussed in sessions, led by pathologists, and are being introduced at SIIM 2017 as a new Society initiative to attract expertise from all enterprise imaging specialties and in unity with this year’s theme of “bridging the transformation to a new era in medicine.”

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