Knowledge of imaging standards is critical for CIIPs

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SEATTLE—David E. Brown, CIIP, imaging informatics manager for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, presented “Clinical Engineering Part 2 & Medical Informatics,” which focused on sections IX and X of the certification exam during the Certified Imaging Informatics Professional (CIIP) program at the 2008 Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) pre-conference events held Wednesday.

Brown prefaced his overview on medical informatics and clinical engineering with a brief mention of the CIIP test content outline. He illustrated to attendees that the outline has 10 sections associated with it and each section is associated with a knowledge domain which has been identified by American Board of Imaging Informatics (ABII) as the knowledge required to become a certified imaging informatics professional.

Medical informatics focuses on identifying and implementing image standards, applying appropriate IHE guidelines and integrating image architecture into an organization’s long range plan, he said.

It is necessary for IIPs to understand the communication protocols and data formats of imaging informatics standards, which include: Health Level 7 (HL7), DICOM, the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), standards from the American College of Radiology (ACR), ICD-9, CPT, and SNOMED.

For each standard, he highlighted the different components including basic interfaces with other information systems, benefits and limitations of each. For example, HL7 enables the automatic propagation of patient demographics, orders and results, however, it is specific to the sharing of such clinical information.

Brown also noted that IIPs should learn how to apply appropriate IHE guidelines, specifying and interpreting applicable IHE integration profiles. He detailed in his presentation how to interpret an IHE integration statement and connectathon results.

Lastly, he outlined how to integrate image architecture into an organization’s long-range plan. This includes considering enterprise archiving, such as the master patient index (MPI). Multiple imaging disciplines can use a common enterprise archive, he said. IIPs need to appreciate the challenges and benefits of using an MPI.

RHIOs and enterprise imaging specialties like cardiology and pathology were also covered in Brown’s overview of medical informatics. IIPs need to understand the information-sharing concepts and the requirements associated with regional and national healthcare delivery systems such as RHIOs, and appreciate the unique workflows and requirements associated with all imaging specialties such as cardiology and pathology, he noted.