Harnessing the Power of IT

mary_summerAs you may have noticed on the cover, this month we’re featuring the “Top 25 Innovators in Health Imaging & IT” — a list of professionals making a difference in radiology, cardiology, radiation oncology and healthcare IT (as nominated by you, our readers!).

Running through the nominations proved eye-opening as we read through some fascinating projects, studies and initiatives the winners are undertaking. A definite theme emerged among the ballots — healthcare leaders are moving beyond managing patient images and information via information systems and now harnessing IT to improve patient safety and increase quality of care. Thought-leaders are infusing evidence-based medicine and best practices and seamlessly speeding them to the physician at the point of diagnosis (and making sure the right tests are performed in the first place). Putting into practice the analysis of excellent patient care — now — looks to make the difference in 21st century healthcare.

Other initiatives are diving into the impact of CAD on breast cancer diagnosis, studying the effectiveness of CT vs. cardiac catheterization, creating faster networks and easier-to-interpret lab results, prioritizing workflow and workload, defining heart disease risk based on race, creating interoperability among information systems, bettering cancer therapies and managing chronic disease.

And don’t forget to take a look at our Molecular Imaging section that goes hand-in-hand with this month’s Society of Nuclear Medicine Annual Meeting in San Diego (June 3-7). Stories on PET-CT and SPECT-CT are the bookends to nuclear medicine & image management — a rather problematic task for healthcare facilities struggling to manage hybrid images as IT tries to move beyond the embryonic stage.

But with the demand for and applications of SPECT, PET/CT and SPECT/CT increasing year after year, and their appeal to a wider variety of specialties, this is one problem that needs an effective solution. More vendors are coming to the table with new offerings — several of which you will learn more about in “Nuclear Medicine & Image Management: A World Apart,” and still more are debuting and gaining enhancements at SNM. Get a sneak peek at those in our SNM Preview. There will be more information at show time, too. I hope to see you there