Feature | February 01, 2007 | Cristen C. Bolan

Why Rads Drive IT

You may be surprised to hear that some industry experts question the relevance of radiology at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference. Radiology is about X-rays and imaging modalities, right? So why is HIMSS important to radiology?
Hospital IT Directors may say that HIMSS is their show, but they shouldn’t go without
consulting the radiologists first. The fact is that IT infrastructure is an essential component of medical imaging equipment – just look at the trends in the market. Many vendors today will not even launch a modality without a network solution to go with it. Either they develop their own or partner with an IT provider to complete the package.
Take Toshiba – its on the verge of rolling out the first commercially available 256-slice CT scanner. One of the biggest challenges is developing software to manage the large volume of data the system will generate. So Toshiba has hooked up with Vital Images and McKesson to develop that solution. Of course, GE Healthcare found its missing IT link a year ago with the acquisition of IDX. And more recently, Siemens has taken it a step further, combining imaging and
clinical data, through its EUR5.7 billion purchase of Bayer Healthcare’s diagnostic division. This move links the medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics and clinical IT value chain under one roof.
Now that we have made the connection between imaging and IT, why should you, the radiologist, care? Simply put – you are in the driver’s seat. Radiology is driving imaging information across the
hospital, to referring physicians and even to patients.
But before you put on your crash helmet, get informed with ITN. This month we reveal how to
effectively integrate PACS with a single-site EMR. In upcoming Special Reports, you will learn about the inroads open source PACS is making via a national DICOM data exchange, get tips on archiving strategies, evaluate ROI on the EHR and learn a few simple rules about how to max your PACS.
With all of this information under your belt, you can sit back and enjoy the ride!

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