Cardiology Image & Information Systems

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New image and information systems are defining more efficient workflow throughout cardiology and the healthcare enterprise, joining all facets of cardiac care, including echocardiography, cardiac cath lab, CT and nuclear medicine images with ECG, surgery and even lab data. Most systems are web-based and bring a host of workflow boosters. Look for a few brand-new entries, too.

Agfa Healthcare (booth #734) is highlighting IMPAX ES, an enterprise-wide digital imaging and information management system, featuring Heartlab clinical technology, which brings point-of-care technologies to healthcare providers with the goal of image-enabling the EHR.

IMPAX ES is the first of Agfa's next generation releases featuring  'Connectivity Inside' and a new thin-client clinical application server for results distribution in phase I, which evolves to a web-enabled clinical and diagnostic display client server in mid- 2005. Key features include: integrated RIS-PACS-speech recognition for radiology reporting in hospitals of various sizes; effective workflow solutions for viewing large data set image studies; Improved security, privacy and auditing; extended enterprise scalability with Microsoft Windows core components;  and paperless workflow options.

Cerner Corp.'s (booth #3924) booth is educating visitors on its cardiovascular IT solution, CVNet. This platform is fully unified with the EMR across the office, hospital and multi-facility institutions-providing access to patients' images, reports, labs, medications, and charted results. The solution presents relevant EMR data in the context of the user's work, without requiring interfaces, additional logins or searches. Visitors can learn how Cerner's architecture provides simplified systems in the cardiovascular enterprise, including: Non-invasive (echocardiography, ECG, vascular, nuclear medicine), invasive (cath lab, electrophysiology), surgery, and various specific clinics (lipid, CHF, etc.).

Among the new applications being featured by DR Systems (booth #6611) at HIMSS is Release 7, the latest upgrade of the company's Dominator RIS/PACS, which incorporates cardiology tools; auto pull of cases and reports; and improved radiology information system (RIS) interfaces. This technology offers a single-company solution for universal image and information management. By integrating cardiology PACS and pathology image distribution into DR Systems' RIS/PACS, a user can access cardiology images or case studies from anywhere inside or outside the hospital. In addition, the user doesn't need to look for missing films or CDs. The same IS infrastructure that supports radiology PACS storage, archiving and web distribution can be shared by cardiology.

GE Healthcare IT (booth #1710) is highlighting new features to its Centricity PACS. The features are designed for institutions to be able to enhance existing imaging and IT investments, and to be able to manage multiple sites and system requirements. Features include a new communication tool, Exam Notes, which can be attached to an exam and becomes part of the patient electronic medical record. It incorporates a new PET/CT spatial cursor that allows radiologists to quickly identify a specific anatomical location from PET/CT images across the same study, as well as full integration of radiology/cardiology images and results. Also, since HIPAA requirements have resulted in facilities now being subject to higher degrees of data protection and disaster recovery requirements, Centricity PACS has open standards supporting CCOW (which allows EMRs to work better with PACS), three new IHE profiles, and enhanced log-in capabilities.

Heartlab, Inc. (booth #6807) is featuring at HIMSS its Encompass Results Management Version 2.04. This software is ACC-NCDR CL v3.0 certified and enables users to collect data required for participating in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry.

The ACC-NCDR is a repository for information collected from cardiology catheterization labs nationwide. The registry consists of data from more than 500 institutions and more than 1.6 million patient discharges. The data collected focus on outcomes rather than on volume alone and form the basis of benchmark comparisons among hospitals, making it possible to assess the quality of cardiac care patients receive nationwide. Participation in the NCDR helps hospitals measure performance and improve quality of care.

Heartlab's ACC-NCDR certified Encompass Results Management application