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Herman Oosterwijk
The integration of the healthcare enterprise activity is expandingrapidly. I had the honor of being one of the monitors at a connectathonin January, where hundreds of vendor representatives testedinteroperability of their devices. So far, so good. Now, let’s do a reality check.

The Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) activity seems to be at the same stage as DICOM was several years ago. As a user, there is, first, the challenge to understand all the profiles and, second, how to prioritize among them.

The PACS System Administrator (SA) profession is still relativelyyoung. Todetermine what the particular background, environment, and experiencesare, as well as the need for training and certification, one can simplypoll current PACS SAs, which is what we did.

Among the considerations for effectively managing CT images are throughput, workflow and DICOM support.

Migrating your PACS archive and database is a non-trivial event; it can be costly, laborious and is in most instances un-anticipated.

The cooperation between the DICOM and HL7 standardization organization has been significantly improved over the past several years. There is a joint DICOM/HL7 working group, a.k.a. WG 20 for DICOM or for HL7, the Imaging and Integration Special Interest Group, that meets at every HL7 event (which is typically three times a year) to work on interfacing issues between both communication standards.

So you've purchased a digital mammography system, and now what? Deploying such a system not only opens up a new world of opportunities, but also a lot of potential challenges.

The Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise joint activity by HIMSS and RSNA, which defines profiles based on standards such as DICOM and HL7, just released the new PDI (Portable Data for Imaging) integration profile as one of several supplements in their draft for trial implementation.

The terms Electronic Medical Record (EMR), Computerized Patient Record (CPR) and Electronic Health Record (EHR), are used interchangeably when people speak of an electronic patient health record, however, they have different meanings representing their evolution.

It was about a year ago that I did not receive a reply to an e-mail for several days from a PAC system administrator at a major institution in Houston. After three days, I called her and asked whether there might be a problem - finding out that the e-mail system had been down for three days, hopefully to be back up in another day or so.