February 25, 2016 — While healthcare organizations are making great strides to manage patient data within an electronic health record (EHR), imaging data from across the continuum of care is often widely unmanaged, or even missing from the patient’s electronic health history.
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) have aligned to form the HIMSS-SIIM Enterprise Imaging Workgroup with enterprise imaging thought leaders to tackle these challenges. This experienced group of health information technology (IT) professionals understand that incorporating enterprise imaging results within the patient’s electronic health record offers many potential benefits, but the process adds challenges as well.
“Despite widespread electronic health record implementations, many patients and doctors find the majority of their clinical data lies in poorly integrated diagnostic image, documentation image, and clinical scanned document silos,” said Christopher Roth, M.D., vice chair of radiology and director of imaging informatics strategy at Duke Health. “HIMSS and SIIM collaboratively are addressing the interface between EHRs and image capture, storage, distribution, viewing, information, technology and governance needs faced by health enterprises today.”
The workgroup creates a platform for sharing enterprise imaging strategies, creating awareness that images are an essential part of the electronic health record, inclusive of, yet broader than the more pervasive radiology or cardiology domains.
Together, HIMSS & SIIM have established the workgroup to:
- Provide education;
- Support standards development;
- Address current challenges; and
- Develop tools to accommodate the changing environment that expands the imaging domain across the healthcare enterprise.
“Hospitals are struggling to manage all of the images their providers acquire while caring for patients, and the workgroup provides a forum to share best practices and establish standards with the goal of providing organizations with the information they need to develop an effective enterprise imaging management plan,” said Alex Towbin, M.D., associate chief, Department of Radiology, Neil D. Johnson Chair of Radiology Informatics, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
In its first year, the workgroup has actively addressed important concepts and considerations, resulting in the publication of several whitepapers, including:
- Enterprise Imaging Governance: Needs, Models, and Intents to Consider
- The Current State and Path Forward for Enterprise Image Viewing
- A Foundation for Enterprise Imaging
- Orders Versus Encounters Based Image Capture: Implications Pre- and Post-Procedure Workflow, Technical and Build Capabilities, Resulting, Analytics and Revenue Capture
- Workflow Challenges of Enterprise Imaging
- Technical Challenges of Enterprise Imaging
- Considerations for Exchanging and Sharing Medical Images for Improved Collaboration and Patient Care