SIIM 2011: Capital ideas

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Lisa Fratt, Editor

In early June, the imaging and informatics world descends on Washington, D.C. as the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) hosts its annual meeting. For sure, the organization selected the ideal setting to match its 2011 theme: “Reforming Healthcare through Informatics: Challenges to Solutions.”

There are some interesting, albeit unintended, parallels between imaging informatics and healthcare reform. The future is “cloudy with a chance of images,” quips SIIM Program Chair Bradley J. Erickson, MD, PhD of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Erickson is referring to cross-enterprise image sharing via the cloud, which offers an excellent strategy to address many of current image sharing challenges and boost quality and safety, while reducing costs.

However, now more than ever, it seems that cloudiness pervades healthcare. Specifically, some ramifications of healthcare reform remain quite hazy. For example, experts continue to wrangle with a clear definition of accountable care organization (ACO). While that definition evolves, pioneers do have a solid handle on many aspects of healthcare reform and will share their know-how at SIIM 2011.

I’m looking forward to hearing the latest about meaningful use (MU). During the Dwyer lecture on Friday, June 3, Keith J. Dreyer, DO, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, will dive into the details of MU. It’s an ideal follow-up to MU for ME and You, on Thursday, June 2, when departments share their strategies for and challenges of meeting MU.

But SIIM 2011 is not all MU. Experts will explore the gamut of trends and technologies that will impact imaging in the future. So whether you need a primer on cloud computing, radiation dose monitoring, quantitative imaging or advanced visualization, you can find the answers you need at SIIM 2011.

The challenge will be whittling the list of essential sessions you want to attend. Fortunately, we have you covered. Our editorial staff will be attending the show and has compiled a jam-packed schedule. Our daily SIIM coverage begins on June 2 and will continue for two weeks. Stay tuned--and hope to see you there!

Lisa Fratt