Imaging informatics administration and certification at a glance

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The new-generation PACS administrator is the imaging informatics administrator (IIA), said George Bowers, MBA, principal with Health Care Information Consultants and chair of the SCAR imaging informatics education subcommittee during the Imaging Informatics Administration Symposium yesterday in Austin, Texas.
   
The PACS administrator’s job is evolving into that of an IIA as PACS transitions from a radiology-centric solution to a comprehensive ‘ologies’ solutions that handles all of the non-textual data in the electronic health record.
   
Five years ago, SCAR began developing a course to prep participants for the upcoming PACS administration/IIA certification test. At that time, organizers realized the complexity and tremendous variation of the PACS administration position. The position varied by: PACS vendor, size of institution, generation of PACS and IT support strength.
   
The planning committee adopted a new tact and decided to describe the necessary administration tasks. PACS/IIA administration functions cover behavioral, business and technical tasks including training, workflow analysis, reading room design, strategic vision, project management, troubleshooting, systems management and security.
   
The depth and breadth of tasks and competencies point to the need for a PACS team with the IIA playing a central role, said Bowers. SCAR aims to equip IIAs with the skills and competencies to effectively perform the job through its education and certifications processes.
   
The key behavioral, business and technical tasks of PACS administration will form the framework for the upcoming certification test, and the SCAR IIA course will become more focused toward exam preparation. SCAR also will develop a curriculum guide and other education materials for dissemination within the industry. In the end, educational programs support the IIA certification mission: enhancing patient care, professionalism and competency in imaging informatics.